FA CUP 24/10/2021 BSLFC vs Bishops Lydeard Ladies FC

BSLFC vs Bishops Lydeard LFC (FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round)

It’s was the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Cup and a chance to make club history by getting through to the First Round Proper for the first time.

We welcomed Bishops Lydeard to Chapel Gate for our first ever game against each other.

We knew little about our opposition except they are a tier above us in the South West Regional League.

Having lost both our captain Shaw and current top goal scorer Miles to knee injuries two weeks ago we didn’t have the best preparation but knew if we turned up we could match anybody.

We didn’t start well and were let off inside a minute as they switched from left to right, the ball perfectly taken on the strikers chest into her path, luckily she couldn’t find the finish dragging it wide of Clarkes covering dive.

We hadn’t settled and were giving the ball away far too easily, while Bishops Lydeard pressed and hurried us at all opportunities.

We got our first chance on 8 minutes from a corner, Lewis flicking it onto the back post, but it was headed clear, and Hughes could only send a difficult volley wide.

Clarke was then on hand to spare Yeos blushes on the 12th min. Yeo trying to switch play at CB hit their striker who ran through but Clarke was swiftly off her line to smother the ball before the striker could reach it.

It was all pretty much one way as Bishops Lydeard applied more and more pressure. Yeo found herself in the ref’s notebook after 13 minutes for bringing down their striker out wide as she looked to escape after already evading a Benjamin lunge. Benjamin made a great-headed clearance from the resulting free-kick to keep it level.

They eventually broke the deadlock on 18, following our corner, they cleared long, charged down the left-wing and cut inside to finish superbly across Clarke. 0-1

They looked to make two quickly as Clarke had to a make a good save to deny them again almost instantly.

It wasn’t long though, a soft free-kick from Lewis 19 yards out and almost straight in front of the goal, was well finished on the 21st minute 0-2

We were not playing well, 3/4 players were well below par and Bishops Lydeard were so good going forward we couldn’t afford to keep giving them the ball. However, it was at this point we started to grow into the game, a couple of bits of good football and a few assured moments of control and confidence seemed to flow back into the side.

Brewers tenacity was winning us a few corners and throws high up the pitch but we couldn’t make it count.

We had half a chance from a Benjamin corner being played back across by Asira but Lewis couldn’t get the required power on her header.

While we were growing into the game Bishops Lydeard gave us a quick reminder of the threat they posed smashing the crossbar with a close-range header from a corner just before the half-hour mark.

Tilly saw a good effort from a free-kick go just wide of the far post on 34 minutes and we were now spending more time in the Bishops Lydeard half. By this time Folkenstern and Lewis had switched to get Folkenstern on the ball more in centre midfield and see if Lewis could hold the ball up top with her back to goal.

It would be those two that would combine to give us our best chance of the half on 41. Lewis putting Folkenstern through but their GK was out quickly to deny Folkenstern.

We came in at halftime 2-0 but no one felt we were out of the game. The team were keen to get back out and pick up where we had finished the half. Parsons was off the bench for Asira to see if she could repeat her FA cup heroics of the previous round.

We got out the blocks quickly, Hughes turning superbly on the edge box but could only shoot at their goalkeeper.

50mins Lewis found herself clear through after squeezing between two defenders but could only fire wide after doing all the hard work.

Roe was on for Yeo a minute later as we looked to add a bit more attacking spark to the centre of the park.

Folkenstern had a good chance from our corner soon after but could only fire over and it was beginning to feel like one of those days.

We were now dominant but couldn’t make it count while Bishops Lydeard relied on the counter to try to add to their lead. They very nearly did this on the 55th minute but somehow Clarke held a very powerful effort straight at her that winded her at the same time.

Roe couldn’t repeat her free-kick trick from last week on the hour mark after winning us a free kick in a good position as she struck it at the wall.

Bishops then had two more decent chances on the 63rd minute, a long ball putting them through which they fired over and then shortly after a good effort from distance that Clarke had to save with her knees.

Eden was starting to get forward a little more now from left-back and a little adventure found Roe but she could only fire wide.

Benjamin limped off on 68 to be replaced by Davies, with the 17-year-old taking up centre back.

It was then heartbreak for Sports a minute later, a shot/through ball that looked like it was going safely wide caused concern at the back and Captain Eden stretched to cut it out but only succeeded in diverting the ball into the opposite corner leaving Clarke no chance 0-3 with a little over 20 to play.

The team refused to die though. We knew we were playing well and while the third goal was a tough pill to swallow no one wanted to go out with regrets. It was now a case of pride.

Parsons came up with the goods in Shanklin and this time she was brave to win us a penalty on the 76th minute. Getting to the ball before the defender and being taken out. No one was persuading Captain Eden that she wasn’t taking it, having been the only player in our team to score in the game so far it made sense, and all of the frustration of the own goal went into the penalty as it was smashed high and left. 1-3

Parsons then got her chance to set up a tense finish 2 minutes later, Hughes playing her perfectly through on the left she ran in behind and calmly slotted it past the outrushing GK. 2-3.

We suddenly had a game on and Bishops started to look nervous while Sports had their tails up.

Folkenstern had a free header on the 80th minute from a Hughes free-kick out wide after brewer caused some more problems out on the right. Unfortunately, she couldn’t get the required power to trouble the GK.

We weren’t to be denied for long though, operation come back was complete on 82 minutes. Eden was off on another adventure carrying the ball through the middle, before Hughes took up the ball and fed Brewer. She made no mistake, taking a touch and then finishing into the bottom corner.

Neither team could find a clear chance to win the game, Brewer almost wriggled clear in injury time but was denied by a superb tackle from the Bishops defender.

It was off to penalties, whatever happened now the team could be proud of how they had got back into the game.

The first 5 volunteered quickly. Eden, Tilly, Davies, Lewis and Roe.

We were to go second (statistically the harder option) –
1-0 BL score
1-0 Eden hit the left post with our first.
2-0 BL score
2-1 Tilly despatched an excellent pen
2-1 BL miss – over the bar
2-2 Davies confidently finished her chance to draw us level
2-2 BL miss – hit the post
2-2 Lewis decided not to respot the ball as it dropped in a dip before her run up and it was tamely hit at their GK
3-2 BL score – Clarke got a hand to it but couldn’t quite keep it out.
3-3 No mistake from Roe

Sudden Death!
4-3 BL score – Clarke gets two hands to it and it goes in off the post.
4-4 Hughes penalty somehow creeps over the line, straight down the middle, their GK gets something on it and just as they go to celebrate it creeps in.
4-4 Clarke guesses right, dives right, and saves one
4-5 Our trusty German Folkenstern steps and finishes the penalty shootout with a great penalty high to the right.

?Players player – went to Becky Clarke in the Sports goal beating Folkenstern on the tie-breaker vote. Considering she hadn’t played football until 3 years ago and wasn’t a GK until last season she should be very proud of herself (I imagine the goalkeeping coach Lee Westron is happy with himself too).

?Managers player – Abbie Vernon for a great display at right-back, getting forward and supporting the attack and staying composed all game.

?Rory – Abbie Vernon – I’m sure the team just love seeing her as a lion. Although dropping the ball on a throw-in which actually went down as a foul throw and lost us possession was pretty special.

The draw for the next round takes place at 1pm today.

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