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Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round Review……

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West Auckland Town were left to regret several missed chances when they went out of the Buildbase FA Vase by 2-1 at Ebac Northern League rivals Stockton Town on Saturday.

West, who were one of the competition favourites at the start of play, wasted “chances galore” to go through after leading 1-0 at one stage according to manager Gary Forrest.

“We missed chances galore to win the game,” he said. “I don’t how we managed to lose the game. Even after they scored, we still missed chances to get back into the game. But credit to Stockton, they dug in deep to win the game with a couple of minutes left.

“That’s two cups we’ve gone out of in a week because we didn’t take our chances, and we should have been out of sight. It’s very frustrating, I can’t understand why we’ve lost.”

West had the better of the chances in the first half, and nearly took the lead when Nathan Fisher, who scored a hat-trick against Stockton earlier in the season, fired just wide.

But they took the lead on 31 minutes when Ben Wood set up Anthony Bell to score with a low shot.

Stockton improved in the second half, and equalised on 72 minutes when Jamie Owens fired home after a corner came out to him.

The referee went off injured before extra time and was replaced as the drama increased.

The game looked as if it was heading for a replay until 2 minutes from the end when Owens again lost his marker and fired past West keeper Adam McHugh, to put them into the last sixteen of the competition.

There was a flare up at the end of the game which soured the victory for Stockton, when a spectator ran on to the field and appeared to confront Stockton defender Dale Mulligan, and in turn that led to a scuffle, which ended with the red card being shown to Stockton’s Nathan Mulligan and Kevin Hayes, and West scorer Bell.

Stockton will now await the referee’s report before deciding whether to appeal against the dismissals.

In the other Vase ties, Newcastle Benfield drew 1-1 at home with Midland League side Coleshill Town, and will replay next Saturday.

Paul Brayson uncharacteristically missed an early penalty for Benfield, and they went on to miss some good chances before the visitors scored with 10 minutes left.

Scott McCarthy levelled with 5 minutes left, and even though Coleshill had a man sent-off, Benfield couldn’t break through again.

Marske United’s home tie with Hinckley AFC was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, and has been re-arranged for next Saturday at Mount Pleasant.

Sydenhams Football League (Wessex) Leaguers Hamble Club`s are in their first season at this level, and its the first time they have been eligible to enter the FA Vase and they have reached the last sixteen.

A long journey to Hereford and a goal down at the break, they scored four times in the second half against Midland League side Westfields, two goals each for Nick Watts and Nathan Lynch, to ensure their place in Monday’s draw.

Blackfield & Langley will also be in the draw but will need to win their replay at Uhlsport Hellenic Legauers Bracknell Town on Tuesday to actually progress after a brave and eventually heart-breaking performance at Gang Warily.

Goalkeeper Brad Snelling was sent-off some 30 minutes in to the game but the Watersiders came from a goal down to lead 2-1 before an equaliser for the visitors deep in to second half stoppage time.

The additional half-hour bought a further goal apiece leaving all still to play for on Tuesday evening.

The third tie involving the Wessex League, between Newport (IoW) and Bradford Town at St Georges Park, was postponed and re-scheduled for next Saturday.

Saturday saw the three remaining Uhlsport Hellenic League teams still in Monday’s Fifth Round draw, although Bracknell Town have to win a replay to ensure their progress.

As mentioned earlier, Bracknell Town drew with Blackfield & Langley of the Sydenhams Wessex League, while a crowd of 596 watched third in the Southern Combination League, Eastbourne Town, take on eighth-placed Hellenic Premier Windsor FC.

But the Hellenic side will be in the draw after an excellent 3-1 win with goals from Keiran Knight, Pen Nadir Shafi and Matt Stockill – Evan Archibald for the Sussex side.

A crowd of over 200 watched Thatcham Town host Biggleswade FC, currently in eighth place in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

Thatcham came through a tough game to progress to the next round with a 2-1 win, thanks to Harry Grant and Babs Jarra – Shaun O’Connor for Biggleswade.

