Stow leave it late but make it through

SOCCER: All the action from the FA Carlsberg Vase and the Jewson League.


Stowmarket 4 Harpenden 2

STOWMARKET left it late before securing their place in the next round as they scored three times in the final eight minutes in Saturday's match at Greens Meadow.

Not for the first time this season Stowmarket had been wasteful in front of goal and should have been at least three goals to the good before the visitors made the breakthrough.

Jopling with a header and Platt with a close-range shot had both missed the target and D Barnard's header was headed off the goal-line before Harpenden, in a rare attack, opened the scoring with half-time looming. Bound, who had looked lively, broke clear and got the better of M Barnard before putting his shot past Nunn in the Stowmarket goal.

Into the second half and it was not long before the hosts levelled when Raymond in the Harpenden goal could not hold a shot from Jopling and Whatling was on hand to tap in the loose ball.

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Play quickly switched to the other end and Guive headed wide from practically on the goal-line before Stowmarket's defence was once more caught out when Price restored the visitors' lead when allowed a free shot at goal.

Stowmarket stepped up the pressure but were unable to equalise until the 82nd minute when Yeomans was tripped in the area and the spot-kick was confidently dispatched to the keeper's right by Mayes.

With four minutes to go Stowmarket were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and Mayes curled a Beckham-like kick into the top corner with the visiting keeper rooted to the spot.

Harpenden were now deflated and conceded a fourth goal in the dying stages when Jopling at last got on the scoresheet, placing his shot just inside the post to secure Stowmarket a trip to Greenacres in two weeks' time.

Lowestoft Town 4 Edgware Town 3

LATE lapses left Lowestoft Town hanging on for a Vase victory after their visitors from north London looked set for an emphatic exit.

The Blues were cruising and three goals ahead with 15 minutes to go before two defensive disasters – including an own goal – put their progress in the melting pot.

But two goals for leading scorer Gary McGee and one each for Ross King and Jamie Godbold were enough to ensure the return of Dave The Drummer went with a bang.

The "loudest and proudest" supporter in the Crown Meadow crowd decided not to ditch his drum after the furore that followed an alleged assault on him at a recent game at Mildenhall. His booming presence provided a boost for Blues boss Micky Chapman, whose makeshift side found enough rhythm to overcome Edgware, strugglers in the Second Division of the Ryman League.

Drumming in his ears and the sun in his eyes, visiting goalkeeper Michael Halsey was almost deceived by a long free-kick by his opposite number, Mark Hitcham, inside the first minute.

But it was the Lowestoft stopper who thwarted the first meaningful attack of the match, pushing aside a close-range effort from Anthony Thomas in the 11th minute. It began what would become a personal duel with the lively Edgware striker.

The stuttering home side moved ahead midway through the first half. Ross King, just 16, showed great skill to control Hitcham's punt downfield and worked in Godbold, his youth-team coach, who slipped the ball past the advancing keeper and into the six-yard box, where McGee did the rest.

Teenage striker King tipped the balance further in the Blues' favour on half-time, latching on to a pass from Godbold to side-foot home.

That appeared to have put the tie beyond Edgware – but the visitors responded with a storming start to the second half. Less than 10 seconds had elapsed when Thomas bore down on Hitcham's goal and pushed a deliberate effort past the Lowestoft No. 1, but watched in anguish as the ball rebounded off the far post.

The striker held his head in despair as Hitcham foiled him again from close range, before the start of a frantic five minutes of action around the hour-mark.

First, Edgware's Dennis Marharjan shrugged aside Craig Godbold to unleash a left-foot shot from 20 yards that screamed inside Hitcham's right-hand post. But the forward's efforts were undone less than 60 seconds later when team-mate Ian Kennedy left Halsey bamboozled by a stray back-pass and the grateful Godbold walked the ball into an empty net.

