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Christchurch into Vase third round after 85th minute Fletcher winner

Max Wilcock on the ball for Christchurch (photo: @justinparrypho1)
Max Wilcock on the ball for Christchurch (photo: @justinparrypho1)

FA Vase Second Round

Christchurch FC 2Cribbs FC 1

CHRISTCHURCH booked their place in the next round of the FA Vase after an 85th-minute winner from second-half substitute Will Fletcher at the M.A. Hart Stadium on Saturday.

Nick Swann scored the game’s first goal for Christchurch with a stunning volley after just 10 minutes. Cribbs hit back with a headed goal from Ross McErlain before Fletcher pounced on a loose ball to tap in the winner.

The opener came after Max Wilcock chested down a crossfield ball from the halfway line. The number 10 drove to the byline before his cross was well blocked by the Cribbs right back. The resulting clearance was intercepted by Swann, whose first touch lifted the ball into the air for the midfielder to volley into the bottom left corner from the edge of the area.

The Bristol-based side found their feet, and they began to fashion a few chances. After winning a corner, McErlain rose well to win a header after keeper Lewis Gunstone-Gray was caught in no man’s land.

Both sides had spells of dominance, but Cribbs supporters will rightly feel hard done by after the linesman incorrectly ruled out a second for offside, with the player starting his run inside his half.

Wilcock forced a wonder save out of Cribbs’ shot-stopper Fraser McDiarmid with a 30-yard curling strike as the half drew to a close.

Cribbs’ top-scorer Steve Murray had a couple of decent chances in the second half, but 18-year-old keeper Gunstone-Gray made amends for his earlier mistake by saving both.

Micky Finch and Fletcher came off the bench and caused havoc for the Bristol side’s defence as Christchurch began to take control.

With five minutes left, McDiarmid palmed away Ben Satterley’s low curling shot. The loose ball found its way to Fletcher who tapped in the winner in front of 144 fans.

Christchurch’s FA Vase campaign continues at home on Saturday against SWP Premier Division West side Falmouth Town.

Christchurch: L. Gunstone-Gray, H. Wright, B. Hill, R. Frost, B. Walker, N. Swann, B. Satterley, L. Delaney, K. Graham, M. Wilcock, A. Pope, L. Ansell. Subs: M. Frampton, M. Finch, W. Fletcher, J. Johnstone, E. Ohameje.

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