Wantage Go Through In FA Cup
Another late show secures the win
Wantage travelled to Hertfordshire on Saturday to face Spartan South Midlands side Oxhey Jets in the Emirates FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round. And after looking comfortable at 2-0 early in the second half they had to come from behind to win by the odd goal in five.
With Jack Buchanan failing to recover from the knock picked up in Tuesday’s game, Dan Comer also side-lined, and Kaylem Patterson unavailable Matt Cheetham slotted in at right back, Harvey Scholes returned to left wing, and Jack Dunmall returned to the number 10 spot.
Wantage dominated the first period with Jim Glover a threat down the right and Scholes on the left, and backed up with the high pressing full-backs Cheetham and Mark Flanagan Wantage were able to deliver numerous balls into the box.
The hosts had obviously done their homework as they kept Wantage’s prolific striker Steve Robertson quiet, and genuine attempts on goal were at a premium.
Wantage took the lead on the half hour, Glover and Cheetham combining on the right touchline to allow Callum Wright to reach the goal line and cross for Dunmall who went down under a challenge, and skipper Chris Jackson stepped up to slot past Matt Evans from the spot.
Dunmall was tripped again ten minutes later in what looked to be more of a clear-cut penalty, but the Wantage claims were waived away and it remained 1-0 at the break.
After a first half in which Curtis Meare had very little to do Wantage thought they had the game sewn up two minutes into the second period when Scholes angled a near-post hearer past Evans to the far corner from Glover’s cross to make it 2-0.
But the hosts were not done just yet and whatever they had in the half time tea started to kick in and they pulled one back on 51 minutes when Luke Jones was allowed a run to the edge of the box before firing past Meare.
Meare made a finger-tip save on the hour to maintain the advantage, but it was only another minute before things were level. The lively Ollie Salami curled a shot past Meare on to the post and Jones reacted quickest to slot home the loose ball for 2-2.
The tie looked to be slipping through Wantage’s hands, and when Nick Kerley broke and slotted home Oxhey’s third on 65 minutes it seemed as though The Freds’ FA Cup journey was going to be a short one this season.
However, as with last Saturday’s game at Fairford, it’s never over until the final whistle and Wantage restored parity in the 72nd minute. Jackson had a shot from Glover’s corner turned over by Evans, and from the follow up kick Scott Bonner was penalised for grappling with substitute Brad Cox leaving Jackson to grab his second spot-kick of the day.
Both sides had chances to win it, but it was Wantage substitute Connor Mattimore, who replaced the tiring Dunmall, who managed it deep into stoppage time. Having already had a goal-bound effort cleared off the line a minute earlier Mattimore got onto the end of a Scholes cross in the 94th minute to head back across Evans and into the far corner to make it 4-3 and end a memorable second half.
Wantage now travel to Southern League side Slimbridge in the next round on 25th August.
Oxhey Jets: Matt Evans, Harry Beaumont, Ashley Fongho, Ayodeji Ikusemori (George Hobson 62), Vass Mandeville, Scott Bonner (Gary Wallace 89), Karl Penny (Ryan O’Sullivan 62), Andrew Brennan, Nick Kerley, Luke Jones, Olawale Salami. Subs n/u: Chris Killer, Scott Pugsley, Kane Axton, Basit Amadu.
Referee: Tom Ratheram
Match highlights can be found HERE