19th March 2019
Perpetua Press Floodlit Cup
Wantage Town (1) Brackley Town Saints (2)
Saints: Worby, Middleton. Brock, Godfrey, Goddard (Baldwin 54), Ward , Ball (G), Watts (Bowden 55), Knight, Hammond (Swann 80), Ball (S)
Subs not used – Whitmore, Thompson,
This was a tricky tie for Saints. Wantage decided to play what was effectively their development team in this fixture, having one eye on a top of the table clash with Brimscombe on Saturday. If Saints thought that it was going to be easy they were mistaken, but it says an awful lot for this Saints side that they were eventually able to overcome an enthusiastic and determined Wantage side that were in the game right to the end.
Saints made a steady start knocking the ball around on a tricky pitch, but not creating much in the way of scoring opportunities. Wantage were competitive, quickly into the tackle and not without an element of flair particularly in wide positions. The ref stamped down quickly on a couple of late challenges and was perhaps a touch lenient when Harry Brock was almost sent into orbit half way through the first half.
As the half moved on Wantage created 3 or 4 goal attempts with Worby doing well to save a Luke Ballard header from a free kick, and watching thankfully as a great shot bounced back off of the crossbar.
Saints started the second half much more on the front foot and a super turn from James Watts followed by a nice through pass to Ryan Knight was spoiled only by a bobble just as Knight struck his shot. Wantage took the lead on 57 minutes when Jordon Parrott capitalised on a slip in the Saints defence and showed great strength and composure to slot past Worby.
The home fans sensed an upset and Wantage had a great chance to add a second following a quick break with only a moment of indecision allowing Worby to snuffle out the opportunity.
Saints showed great resolve though and on 70 minutes Jordan Godfrey played a lovely ball through to Knight whose controlled volley past the keeper showed great confidence and composure. Wantage were tiring and Saints quality was beginning to tell. A long period of pressure and a number of corners eventually told on 82 minutes when George Ball tricked his way into the right side of the box and squared for Knight to slot home his second. Only the offside flag stopped Knight from bagging a second hat-trick in consecutive games.
Saints calmly ran the clock down without too many problems and will now face Ascot United in the quarter finals on Tuesday 26th March at St James Park.
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