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Rank 84
Sat 12
Wickham Market
Ransomes Sports
A Todd (2'), R Driver (5')
Deacon shootout saves see Ransomes scrape past Wickham Market

Deacon shootout saves see Ransomes scrape past Wickham Market

By Paul Deacon
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Wickham Market 2 Ransomes Sports 2 (Ransomes win 4-3 on pens)

Callum Deacon's contribution in the penalty shootout was essential as Ransomes Sports allowed a resolute Wickham Market side back into this cup tie before Blake Saker stroked home the winning spot kick for the visitors.
Wickham Market were on the rack for much of the first half in particular - they were unimaginative in attack and uncoordinated without the ball - as Ransomes led from the 2nd minute when Adam Todd's whipped delivery from a free kick deceived all in a crowded penalty area to give the visitors an ideal start. Drew Connick should have increased the Ransomes lead two minutes later but he could muster little power in a close range header that Bolsover collected with ease. This was soon forgotten a minute later as Ransomes increased their lead. After some creative play down the right flank, Adam Todd's low delivery across the face of the goal was eventually bundled over the line by Ross Driver at the far post.
It was a breathless and invigorating start made by Ransomes quickly followed by some off-target shooting which all fell to the normally arch-predator drew Connick. On 10 minutes he raced into box on the angle only to fire his shot wide of the far post, and when he broke from the half way line, he could only manage to tamely shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
The intensity that Ransomes were playing at was really positive but a lack of composure would be a fair characterisation as Drew Connick once again worked an opening only to blaze over. It had all been too comfortable for the visitors as Wickham Market were left ragged in those opening 20 minutes.
If Ransomes were scattergun with their shooting, there was little doubt there would be another goal as they were at full throttle. The game was dead and perhaps it would have played out differently if Courtney David and Callum Deacon, collectively, had not assisted the home sides recovery with a panicky attempt to clear which left Davison with an open goal, and from that point the game became chaotically open.
Wickham Market are not easily daunted and were encouraged with this unexpected route back into the game and when Ransomes had a third goal disallowed for an infringement in the box this only endorsed the sense of a real rollercoaster ride.
Following the break, the early signs were once again promising for Ransomes. The first chance of the half fell to Connor Morley but he was wasteful as he lobbed wide of the advancing keeper and when Ross Driver broke clear and advanced on goal, he was brought down by the recovering Ashton, and as the last defender, he saw red.
Ransomes continued to create chances but the disappointment was that their lack of potency only helped to improve the Wickham Market mood. Ransomes continued with their forward-thinking instincts as they continued to dominate the ball, but they could not control the game as the Marketmen begun to play forward more directly. Both sides were now unwilling - or unable - to slow the tempo as the rest of the half was end-to-end. Ransomes lapsed in their discipline as they seemingly became unsure about how best to preserve their lead, and the curiosity was that Wickham Market seemed to improve with the dismissal of Ashton.
It had been a sterile domination by the visitors as Wickham Market had been reprieved so many times and you begun to sense the nerves at every forward ball into the Ransomes half. When Ransomes dropped their guard on 70 minutes, out of nowhere, King hooked home a half volley from a partially cleared corner that went in off the far post and Wickham Market had completed a remarkable and unexpected comeback that took the tie to a penalty shoot-out.
Ransomes may have feared the worst at this stage as the equaliser raised the possibility of what once seemed an unlikely defeat. If ever a challenge could have artificially been concocted then this was it, but the Ransomes players showed they were equipped for the task by showing their mental strength as they won the tie on penalties.
Overall, Wickham Market rode their luck, especially during the first half play - had any of the additional chances that Ransomes created gone in, we might have played out a different ball game. As it was, Wickham Market had the stomach following the sending off and began to scrap, and credit them for an unlikely comeback, but Ransomes have the greater riches, a place in the quarter finals.
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Match details

Match date

Sat 12, Nov 2022




Connor Morley

Star Player

Connor Morley