Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Tuesday 9th December 2008

Arnold Town 0-2 Market Drayton Town -- F.A. Vase 3rd Round Replay

Guess who didn't take many notes? It was a little bit too chilly to keep taking my gloves off.....

What made it worse was the Market Drayton team bus arriving late after getting lost -- kick off was re-scheduled to 8pm.

As the game drew to it's final knockings at 0-0, the dreaded extra-time and penalties scenario reared it's ugly head -- but as it happened the vistiors netted twice in the final 5 minutes to end the misery without the need for the overtime...

All in all though, well done to all involved in making sure this game went ahead - and to Barnsley Ref Ryan Newman - despite the hardening frost he decided the pitch was perfectly playable. Assistant Rob Townsend told me the pitch was ok, but whether the game would finish depended on how hard the freeze was... as it happened it was very cold, but even after 90 minutes the pitch was still cutting up a little. The side lines were like concrete (illustrated poorly by the mobile phone pictures) - but as said previously the playing surface was ok.

A word of advice for Mr. Newman though, please consider us mere mortals with less than perfect eyesight -- please try not to wear black when one of the teams are wearing all dark-blue... it was a bit difficult sorting you out from the Drayton players!!

The players adapted to the conditions really well, the only problem was with the visiting no.7 shirt who was booked in the 10th minute for a bit of a reckless challenge.

Chances were at a premium though, and the first real attempt at goal was a Chris Freestone header on 20 that cannoned off the bar. Seconds later, Pryce in the Drayton net made a point-blank save from a Craig Mitchell effort.
H-T 0-0

Market Drayton are top of the Midland Regional Alliance and their talents began to show as the second half wore on. They piled the pressure on the home team in an effort to secure passage to the next round and a tie at home to VT (who?), but were thwarted time and time again by some resolute Eagles defending.

Arnold almost scored against the run of play on 70, Mark Brewster's cross-shot forcing Drayton custodian Pryce to tip the ball onto the bar. The visitors finally broke the deadlock with just 10 minutes to go. A dubious free-kick from the right was cleared, but the loose ball fell kindly to Tom Rogers who saw his drive fly past home custodian Broster with the help of a massive deflection.

It was all over for the Eagles 5 minutes later - sloppy defending allowing James Carvey to run into the box and fire past the despairing hands of Broster. F-T 0-0

After the final whistle it was a rush to the car to get the heater on full - would you believe some in-bred blocked me in? Never happens to Kev... oh -- he was out Xmas partying with friends...... anyway, a bit of manoeuvering and back
on the road......

Best Eagle IMO -- Mark Clarke - never fails to impress me every time I see him play - young Josh Thornton looks a very good prospect at right back....

Admission - standard £5 Vase

Attendance - a creditable 116, with quite a good away following

Programme - 1.50 -- the usual excellent Eagles publication - with not a lot of time to prepare this was superb.

Saturday - should see us at the Fieldings to see Sutton Town AFC take on struggling Harrowby in the CMLS division.

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