The home side looked to have killed the tie off three minutes later when Simon Head's hard work in midfield found McGee in yards of space, and the blond striker fired into the far corner for his sixth goal of the season.

That should have been game over – but Hitcham was kept busy at the other end and Thomas finally beat him with 15 minutes to go after the home defence failed to clear.

Even then, Lowestoft had chances to finish with a flourish. Godbold, always a threat, turned McGee's cross on to the post and substitute Lee Durrant's follow up from 20 yards stung Halsey's hands.

The nerve ends were set jangling three minutes from time when Ian Smith looped a header over his own goalkeeper as he tried to cut out a long throw.

But Smith's slip-up came too late to see a second qualifying round place slip through the Trawler Boys' net.

Lowestoft Town: Hitcham, Cambridge, C Godbold (sub Bond 79), Pike, Saunders, Smith, J Godbold, Head, McGee, King (sub L Godbold 54), Reeder (sub Durrant 79).

Edgware Town: Halsey, Howard, N Kennedy, I Kennedy, Clark (sub O'Leary 68), Al-Ansari, Burrell (sub Gallagher 68), Marharjan (sub Nwankwo 81), Thomas, Yoki.

MICKY Chapman said his side had turned in "our worst performance of the season" despite securing a thrilling 4-3 success to make FA Vase progress.

But the Lowestoft Town manager, who was without seven first-choice stars through injury, was full of praise for his players.

"That was probably our worst performance of the season," he reflected. "But we're through to the next round and I'm delighted. We stuck to our task, worked hard and the effort was tremendous.

"I cannot ask for more than that. You can play as well as you like but at the end of the day you are still only in the next round."

The Blues boss admitted his side made it hard for themselves. "The game was dead at 4-1 and we were cruising. But we made it difficult for ourselves, overplaying and losing the ball. We conceded two silly goals and you can't do that."

Left winger Jamie Godbold, also the Blues' youth team coach, proved to be Lowestoft's most effective attacker, scoring one goal and making two others.

But he was equally delighted with the scoring feats of 16-year-old striker Ross King, who made it two goals in two first-team starts.

"He has come into the first team and hasn't been fazed at all. He had a quiet game by his standards but still managed to score. It wasn't one of our best performances, but we're through and that's the main thing."

The Blues received a pre-match boost with the return of Dave The Drummer, who cut short his self-imposed exile from Crown Meadow. Dave, upset after an alleged assault at a recent game and disparaging comments about his match antics, banged and sang his way through the entire 90 minutes.

"I have had over 200 messages of support since I decided to quit – and many of them have been from other clubs. That is what changed my mind," he said.

"I knew I had done the right thing, and when every player shook my hand on the way out it was a joy beyond belief."

Dave – real name David Ainslie – now believes cup glory could be on the cards.

"We are going to win the Jewson League – and there's no reason why we can't win the FA Vase either," he insisted.

Halstead Town 2 Thetford Town 0

AFTER the last few years' disappointments, Halstead went into this FA Vase tie looking for a good run.

Before the game, there was a minute's silence for former Halstead player, Innes Murray, who died last week. Innes played in the very first game down at Rosemary Lane back in 1948.

Halstead wasted no time in getting in to the game and were ahead after only 48 seconds. English played the ball wide from kick-off to Owers, and when Thetford failed to clear it, Owers chipped the ball over the keeper into the far corner.

Chatters fired over for Halstead, but 10 minutes later made amends, this time holding off two defenders inside the six-yard box, and although losing out initially to the keeper, he managed to tuck away the rebound.

As the half ended, Halstead overcame a scare as Strong fouled just outside the box, but Pentney came to the rescue again with another competent save.

Halstead came out all guns blazing in the opening exchanges of the second half, but Thetford gradually eased their way back in to the game.

As the game began to peter out, Halstead failed to put the game beyond Thetford when a bad first touch by Chatters from Welham's powerful run down the left and perfectly squared ball, let him down just five yards out.

