Sat 8th Dec 2018
Build base FA Vase - 3rd Round Replay
Biggleswade FC 0-0 (L 5-3 Pens) TAFC First team

What an epic struggle this was between the top 2 teams in the league and what a cruel way to depart from the competition and miss out on the opportunity to reach the 4th round of the FA Vase for the 3rd year running.

After over 4 hours of intense football, over 2 games with just 2 goals scored in total it all came down in the end to a missed penalty. Unfortunately it was Ashton Campbell who missed the vital spot kick but there can be no criticism because he was brave enough to take it and he came within inches of winning the tie in extra time when his shot was heading towards an empty net when a defender just got back to clear it off the line. With such a tight game it came down to such small margins.

After on Twitter Ian said " I am so proud of my boys today and gutted to go out of the FA Vase on penalties. Two excellent sides did the League proud and congratulations to Biggleswade and good luck in the next round".

So it will be Biggleswade who will go through to the last 32 of the FA Vase where they will entertain Stowmarket Town. For our players you could see the disappointment was etched on their faces at the end as they watched our opponents celebrate their victory.

Both teams had to make a change from the previous game due to suspension with our hosts replacing Tom Cookman with Nick Henebery (who was named the Sponsors Man of the Match afterwards) whilst for us Tommy Twelves dropped back into central defence where he was his usual excellent self to replace Dave O'Connor whilst his place on the left of midfield was filled by new comer George Ironton who had an excellent game. We had to make another change at left back after Chris Vardy took a knock last week so we brought in Jack Sunderland from the Reserves. Sundy is our Mr Versatile playing everywhere from upfront to defence and again like all the players he played well.

As expected from the two teams challenging for the title the game was a tight, competitive affair and a typical cup tie with few chances and with the keepers being generally untroubled. There was a cagey start to the game but midway through the first half Pat McCafferty's cross from the bye line caused us problems and we had to block a couple of efforts on goal. Later the same player got on the end of a free kick at the far post and headed the ball dangerously across our area but fortunately it went out of play for a goal kick.

Kieran Turner then produced a lovely turn to create some space before thumping a terrific shot just over and soon afterwards Patrick Sinfield had to be alert to come out and smother the ball at the feet of Alex Marsh who had combined nicely with a colleague.

George Ironton won the ball in midfield and cracked a super 25 yard shot that was just inches wide of the post. Ashton Campbell managed to latch onto a misplaced pass but before he could use his pace to good effect he was crowded out by a number of defenders. The final action of the first half saw Alex Marsh's free kick tipped away by Sinfield. A close first half ended with little to choose between the teams. HT Score 0-0.

It was more of the same from the restart with defences dominating and goal mouth action at a premium. Ryan Inskip went on a good run but his shot went straight at Patrick Sinfield.

Both sides then had chances with Mark Riddick shooting wide after a cross from Lee Stobbs caused chaos in the home defence and then Kieran Turner fired a decent effort just off target. Our hosts responded with Nick Henebery's header being easily plucked out of the air by Patrick Sinfield. Patrick then produced a good save from a McCafferty header.

Biggleswade went close when Henebery saw an effort blocked and from the corner they fired wide and Lawrie Marsh saw his cross/cum shot from out wide glace off the top of the bar. With no further scoring opportunities to speak of the game went into extra time. FT Score 0-0.

Extra time saw Ashton Campbell's shot deflected over the bar then came the moment when we thought we had finally scored and settled the tie when Ashton Campbell ran clear and knocked the ball past the stranded keeper. The ball was heading towards the empty net when Benat Pena did really well to get back and clear the ball off the line. It was a game saving intervention.

Roy Byron then forced a save from the keeper and it was then the hosts turn to hold their heads in their hands when a close range effort was blocked on the line with the loose ball being hooked over the bar. In the end neither side could find a winning goal and so the tie went to penalties. Final FT Score 0-0.

The home side managed to score all five of their spot kicks as did Sam Joliffe, Carl Mensah and Jack Read but it was not enough and the home side went through 5-3 on penalties.

It was an unfortunate and harsh way to decide a game but there has to be a winner and a loser and both teams can be proud of how they battled over 4 hours in a proper cup tie.

After a run of poor form recently we will can take some solace from 2 much improved performances and in restricting our high scoring hosts (they average 3.25 goals per league game) to just one goal from 240 minutes of football. This was also the first game this season that they have failed to score. Lets hope we can now build on this.

Afterwards Ian said " gutted for everyone at the Club. The lads were superb over the 2 games and it was 2 good teams who fought for everything. We now need to get over this quickly and make sure we can come out on top in the battle for the title. Can I say a big thank you to those supporters who were with us on Saturday"

Finally we wish Biggleswade the best of luck in the future rounds and hope they can go on and keep the Spartan South Midlands flag flying.

We have more cup action coming up with a visit to Letchworth Garden City Eagles in the Herts Charity Shield on Tuesday night. They we return to league action on Saturday with a trip to Harpenden Town.


