Tiptree take holders to replay

SOCCER: Tiptree 1 Taunton1 (after extra-time). Tiptree United manager Neil Farlie paid tribute to his battling side, and accused Vase holders Taunton of underestimating them, after a pulsating 1-1 draw at Chapel Road on Saturday.

Tiptree 1 Tauton1 (after extra-time)

Tiptree United manager Neil Farlie paid tribute to his battling side, and accused Vase holders Taunton of underestimating them, after a pulsating 1-1 draw at Chapel Road on Saturday.

The Jam-Makers were well worth the second bite of the cherry which they will get in Somerset on Saturday.

And they could have been celebrating victory had referee Sam Orsini, from Luton, decided that what looked like a push on United's Steve Wareham by Taunton's Paul Edwards in the final minute of extra time, warranted a penalty.

He didn't though, and Farlie will take his side to Taunton this weekend knowing they have nothing to fear.

"I'm very pleased with the way we played and we're still in the draw. We've enjoyed our Vase journey so far and we're not worried about going to Taunton," he said.

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"They underestimated us, I'm convinced of that, and they'll use that as an excuse, but we've come away thinking a bit of luck and we could have done it today.

"I thought Wayne Houghton and Ian Fish at the back were tremendous, and I was pleased for Dave Barefield who took his goal well – he's been struggling to find the net in recent weeks."

Taunton manager, Russell Musker was not so buoyant: "I'm disappointed we didn't win it today," he said. "Their keeper made two particularly good saves and, apart from the first 25 minutes, I felt we dominated."

He was quick to deny any suggestion that his side had not taken Tiptree seriously enough. "We knew what to expect. They've got no stars but are a good, hard-

working side."

Tiptree captain Fish summed up his side's thoughts. "They are not unbeatable, that's for sure, and we're looking forward to the replay. We've proved on our day we can match sides like Taunton."

And United keeper Sid Haygreen, who was in superb form all afternoon, said: "We upped our game for the Vase again. It was a good team effort and although I was pleased with my saves, all of us played well."

Taunton arrived at Chapel Road with a big reputation. Top of the Western Premier League, they were expected to impose themselves on United, who are languishing in the bottom half of the Jewson Premier League. But nothing could have been further from the truth, especially in the first 20 minutes as Tiptree ripped into the Vase holders.

Wareham, who passed a late fitness test on a damaged calf, was prominent early on and he had the first shot on goal in the second minute, which Taunton keeper, Ryan Draper, smothered safely.

A minute later, former Heybridge star Adam Gillespie rasped a thumping 20-yarder just inches wide as Taunton looked ragged, and in the 19th minute the ball ricocheted around the Taunton six-yard box but, despairingly for the home fans, wouldn't fall to a Tiptree player.

Ellis Laight was looking a skilful player for Taunton and Fish brought him down in the 28th minute to earn a booking. Taunton won the first corner of the game a minute later and Mark Gammon got in a shot which resulted in corner number two.

It was from this the Somerset team took the lead. Ian Bastow swung the ball over, Steve Kidd flicked it on, and Laight was on hand to head it in off the post from six yards.

If ever there was a test of Farlie's side it was now. But they rose to the challenge and just seven minutes later were on terms. Haygreen's long clearance was brilliantly flicked on by Wareham to release Barefield. He composed himself and struck a sweet shot underneath Draper.

The crowd of 518, the highest at Chapel Road for more than 20 years, saw both sides spurn half-chances as the game moved into extra time.

Haygreen made an important save from Laight, and Gammon caused Tiptree a few problems near the end with some wonderful skill, curling one shot just inches over Haygreen's bar.

At the death Edwards' challenge on Wareham brought the crowd to their feet in anticipation of a penalty. But it was not to be.

Tiptree had done themselves proud – however this tie is far from over.

Tiptree: Haygreen, Battell, Ford (Snow 73 mins), Houghton, Fish, Brady, Gillespie, Daly (Powell 100 mins), MacKrory, Barefield (Coe 60 mins), Wareham. Unused subs: Tudor and Parnell.

Taunton: Draper, Edwards, Bance, Kidd, Hawkings, Kelly (Groves 106 mins), Gammon, Laight, Sargent (McGowan 65 mins), Bastow, Myers. Unused subs: Kenny, Vaughan and Clark.

Referee: S. Orsini (Luton)

* AFTER the game Tiptree were presented with the Jewson League January club of the month award for their efforts in the Vase.

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