Beaconsfield 3 Harwich and Parkeston 2

BEACONSFIELD of the Spartan South Midlands League hosted this tie on a very bumpy and heavily sanded pitch.

Despite this Harwich settled well and showed some nice touches during the early stages. Beaconsfield then began to enjoy a spell of pressure and this led to the opening goal. Damian Markman unleashed a low drive that nestled into the bottom corner.

The second half started with high drama and a flurry of goals. On 51 minutes Lee Neale latched onto a Matt Hearn free-kick to head home the equaliser.

Then, just four minutes later, Hearn gave Harwich the lead with a stunning half-volley that found the net from all of 30 yards. The visitors' lead lasted for just one minute. A defensive error allowed Steve Jones to connect with a loose ball to score from close range.

Beaconsfield continued to create the better scoring chances and after 86 minutes ensured their place in the next round with a headed goal from skipper Mosiah Polidore.

Harwich's afternoon was further soured by the late sending off of striker Matty Hearn for foul and abusive language.

Great Yarmouth 1 Clacton 3

Following a goalless first 45 minutes, Clacton made a deserved breakthrough seven minutes into the second half, Aren Howell diving to head home Ian Brown's left-wing cross. The visitors then sat back and were punished when Yarmouth equalised with 20 minutes remaining.

Clacton regained the lead 10 minutes from time through a Sean Hillier volley, before Howell put the result beyond doubt, beating two defenders and leaving the keeper stranded with a left-footed strike.

Felixstowe & Walton Utd 2 Letchworth 0

THE Seasiders finally put a four-season-long record of defeats at the first-round stage of a national competition behind them with a convincing victory over Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division side Letchworth.

When Etti headed against the woodwork in the third minute and Berry rattled the Letchworth crossbar 50 seconds later it looked as though it may be another of those days, but against a side looking to play a passing game the home side came through in the end to take their place in the next round.

The visitors were all at sea in the early stages as the home side created two good openings but having survived the early pressure Letchworth began to show some neat touches with leading scorer Coley always posing a threat.

A highly entertaining first half saw both sides playing attractive football with the visitors just having the edge but clear-cut chances were few, the best falling to Pugh in the 23rd minute when he slipped his marker inside the Felixstowe & Walton area but then slid his shot wide of Charters' left-hand post from 12 yards.

With Ager having been transferred to Woodbridge on the morning of the game the Seasiders were dealt another blow three minutes from the break when central defender Bygate limped off with a suspected pulled hamstring but a reorganised defence after the break combined well to deny the visitors a clear-cut chance.

Two second-half goals proved good enough to seal the tie with Clarke being tripped inside the area in the 52nd minute for Nicky Barker to beat Graham from the penalty spot.

Charters twice dealt with long-range efforts from McArdle in the 59th and 64th minutes before Berry produced a brilliant goal to seal the match in the 73rd minute.

Barker's crossfield pass picked out Etti who played the ball into Berry wide on the right and the diminutive midfielder set off on a jinking run that saw him round the goalkeeper and three defenders before turning the ball into an empty net.

The score might well have been much wider in the end as the home side created two good chances late in the game. Fuller curled his shot round Graham in the 85th minute but also wide of an upright then had an effort disallowed in the 89th minute being adjudged offside from Clarke's cross although Clarke looked to have pulled the ball back from the byline.


AFC Sudbury 1 Histon Reserves 1

AFC SUDBURY assistant manager Michael Cheetham was left to reflect on his side's host of missed chances that allowed Histon Reserves to leave Kingsmarsh on Saturday with a share of the points.

Bishop shot wide from a good position and shortly after found the side-netting with a header. Then it was Hyde's turn to head wide from Bennett's cross.

Histon finally brought Nower into action, the keeper saving Hanifer's snap shot. Cheetham and Taylor both sent volleys over the bar before Bennett was only just off-target with a first-time effort.

