FA Cup end in 3-2 loss to Bemerton Heath Harlequins
By Benjamin Schiffer-Harte
Following a home 0-0 draw against Bemerton Heath Harlequins, the replay resulted in a 3-2 loss and therefore knocked out of the cup.
Just 9 days after drawing at Waterside Park against Wessex Premier League side Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the FA Cup Preliminary Round, Thatcham Town FC faced them again in the replay.
The first 25 minutes were fairly matched with both sides pressing for the first goal. There was a lot of friction between the two teams given what was at stake the following Saturday (an away game in the 1st Qualifying Round against Southern Premier high flyers Taunton Town) and plenty of free kicks were given
On the 26th minute, Jake Burgess scored with a looping header to open the scoring for the Harlequins. Despite a scramble to find the equaliser for the Kingfishers, only 3 minutes later Kelvin Robinson powered through to the edge of the penalty box to score the 2nd of the night and 2-0 to the home side.
Thatcham Town continued to press but the goal seemed to be out of reach. To make it even harder for them, a strike from 35 yards by Charlie Young made it 3-0 and this was the last goal of the half.
In the second half, James Tennant and Scott Rees came on as subs and made an instant difference.Both provided chances and had their own chances as well. The comeback seemed possible when after 56 minutes Tennant chased the ball through on goal to make it 3-1.
Not long after a penalty to Thatcham was given and super striker Shane Cooper- Clark stepped up to take it. The shot was parried but on the rebound he smashed it in the back of the net to make it 3-2. Was a Champions League night at Istanbul in 2005 on the cards?
Sadly and despite many efforts to make it 3-3 to take it through to extra time, it was not to be and the final whistle came after a long and arduous match,
The FA Cup will await another year but for now the team can look ahead to moving up the league table as well as the FA Trophy for the first time in many years.
Team : Rackley, Angell, Jenkinson, Thomas, Melledew, Hughes, Coyle, Downes, Cooper-Clark, Benham, Sankho Subs on : Tennant, Rees and Cook. Sub unused : Howell, Reed and Randall