Blues go nap in FA Cup thriller
A truly nail-biting FA Cup tie saw the Blues emerge victorious and looking forward to the 1st Qualifying Round draw. The impressive 5-3 scoreline goes nowhere near to telling the fully story of this pulsating contest.
Three times the Blues took the lead and three times the visiting Dockers equalised. And with twenty-five minutes remaining the eventual outcome would have been virtually impossible to predict had it not been for a minor incident that turned the game decisively in the Blues’ favour.
Having received a yellow card for conceding the second-minute penalty that was to give the Blues an early lead, the Tilbury keeper, Ashlee Jones, raced from his goal to put a long ball down his left out of danger. He succeeded in putting the ball out for a throw but, fearing that a quickly-taken throw-in would catch him far from his goal, Ashlee grabbed the ball and dropped it over the perimeter fence. He was rightly shown a yellow card by the referee and, because it was his second, he was then shown a red and dismissed from the game.
The Blues wasted no time in seizing their advantage and within six minutes they had scored twice and put the result virtually beyond doubt. Tommy Wade headed home Man-of-the-match David Keenleyside’s free-kick in the 68th minute and George Beattie drove home a stunning 25-yarder in the 71st.
Earlier, after David Keenleyside had coolly converted the second-minute penalty awarded for a foul on Tommy Wade, the game had seen end-to-end action resulting in five goals. The Blues will have been disappointed with the two equalisers that they conceded but they will also be very proud of the quality of the two goals that each time restored their lead.
After Tom Anderson had cancelled out the Blues’ opener on the quarter-hour mark, Ben Ward-Cochrane opened his account for the club when he put the finishing touch to an excellent move that culminated in a superb cross from overlapping full-back, Macauley Joynes. This was in the 26th minute but it was only moments later that Hussain Jaffa had once again levelled the scores with a firm header from a free-kick from far out on the right.
With the half-time break approaching, a second Ward-Cochrane goal gave the Blues a 3-2 half-time lead. On this occasion he seized upon a blocked Charlie Ruff effort and walked it round a stranded keeper into the goal.
Eight minutes into the second period, the Ben Ward-Cochrane was denied a hat-trick when the referee disallowed his fine finish when he considered that Ben had initially controlled Joe Clemo’s cross with his hand. What would have been a relatively comfortable 4-2 lead soon, however, saw the scores level again at three goals apiece with a Lewis Smith equaliser in the 54th minute.
The visitors had now seized the initiative and two good saves from Charlie Mann were required to keep the Blues on level terms. Any hopes the Dockers had of stealing an unlikely victory were, then, though, quickly quashed with the dismissal of their keeper, paving the way to a Blues triumph.
Team:, Charlie Mann, Joe Clemo, Macauley Joynes, George Beattie, Mark Twumasi, Ollie Sharman, David Keenleyside (Todd Brownson 86’), George Lutaaya, Tommy Wade, Charlie Ruff (Tyler Hatherly 72’), and Ben Ward-Cochrane (Chikosi Basden 80’),.
Subs not used: Dan Palmer, Lewis Thomas, Alex Washbourne and Zach Demetriou.