Replay required in Vase
Saturday October 6, 2007
F.A. Carlsberg Vase 1st Round
Tonbridge Wells 2 Thamesmead Town 2
By Steven McCarthy of www.kentishfootball.co.uk
Rikki Cable’s eighth goal of the season with ten minutes of normal time prevented Kent League leaders Thamesmead Town from being knocked out of the FA Vase at rivals’ Tunbridge Wells today.
The striker drove home the leveller after exchanging a one-two with midfielder James Brown to force extra time.
The hosts were reduced to ten-men with just five minutes of normal time remaining, hot-headed striker Aaron Shade picking up his second yellow, for kicking the ball away.
Thamesmead went for the kill during extra time but had to settle for a replay on home soil at Bayliss Avenue on Tuesday night.
Thamesmead got off to a dream start by taking the lead after just four minutes and 13 seconds when Curtis Williams netted his sixth goal of the season.
Slick trade-mark passing around the Wells’ box ended up with Brown drilling a shot, which goalkeeper Matt Bromby parried into Williams’ path and the striker stabbed home.
But Wells drew level and striker Ben Starkey grabbed his second goal of the season, having been promoted from the reserve side.
Starkey lobbed the ball over the advancing Chris Conneally and after the ball dropped just before the goal-line, the striker flicked the ball into the roof of the net.
And Tunbridge Wells, who prevented Thamesmead from playing, deservedly took the lead after 57 minutes.
After picking the ball up from Bromby’s kick, Shade played in Joe Fuller, and the striker fired the ball past the advancing goalkeeper and into the bottom right hand corner, to score his sixth goal of the campaign.
But Cable was on hand to force extra time, and with Shade off the pitch for 35 minutes, Thamesmead dominated proceedings, creating the better chances, but had to settle for a replay.
“No disrespect to Tunbridge Wells, we’re at home and our home record’s good, so we’ve got to be favourites to win the tie.” said McMahon speaking to www.kentishfootball.co.uk.
“But if we show the same commitment we showed today, then we’ll go out, simple as that!
“I suppose everyone’s entitled to a bad day at the office and like I said, we haven’t dropped any points, it’s not a League game, we’re still in the Cup.
“So at the end of the day, once we’ve maybe calmed down and looked at the bigger picture, we’ll be a little bit happier.
“But we were due, not a little blip, but a poor performance but we didn’t lose so I suppose we’ve got to give the lads a lot of credit for that.”
McMahon will sit down ahead of Tuesday’s replay to see if he needs to make any changes, but central defender Lee Coburn could miss out having turned his ankle at Culverden Stadium and was replaced by Lee Loveridge ten minutes into the second half.
“It will be unwise to make decisions now,” McMahon said after yesterday’s match. “I’ll sit back and think about it.
“We’ve got enough quality to cope and get a result (on Tuesday night).
“It’s pointless pushing panic buttons now and making changes. A few people need a kick up the backside, which hopefully today’s performance will give us and we’ll come back on Tuesday and be fine.”
McMahon praised Martin Farnie’s Wells side, especially after their “in your face” mentality stopped the Mead from playing their usual free-flowing football.
“Let’s not take anything away from Tunbridge Wells today,” McMahon said. “They done a job on us, they played well, they battled. We couldn’t play any football.
“We tried little bits but we didn’t turn up today – but we’re still in it. Teams are going to raise their game against us. We are sitting in a good position in the League and we had some great results in the past, but again, we haven’t lost, we’re still unbeaten at this level (their only defeat came against Carshalton Athletic in the FA Cup).
Thamesmead Line-up: Chris Conneally, Lew Watts, Peter Deadman (Pedro Knight 63), James Brown, Dean Kearley, Lee Coburn (Lee Loveridge 55), Scot Mulholland, Robbie Tarrant, Curtis Williams, Rikki Cable, Bradley Killick (Dean Burns 45).
Subs: Tony Gallagher, Danny Kemp.
Tonbridge Wells 2 Thamesmead Town 2 (A.E.T.)
Replay required in Vase