FA Vase Second Round: Christchurch FC 2-1 Badshot Lea
CHRISTCHURCH FC continue their pursuit of FA Vase glory after seeing off Badshot Lea 2-1 in the second round.
Luke Stone put Church 1-0 in the first half, but they were pegged back by a Brandon Lewington goal. Christchurch sealed the game when Bradley Cherrett converted from the spot to set up a third-round tie with Falmouth Town later this month.
After a postponement on Saturday, Christchurch and Badshot Lea finally came head-to-head on a chilly night at Hurn Bridge. The visitors had knocked Church out of the FA Cup last month, but have since been plagued with injuries to several key players.
The first half was an even affair with few clear-cut chances. Christchurch looked to impose their strength on Badshot but rarely troubled keeper Kallum Lunn early on.
As the half progressed, Christchurch got a foothold in the game – defender Jon Blake headed wide from a corner while Kyle Graham rounded the visitors’ defence, but his strike was well-saved at the front post.
Church go ahead
The hosts broke the deadlock on 33 minutes when Stone let fly from 25 yards out. His venomous effort squirmed through Lunn’s legs and trickled over the line to give Church the lead.
However, in response, Badshot looked dangerous on the counter-attack. The away side’s best chance fell to full-back Nick Medcraft who blazed over the bar when the ball fell to him from a corner.
In the second half, the visitors found an equaliser four minutes after the restart through striker Lewington. With the scores level, both teams went on the attack to keep their cup dreams alive.
On 73 minutes, the referee awarded Christchurch a penalty, giving the hosts a chance to take the lead once again. Cherrett sent the keeper the wrong way and slammed the ball home to the delight of the home fans.
Badshot battled for an equaliser, but their task was made harder when they were reduced to 10 men in the final minutes as Louis Russell was given an early bath.
Church held on to their advantage and will advance to the third round of the competition.
‘Full of confidence’
Christchurch boss Ollie Cherrett was delighted with his team’s performance. He told the A&T: “I’m absolutely thrilled to get through. I thought we deserved it and were the better side.
“The lads are full of confidence and enjoying the winning run. It is important that we work hard to continue what has been a great start to the season.
“We look forward to welcoming Falmouth and hope we can get a good crowd to cheer us on.”
Christchurch will host Falmouth Town on 30th November, and they return to league action on Saturday when they face Amesbury Town at Hurn Bridge.
Christchurch: Gunstone-Grey, Ohameje, Wright, Cherrett, Walker (c), Blake, Swann, Satterley, Stone, Wilcock, Graham, Kirkham. Subs: King, Cormack, Murrain, Parnell, Robinson, Frampton.