FA Vase: Christchurch FC 2-1 Falmouth Town
CHRISTCHURCH FC booked through to the last 32 of the FA Vase after a 2-1 victory over Falmouth Town.
Two headers from Jon Blake and Kyle Graham gave Church a well-earned win. Luke Brabyn got on the scoresheet for the visitors.
Fresh from their midweek penalty shootout victory against Hythe & Dibden, Christchurch took on Cornish side Falmouth Town who had travelled with a large and lively supporting contingent.
In the early exchanges, Falmouth spurned several good opportunities over the bar as Christchurch looked to find their feet. Falmouth looked threatening from their long-throw specialist Brabyn, but their pressure equated to little goalmouth action as Church remained strong at the back.
With minutes of the first half remaining, the visitors had a penalty appeal turned down by the referee after Brabyn went down in the area. The striker was booked for a deliberate dive and moments later Christchurch broke the deadlock as Brad Cherrett’s looping free-kick was powered home by defender Blake.
Minutes into the second half, Christchurch nearly doubled their lead as Matt Neale connected with another pinpoint Cherrett delivery, but he headed narrowly over. Falmouth almost found an equaliser when a deflected effort dropped under the crossbar; however, Gunstone-Grey was on hand to tip over for a corner.
Gunstone-Grey was called into action again five minutes later as he produced a sublime save from a David Broglino free-kick that was headed for the top corner.
The visitors found their way back into the game on 60 minutes when striker Brabyn pounced on a Christchurch defensive mistake and slid the ball through the keeper’s legs to give the visitors a well-deserved equaliser.
Christchurch were back in front moments later through another set-piece. Neale’s whipped free-kick was headed home by Graham to restore the home side’s advantage. They nearly doubled their lead when Neale’s placed shot crashed off the bar, and Graham’s follow-up effort was well saved by the Falmouth keeper Ryan Barnes.
Christchurch came close again as captain Luke Stone headed against the bar following a long through-ball from Max Wilcock. As the final minutes ticked away, Falmouth went all-out on attack to salvage their cup run, but Church stayed rock-solid at the back and held on for a 2-1 victory.
Christchurch manager Ollie Cherrett was pleased with his side’s performance. He told the A&T: “I thought we were brilliant from start to finish. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we worked hard and won our individual battles. I was a little disappointed with the goal we conceded, but Blake made up for it with his goal in the first half.
“We’ll enjoy this one, we have a tough game against Downton on Tuesday, and we’ll continue to take it one game at a time.”