On the break Nower was again tested, going full length to turn round Mee's low shot before Hulyer at the other end pulled off the save of the match to keep out Head's shot.

The second half followed a similar pattern with Hulyer saving from Taylor and Norfolk.

A long cross from Jones deceived Nower, striking the inside of the post before being cleared, and then within minutes Betson committed the miss of the match, scooping the ball over the bar from three yards out. Then Bennett headed wide when it looked harder to miss.

Histon looked to have preserved their 100% record when Jones scored in the 90th minute from a corner but three minutes into injury time Claydon finally found the net for the home side from close range.

Wisbech Town 1 Tiptree United 2

TIPTREE completed a classic smash-and-grab raid in the Fenlands to steal three points from Wisbech and preserve their 100% league record.

After Steve Wareham put a third-minute effort inches wide of the Wisbech post Tiptree barely had a look-in for the opening 45 minutes.

The Cambridgeshire side carved out seven or eight excellent goalscoring opportunities in the first half but even when they finally did get the ball in the net on the half-hour mark the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside.

However, just as half-time was approaching Tiptree finally started to make some in-roads into their opponents' half and David Barefield actually had the best chance so far but took too long after rounding the Wisbech keeper and was denied by a last-ditch defender's tackle.

The hosts went close several more times during the early stages of the second half but just when the game looked destined to end goalless it exploded into life in the final 15 minutes. First Reeson cracked a 25-yard free-kick against the Tiptree woodwork with Bavester beaten. Then Wisbech took the lead on 78 minutes through Furnell whose excellent glancing header gave the Tiptree keeper no chance as it nestled in the corner of the net.

However, with Wisbech looking for a second goal a breakaway attack saw Barefield manage to cut inside his marker and put in a deep cross to find Neil Cogger at the far post to equalise with a diving header with three minutes of normal time left.

Unbelievably Tiptree then stole the game in injury time when Cogger became provider, placing an inch-perfect through ball into the path of substitute Alex Snow and the young defender finished the chance with the coolness of a regular striker to complete a most unlikely victory.

Dereham Town 0 Woodbridge Town 0

TWO sides without a victory so far this season met at Aldiss Park and this result has extended their winless run. Dereham have now gone almost eight hours without a league goal so it could be said that the result left Woodbridge the more satisfied outfit, since they achieved their first clean sheet of the campaign.

The first half of a contest which was lacking in any real quality contained little goalmouth action, with the best chance falling to Jason Parr five minutes before the break but Dean Garnham turned his shot behind to keep the visitors' goal in tact.

Woodbridge rarely threatened, their only real chance of the half falling to new signing Paul Ager, who saw his shot blocked close to the line by a home defender. Dereham enjoyed a dominant spell for the first 15 minutes of the second half and Garnham made two fine saves, the second by blocking a close-range effort when it seemed certain that Patrick Farr would open Dereham's account.

Woodbridge gradually improved as the half progressed and 10 minutes from time their best move of the game resulted in Jamie Scales crossing for Carl David, whose header was saved at full stretch by John West. Two minutes later the Woodpeckers had strong claims for a penalty turned down when Scales was clearly pushed in the back by a home defender although for either side to have taken maximum points would have been harsh on their opponents.


Swaffham Town 2 Haverhill Rovers 1

SWAFFHAM preserved their 100% start to the season after their fifth successive win over their Suffolk opponents. The home side took the lead seconds into the second half, the Haverhill goalkeeper keeping out Stannard's initial shot but Curson scoring from the rebound.

Haverhill equalised in the 55th minute, when Hunt was brought down in the area and Jenkin put the penalty straight down the middle of the goal.

The winner came 12 minutes later, McNeil's mis-hit shot deceiving the Haverhill keeper and bouncing into the bottom far corner of the net.

Swaffham were reduced to 10 men in the 74th minute, D Fowler sent off for his second booking within three minutes.

