FOOTBALL: Thomas switch angers Elkins

Oxford Mail: Gareth Thomas has left Didcot, where he was club captain, to join rivals Abingdon United Gareth Thomas has left Didcot, where he was club captain, to join rivals Abingdon United

Didcot Town boss Gary Elkins has accused skipper Gareth Thomas of jumping ship after he left the Evo-Stik Southern League Division 1 South & West strugglers to join rivals Abingdon United.

His departure left Town short in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to leaders Poole Town, where Sam Elkins and Jamie Heapy were drafted in at centre back.

“I’m really disappointed with Gareth,” said Elkins, who comes face to face with Thomas on Boxing Day when they host Abingdon.

“He’s jumped ship when we are trying to build a side here. “

He said he felt some players lacked commitment and passion and yet when we had a team meeting last Thursday he didn’t say anything about it.

“I can understand if he wants to go, but he didn’t go about it very well.”

Meanwhile, striker James Clark has joined Hungerford, midfielder Brian Bowles has decided to re-sign for North Leigh, while ex-Didcot midfielder Matty Jack rejected a return to the club to heap more misery on the Railwaymen, who travel to Yate Town.

Abingdon boss Richie Bourne said landing Thomas, who will make his debut at home to Tiverton Town, had ended an 18-month chase.

He added: “I’m delighted to get him. Gareth is an uncompromising defender, so it’s a really big boost.

“I got wind that he was unsettled a few weeks ago and put in a bid.”

Abingdon will be without Matty Biddle who is away.

Bourne added: “We had a 0-0 draw at their place, so we know it’s going to be tough.

“But after two defeats we have to stop the rot and get back into that top ten.”

North Leigh manager Mark Gee hopes his side can use their last-gasp equaliser in their 1-1 draw against Mangotsfield United to get back on track.

After getting off to a flier, the team haven’t tasted victory in eight games leaving them in 11th place, and Gee says Stuart Hole’s leveller could be just the spark.

He said: “At the start of the season, we were scoring for fun, but there is a lack of confidence in front of goal.

“Hopefully, we can use that last-minute goal to build on.

“We have got 25 games left, and I see it as the season starting again.”

Banbury United travel to St Albans City in the Premier Division.

TOMORROW'S SQUADS

Didcot Tn (v Yate Tn, away): from Belloli-Pereira, Elkins, Casson, Osborne-Ricketts, Stanley, Tappin, Webb, Haysham, Williams, Browne, Harris, Pereira. North Leigh (v Bishop’s Cleeve, away): from Warrell, Hole, Organ, Turk, Franklin, Westlake, Walcott, Alexis, Brooks, Sanders, Hopkins, McDonagh, Mills, Else, Coyle, Bowles. Abingdon Utd (v Tiverton Tn, home): from Foster, Baker, Taplin, Carnell, Thomas, Evans, Riccio, Melledew, Young, Tucker, Woodley, Self, Halliday, Whitehead, Nowell.

Comments (2)

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1:42pm Fri 21 Dec 12

StaceyHume says...

Doubt you'll read this Gary but if there's anyone to be angry at it's the Committee, they’re all talk and no action. It’s their job to bring the money in and obviously improve attendance which benefits you but they fail spectacularly because of the characters that inhabit it. If you get the chance talk to some of the locals who used to support the club find out why now they don’t. You’ll soon discover a common denominator in their decision. I’ve personally spoken to some of them and it’s clear there’s some arrogant, selfish, unreliable individuals who the sooner they go the better..
Doubt you'll read this Gary but if there's anyone to be angry at it's the Committee, they’re all talk and no action. It’s their job to bring the money in and obviously improve attendance which benefits you but they fail spectacularly because of the characters that inhabit it. If you get the chance talk to some of the locals who used to support the club find out why now they don’t. You’ll soon discover a common denominator in their decision. I’ve personally spoken to some of them and it’s clear there’s some arrogant, selfish, unreliable individuals who the sooner they go the better.. StaceyHume

2:59pm Fri 21 Dec 12

mike.cox says...

Absolute nonsense Stacey.I disagree with some of their policies and that is why I don't sit on the committee but all committee members work extremely hard and do their best for the club with some making great sacrifices in terms of time and financial commitment. Much has been achieved over the last ten years or so and I am sure an extra effort is being made to recover from the current siyuation.
Finally, the AGM is not a closed shop and that is the place you should put forward your point of view if you sincerely believe what you say.
Absolute nonsense Stacey.I disagree with some of their policies and that is why I don't sit on the committee but all committee members work extremely hard and do their best for the club with some making great sacrifices in terms of time and financial commitment. Much has been achieved over the last ten years or so and I am sure an extra effort is being made to recover from the current siyuation. Finally, the AGM is not a closed shop and that is the place you should put forward your point of view if you sincerely believe what you say. mike.cox

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