Southern Counties East Leaguers Crowborough Athletic didn’t convert their chances, including a first half penalty at Toolstation Western League Melksham Town and ultimately paid the price.

The Crows showed their pace up front on many occasions only to either miss the target or to be thwarted by the excellent Melksham keeper.

The hosts looked dangerous on the counter, but the first half ended goalless.

Melksham took the lead, to thunderous cheers from the 600-plus crowd, when Mike Perrott netted just after the hour-mark before Dan Perry converted a 78th minute penalty to level.

Perrott struck again 7 minutes from time to make the return journey that bit longer for the Crowborough team and their decent contingent of travelling supporters.

With all three remaining ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League sides being drawn at home, hopes were high for the run to continue, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

Cogenhoe United fought back from two-down, but crashed out 3-2 against high-scoring West Midlands (Regional) League side Wolverhampton Sporting Community.

Cooks made the worst possible start as they conceded on 5 and 8 minutes, both from corners.

The first was taken short and Ben Perks was unlucky to see his header come back off the underside of the bar, but Mitch Clarke was there to volley home from close range.

The second came when Kieron Northwood headed home at the far post and Cogenhoe had a mountain to climb.

Sean McBride reduced the arrears with a great turn and finish from Ryan Dove’s head down and it was 2-1 with just 10 minutes played.

Cogenhoe had the wind at the backs in the second half and deservedly drew level when Ryan Dove met a great in-swinging Ryan Ansell corner with a bullet header from close range.

With the next goal extremely important, it was Sporting who snatched the lead just after the hour-mark when Northwood slipped Wes Grey through the middle and the powerful striker held off his man to smash a low drive past Stuart Lutter.

Charlie Hynam was unlucky with a volley and Dove forced a good save out of Gettings, but Wolves also had their chances and they edged the game on the day.

Desborough Town are used to extra-time in this year’s competition, but it was third time unlucky for Ar Tarn.

Midland League side Stourport Swifts grabbed the lead Dan Sweeney after 7 minutes when he turned his man to net with a low finish, but Desborough were level on 18 when Dan Beasley turned an Andy Hall cross past his own keeper.

Swifts went back in front 2 minutes after the restart with Sweeney getting his second, this time turning to chip into the far corner.

Extra-time was necessary though as John Dean stabbed home after Will Arnold had directed a Dan White cross into his path.

The extra 30 minutes went in the visitors` favour this time though and Beasley netted at the right end with a 97th minute penalty after Aaron Davies had committed a foul in the box and Nick McPherson cut in from the left of the area to score with a low finish and finally kill Desborough off on 107 minutes.

Wisbech Town couldn’t continue their excellent form and went down 3-1 to another Midland League outfit, Bromsgrove Sporting, in front of a big crowd at Fenland Park.

The first half was goalless, but Bromsgrove opened up a two-goal cushion through a Richard Gregory penalty on 61 minutes and Sean Brain 6 minutes later.

The Fenman pulled one back through Alex Beck on 72 minutes, but the game went Sporting’s way on 76 minutes. Wisbech skipper Jon Fairweather was shown the red card for a foul in the box and Gregory bagged his second spot-kick of the game, but it got even worse for the Fenmen as veteran keeper Paul Bastock continued his dissent and followed his skipper into the dressing rooms.

Two behind and with just nine-men and outfield player Josh Ford in goal, it was time-up for the UCL’s Vase dreams for another year.

Pontefract Collieries’ run as the final Toolstation Northern Counties East League`s representatives in this season’s competition came to an end on Sunday.

They were beaten 3-1 by Hallmark Security League side 1874 Northwich in a game played at Witton Albion’s Wincham Park.

Despite a good first half display, the Colls found themselves behind at the interval after the hosts scored in stoppage time through Mark Jones but pulled back level on 69 minutes through a fantastic free-kick by Mark Whitehouse.

However, the home side struck twice in the last 12 minutes with a Scott McGowan brace to bring Ponte’s record-breaking run in the competition to an end.


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