Newport Pagnell Town 0-2 AFC Kempston Rovers
(After Extra Time)
FA Vase, 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 5th September 2015
Willen Road, Newport Pagnell
Prior to the game there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence held in memory of Lee Butler, a former Newport Pagnell Town player and youth team manager who passed away after a long illness.
Newport Pagnell started the game well and had a host of chances early on that could easily have given them an unassailable lead had it not been for Martin Conway’s woodwork coming to the rescue of the Walnut Boys. The Swan’s attacked with purpose from the opening whistle and a lovely exchange of passes between Josh Crawley and Sam O’Neill allowed O’Neill to beat two defenders before releasing Fazel Koriya who carried the ball to the byline before providing a cross that saw Crawley’s glanced header go inches wide. Before Kempston had time to regroup a beautiful interchange of passes between Adam Pryke, Keith Williams and Sam O’Neill allowed O’Neill to weave his magic before striking the post with his shot. The game had not even reached the ten minute mark before Newport carved out their third good chance, a delicious chipped pass from Darryl Smith finding Koriya at the far post, once again the woodwork came to Kempston’s aid.
Kempston had tried to play Newport at their own game, attempting to keep the ball on the ground to play a patient passing game but after twenty minutes they seemed to be in awe of their neighbours and were struggling to make their passes stick. AFC changed tactics to become more direct, bypassing the midfield instantly paid dividends as the controlling influence of Liam Smyth and Greg Ling was diminished. With a foothold in the game Kempston started to fashion chances of their own, Vinnie Shrieves expertly shielded the ball before passing to Jason Turner who’s shot was deflected narrowly wide. Only a minute later, Craig Grieve tamely headed into the arms of Mark Osborn when he should arguably have made the keeper work harder.
A through ball in the thirty eighth minute saw Sam O’Neill score with a wicked shot only to see his strike cancelled out wrongly for offside. O’Neill collected the ball and had to get past Borja Garces before getting his shot in, the assistant referee flagging for Koriya, who was in an offside position but not involved in the move.
The majority of the second half was a scrappy affair with both sides struggling to manage any meaningful play until the 68th minute when Joshua Winters replaced Vinnie Shrieves and Kempston began to control the match. Winters and Marsala started to turn the Newport defence at will as AFC created a number of half chances. Jason Turner, Marsala and Winters all had excellent chances to settle the tie.
On a rare Newport foray into opposition territory, Martin Conway brilliantly got his finger tips to Greg Ling’s twenty five yard goal bound scorcher, to push the ball onto the crossbar. Within a minute Kempston hit the woodwork themselves when the influential Winters found Shane Bush who watched on in disbelief as his curling shot crashed against the post.
Kempston continued to dominate and with eight minutes left Dom Marsala’s low, hard drive was well saved by Osborn in the Swan’s goal. Bizarrely Newport nearly won the game when, deep into added time, confusion reigned in the Kempston penalty area, some desperate defending saw a mistimed header skim off an AFC player towards the goal only to hit the thigh of the defender on the goal line before crashing against the crossbar.
Kempston continued their dominance in extra time and in the ninety fourth minute Winters made a defence splitting pass gave Bush the opportunity to score the opening goal. He made no mistake, this time hitting the correct side of the woodwork to give the Walnut Boys the lead. The goal was a carbon copy of O’Neill’s disallowed strike, this time the assistant referee correctly kept his flag down, choosing to ignore the AFC player in an offside position, the Swans will have felt aggrieved at the inconsistency. It didn’t take long for Newport’s misery to turn to despair when Adam Pryke, stretching to cut out Marsala’s cross, inadvertantly turned to the ball into his own net for the second goal.
Things only got worse for the Swan’s when O’Neill had to leave the pitch due to injury, having already used all their substitutes Newport played the final ten minutes with ten men.
The introduction of substitute, Joshua Winters, may have lasting repercussions as Winters was not listed on the official team sheet, a blatant transgression of FA rules, noted by the referee, that will surely result in sanctions against, or expulsion from this year’s competition, for AFC Kempston Rovers.
0-1 Shane Bush, 94 mins
0-2 Adam Pryke (own goal), 100 mins
NP: Ling, Smeathers, Darryl Smith, Williams
KR: Guiney, Fuller
Newport Pagnell Town:
1.Mark Osborn 2.Robert Tapp 3.Keith Williams (12.Scott Mulkern, 105 mins) 4.Stuart Smeathers (c) 5.Adam Pryke (15.Matt Brady, 110 mins) 6.Liam Smyth 7.Darryl Smith 8.Greg Ling 9.Josh Crawley (14.Lukasz Filipiak, 105 mins) 10.Fazel Koriya 12.Sam O’Neill
Unused subs: 16.Lewis Smith 17.Josh McAdoo
AFC Kempston Rovers:
1.Martin Conway 2.Tom Guiney (c) 3.Robbie Goodman 4.Borja Garces (15.Ash Fuller, 78 mins) 5.Craig Grieve (14.Dom Marsala, 78 mins) 6.Sam Macrae 7.Michael Lyons 8.Shane Bush 9.Vinny Shrieves (16.Josh Turner, * 68 mins) 10.Jason Turner 11.Seb Simpson
Unused sub’s: 12.Brandon Macrae 17.Sean McMonagle
* Shrieves actually replaced by Joshua Winters
Referee – Roger Lipdcombe
Assistants – Spencer Brewer, Kevin Moore
Artwork courtesy of Bravo Sierra Designs.
© Andy Gunn