March Town 0 Long Melford 2

This was an important performance by Long Melford who, after a hesitant start, are quickly adapting to Jewson League football.

Melford applied considerable pressure and were rewarded in the 43rd minute when Jamie Howe, playing a one-two with Devereux, was tripped in the area and Devereux subsequently scored from the penalty spot.

In the second half March goalkeeper Lee Skipworth was instrumental in keeping his side in the game. He did well to hold a Darren Pratt free-kick and kept out Danny Brind's 12-yard drive. Skipworth also excelled as he saved Devereux's quickly-taken free-kick, which he pushed onto a post and then caught the ensuing loose ball.

Long Melford finally made sure of the points in the 88th minute when Andy Smith did well to dispossess a March defender and set up Devereux who scored from close range.

Warboys 1 Hadleigh 3

All the scoring in this Division One match came in the second half with Warboys going in front before Hadleigh hit back strongly in the last 20 minutes.

Two minutes into the second period Hadleigh's Smith was penalised for a handling offence and Young converted the spot-kick.

Apart from Rush on the stroke of half-time and Welton on the hour both heading over the top for Hadleigh, from close range, the Suffolk side were subdued until Cracknell tried a shot which flew in off a defender's leg for the equaliser in the 72nd minute.

Almost at once substitute Lewis broke clear to beat goalkeeper King inside his near post to put Hadleigh ahead. The third goal came when Dennett fired into the roof of the net to finish off a splendid move.

Leiston Town 5 Somersham Town 1

A SUPERB first-half performance from Carl Chenery inspired Leiston to a comprehensive victory over visiting Somersham Town.

An early scare when Somersham could have been awarded a penalty was overcome as Leiston went on the rampage.

Chenery struck first with a vicious free-kick which was dropped by Laurie and crossed the line before Day applied the finishing touch.

A Chris Wright flick-on from a corner was then headed home by Chenery, who turned provider with a quickly-taken free-kick releasing Fryer, who tucked home in style.

Fryer returned the compliment in the 48th minute for Chenery to complete his hat-trick with a far-post header.

Although Marsden pulled one back for Somersham after slack defensive work, normal service was resumed when Jennings side-footed home after a good Fryer run.

It should have been six after Laurie needlessly gave away a penalty but he redeemed himself with a fine double save from Day.

All in all a fine performance from virtually the only 11 players left fit during Leiston's horrendous injury crisis.

Needham Market 1 Godmanchester Rovers 1

NEEDHAM Market, who had Lee Briggs making his debut, started brightly. Visiting keeper Bigger was kept busy and needed to be alert to come to gather some well-flighted crosses.

Neil Cole did well by eluding a couple of tackles as he moved forward before releasing Briggs, who took the ball on and shot low into the corner to give the home team a deserved lead after 15 minutes.

Needham should have increased the lead by more goals as they dictated the first half, which included a rasping shot that hit a post from Briggs before somehow keeper Bigger turned over the follow-up effort from Ashleigh Hawes.

After the break for the first 10 minutes it was Needham who looked the more positive.

The visitors then started to believe they could get something from this fixture and Donald had a good header saved by Matt Fenn and he also shot just wide.

As the game went on Needham were living on their nerves and a couple of silly cautions were picked up by Neil Cole and Dean Folkard. As so often happens the visitors delivered the sucker punch with a well-taken goal from a shot from Pope deep into injury time.

King's Lynn Res 1 Stanway Rovers 3

STANWAY went ahead in the ninth minute when Schultz's free-kick was headed down by Simes to Driver, whose shot was parried by the keeper into the path of Curtis who made no mistake.

Four minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, Bate side-footing home a Curtis cross.

Hunt pulled a goal back for King's Lynn in the 58th minute when his cross-cum-shot sailed over Munson's head, but two minutes later Stanway restored their two-goal cushion when Ingles' through ball found Curtis who slipped the ball over the advancing keeper.

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