Tiptree team spirit gets them through
FA VASE SOCCER: Taunton Town 1 Tiptree United 2. Tiptree United are through to the last eight of the FA Carlsberg Vase. And if ever there was a demonstration of how powerful team spirit can be in football, Tiptree's FA Vase fifth-round replay against Taunton was surely just that.
Taunton Town 1 Tiptree United 2
TIPTREE United are through to the last eight of the FA Carlsberg Vase.
And if ever there was a demonstration of how powerful team spirit can be in football, Tiptree's FA Vase fifth-round replay against Taunton was surely just that.
The Somerset club dominated the game for most of the second half and were clearly the more skilful side but, despite riding their luck, the Essex side refused to buckle under sustained pressure.
With David Barefield grabbing a first-half lead after meeting Wayne Houghton's volley across goal at the back post, Taunton finally breached the Jam-Makers' defence for an equaliser seven minutes from time.
But with the home supporters rubbing their hands at the prospect of five minutes of injury time and then a half hour's extra-time, up popped Steve Parnell in the 93rd minute to grab a famous winner.
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Tiptree started the game brightly, realising that their best spell of the previous match had been the opening 20 minutes.
Manager Neil Farlie ordered his team to go for an early goal. Andy Brady and Dave MacKrory both went close in the opening 10 minutes and at the other end keeper Sid Haygreen also carried on from where he left off last week leaping at full stretch to tip away an effort from Andy Sargeant.
Looking to hit solely on the break it came as something of a surprise that Tiptree took the lead from a free kick situation. Steve Daly floated in a delightful ball to the back post, a side-footed volley from Houghton sent it back across goal and Barefield somehow got in between two defenders to poke the ball home.
The Gods seem to be smiling upon Tiptree as the second half began when Ellis Laight thought he had equalised within 10 seconds of the restart.
A long ball sent forward directly from the kick-off caught Haygreen cold, mis-timing his jump and Laight's challenge saw the ball end up in the back of the net.
Even the tannoy announcer was caught out as he started to announce the equaliser before having to back track upon realising that the referee had given a foul for a push by the Taunton striker.
Time ticked by slowly but as Taunton missed chance after chance, most notably when Laight volleyed over the bar from 10 yards when Haygreen had missed his catch, it seemed more and more possible that an upset result could be achieved.
Finally though on 83 minutes the inevitable happened when a melee in the penalty area concluded with Ian Bastow firing home via the post and the unlucky Haygreen to equalise.
Yet it is well known in football that a performance counts for nothing if there are no goals to back it up, and with Taunton taking only one of their many opportunities they were always susceptible to a sucker punch.
This duly arrived in the third minute of injury time when Jamie McGowan delivered a woefully short back pass to Draper whose clearance was bravely charged down by Barefield and finally arrived at the feet of Parnell some 30 yards from goal. One quick look up and one sidefooted shot later the ball was in the back of the net to provoke rapturous applause from the Tiptree crowd in the stands and wild celebrations among the Tiptree players on the pitch.