BFC:1 Dan Child 2 Adam Hunt 3 Michael Simpson 4 Pat McCafferty (16 Nathan George 117) 5 Michael Carroll (14 Adam drakulic 90) 6 Benat Pena 7 Alex Marsh (Capt) 8 Lawrie Marsh 9 Nick Henebery 10 Lee Northfield (12 Justin Leavers 81) 11 Ryan Inskip. Subs not used: 14 Adam Drakulic 16 Nathan George 17 Sam Kelly. Subs not used: 13 Ross Tompkins 15 Sam Kelly

TAFC:1 Patrick Sinfield 2 Joe Fitzgerald 3 Jack Sunderland (15 Connor Church 115) 4 Roy Byron (12 Sam Joliffe 119) 5 Tommy Twelves 6 Carl Mensah 7 Lee Stobbs (16 Jack Read 113) 8 Mark Riddick 9 Ashton Campbell 10 Kieran Turner (Capt) 11 George Ironton. Sub not used: 17 Chris Crook.





BFC Web:

Saturday, 8 December 2018 - Peter Dudleys Blog
Biggleswade FC 0 Tring Athletic 0 (aet; Biggleswade FC won 5-3 on penalties)
Buildbase FA Vase Third Round Replay, Saturday 8th December 2018

Lawrie Marsh netted the winning spot-kick in the shoot-out as Biggleswade FC finally saw off Tring Athletic on penalties after the sides could not be separated after 120 minutes for the second successive week, meaning the hosts now host Stowmarket Town in the Last 32 of the Buildbase FA Vase.

These two currently occupy first and second respectively in the Spartan South Midlands Premier so when the draw was originally made it was immediately thought it would be a tight and tense affair, and last weekends 1-1 draw certainly lived up to that.

Biggleswade also had to play most of the second half and all of extra time with ten men last week after a sending off, so they were certainly the happier to have another chance of progressing in this one, and the same type of game was again expected at Langford Road in this one.

The game started in a rather subdued manor if truth be told and neither keeper were tested in the opening exchanges, and the first real opening didnt arrive until midway through the half and it fell to the hosts when Pat McCafferty got in down the right but his cutback saw an effort blocked twice before the Tring backline managed to clear their lines.

Athletic then thumped one over at the other end before Biggleswade skipper Alex Marsh got in behind the Tring backline but visiting keeper Pat Sinfield came to thwart the striker, and it ended with them both needing treatment after they came crashing together. Both were ok to continue though.

McCafferty then headed a free-kick wide of the visitors goal, which would have been controversial as it was hard to see why the hosts had been awarded the free-kick after it appeared the foul had been committed by the hosts, however it mattered not in the end and this game remained tight and goalless.

In the latter stages of the first half George Ironton went on a run and after cutting inside sent an effort inches wide of the hosts net, it looked like it was going to nestle in the bottom corner but it just went the wrong side of the post, and then down the other end Alex Marsh saw a free-kick saved, and this tie remained level going into the break.

Half Time Biggleswade FC 0 Tring Athletic 0

The opening exchanges of the second period saw Biggleswades Ryan Inskip fire an effort straight at Sinfield in the Tring goal, but it took a while for both sides to really find their feet again after the restart.

Both sides then had chances, Trings skipper Kieran Turner fired a decent effort just off target before the hosts saw a header from Nick Henebery plucked out of the air by Sinfield. McCafferty then saw another header well saved by Sinfield before up the other end Tring fired a loose ball just wide after Biggleswade had failed to clear their lines.

It remained goalless though and the hosts passed up two more opportunities to take the lead, firstly when Henebery saw an effort blocked, and from the resulting corner the hosts fired wide. Down the other end Tring forward Ashton Campbell stretched to direct a header at goal but hosts keeper Dan Child plucked that effort out of the air.

Biggleswade then saw an effort glance of the top of the bar, and with no further chances to speak of the tie went into an extra half hour for the second week running, and with all of us no nearer to who would be progressing into the Fourth Round.

Full Time Biggleswade FC 0 Tring Athletic 0

The only real chance of note in the opening fifteen minutes saw visitors midfielder Mark Rodick head over from six yards out, and Tring created the second noteworthy chance in extra time early in the second period when Campbell saw an effort deflected over the bar.

Tring then thought they had taken the lead when Campbell raced clear and with hosts keeper Child having raced out of goal to try and thwart the forward, Campbell got to the ball first and knocked it past him and into the net it seemed, until a terrific clearance from a recovering defender saw the ball off the line and away.

And minutes later it was Biggleswade who were holding their heads in their hands as they saw a close-range effort blocked on the line before the rebound was somehow hooked over the bar, and still neither side could find that winner.

It meant penalties would be needed to decide this tie, and after five successful penalties had been taken, Trings Campbell missed his by blazing over the bar, handing the advantage to the hosts. With two more successful penalties it meant Lawrie Marsh had the chance to net the winning spot kick, and he sent it high into the top corner and cued celebrations amongst the home side.

Sadly their had to be a loser in this tie and hard luck on Tring who were the ones who had to go out, but both teams should be proud how well they battled in this tie over the 240 minutes they played against each other. Good proper cup football. It does mean it Biggleswade FC vs Stowmarket Town in the Last 32, should be a good un.

Full Time Biggleswade FC 0 Tring Athletic 0 (aet; Biggleswade FC won 5-3 on penalties)

(No photos on file)

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