SpennymoorEast Thurrock United SpennymoorEast Thurrock United
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Spennymoor Town will need to come through a third-round replay if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.
Jason Ainsley’s side were held to a 1-1 draw with East Thurrock United at the Brewery field on Saturday afternoon, despite the visitors being reduced to ten men in the 81st minute.
Lewis Smith had put the National League South side ahead 12 minutes before half-time, before Andrew Johnson’s stunning second-half strike levelled the score.
Moors looked the most likely side to force a winner in the closing stages, but couldn’t prevent a replay despite Michael Clark’s late dismissal.
After playing a youthful side in the Durham Challenge Cup against Shildon on Wednesday night, manager Jason Ainsley made two changes to the side which started the National League North victory over Tamworth a week ago.
Kallum Griffiths returned at right-back in place of Matthew Dixon who dropped to the bench.
Further forward Jamie Chandler was recalled to the centre of midfield, as Andrew Johnson missed out with a hamstring strain.
Like Moors, East Thurrock have been clinical in front of goal this season, and the Essex-based side were the third highest scorers in the National League South before kick-off.
Even so, for the best part of half an hour, neither team looked like scoring, as the two sides cancelled each other out on a boggy pitch.
After a cagey opening, the game burst into life on 28 minutes, when East Thurrock’s Sam Higgins smashed an effort towards goal and the ball deflected into the net off Smith.
Higgins almost made it 2-0 minutes later, when he fired an effort onto the crossbar after being teed up by Smith.
At the other end, Rob Ramshaw had a penalty appeal turned down following Reece Harris’ challenge, while Ryan Hall’s shot was saved by visiting goalkeeper Lukas Lidakevicius.
Suddenly the game was an end-to-end contest, and the visitors should have doubled their lead seven minutes before half-time, when Harry Phipps’ effort spun into the path of Max Cornhill but the midfielder failed to hit the target.
The hosts also had chances, as defender Joseph Tait blazed over from inside the area while Andrew Johnson had a header cleared off the line.
Moors had another shout for a spot kick on the stroke of half-time after Glen Taylor appeared to be shoved in the back by defender Michael Clark.
Once again it wasn’t given, and the home fans weren’t afraid the let their feelings known at the break, when the referee left the pitch to a chorus of boos.
Ainsley made his first substitution on 59 minutes, as Chandler was withdrawn for striker Brandley Fewster.
The hosts almost equalised moments later when Ramshaw found space on the left flank, but his floated cross kissed the crossbar.
Moors continued to push forward, as Taylor’s header on 65 minutes was saved by Lidakevicius, and eventually they made a breakthrough.
On 67 minutes, Johnson received the ball on the edge of the area before shifting the ball onto his favoured right foot and curling a stunning effort into the top corner.
Moors almost scored again five minutes later when Fewster stabbed Hall’s cross over the bar from close range.
The visitors were reduced to ten men in the 81st minute when Fewster was sent through on goal before being chopped down by Clark, who was shown a straight red card.
Moors continued to threaten the opposition’s goal and almost claimed a winner when Taylor’s shot was spilled by Lidakevicius.
The visitors held on, though, and the sides will now have to do it all again in a replay on Tuesday night.
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|
|East Thurrock United||1||0||1||Draw|