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Never Say Die Attitude!

Calne Town 2 Tadley Calleva 2 (4-5 after penalty shoot-out): Saturday 24 September 2022

(Match Report by Steve Williams)

Tadley found themselves trailing after 4 minutes away to Calne Town in the 2nd Preliminary Round of the FA Vase on Saturday. A long ball behind the Tadley defence was brilliantly controlled by Calne's leading goal scorer Josh Bright who then chipped Tadley's onrushing keeper James Andrews to put the hosts 1-0 up.

On a very bobbly and hard pitch, Calne used the long ball tactic to very good effect in the opening minutes. When not playing hopeful balls Tadley's patient build up play gradually led to greater dominance as the half progressed, but the only reward for the visitors was a headed equaliser from Centre Back Andrew Charsley.

A corner from Jordan Goater on 19 minutes led to a goalmouth scramble and Charsley capitalised after the Calne defence failed to clear the ball. The feeling in the Tadley camp was that they should have been ahead at the break despite a lacklustre performance on a difficult surface. The visitors best chance to take a half time lead fell to the in-form Brett Denham on 33 minutes whose effort was well saved by Calne keeper Bailey Leach after he was cleverly put through by strike partner Ben Wright.

Half Time: Calne Town 1 - 1 Tadley Calleva

The second half started with Calne looking consistently dangerous on the counter by breaking up Tadley attacks and delivering long balls against seemingly isolated defenders. Fortunately, Calne were wasteful with their few opportunities to retake the lead. They did go close on the 54th minute when Darren McAlastair crashed a long distance shot off the crossbar with James Andrews well beaten. Tadley did have the ball in the net on 60 minutes, but unfortunately Ben Wright's effort was ruled out for a push on the impressive Dan Ellison. Calne did eventually take the lead in the 65th minute after a corner delivered to the back post was bundled over the line for 2-1. Tadley continued to battle and work hard, but despite plenty of possession with crosses and long throws into the box, the Calne defence stood firm and were largely untroubled. Tadley's talented wide players found it difficult to get behind a resolute defence.

Searching for an equaliser, Joint Managers Ben Dillon and Joe Lawler sent on Sheldon Wright, Scott Kinge and Kalum Cousins for Brody Peart, Andrew Charsley and Ousman Darboe respectively. With 10 minutes remaining, Tadley were reduced to 10 men after Jamie Johnston was sent to the sin bin after his protest for not being awarded a free-kick was punished by the match referee. However, in the final minutes Scott Kinge was brought down in the box and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. The unflappable Ben Wright calmly drove the spot kick home sending the match to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

Full Time: Calne Town 2 - 2 Tadley Calleva

The shoot-out started in dramatic fashion. The opening kick from Calne hit the post with James Andrews diving in the opposite direction. But the kick was successfully retaken after Andrews was harshly adjudged to come off his line. After Ben Wright and Jordan Goater converted for Tadley, Andrews then brilliantly saved the 3rd Calne spot kick. With successful subsequent kicks from both sides (Sheldon Wright and Alfie Saunders for Tadley), it was left to Kalum Cousins to score the winning spot kick to send Tadley into the First Round (Proper) of the FA Vase.

Tadley win 4-5 on penalties

Tadley Calleva: James Andrews, Alfie Saunders, Tom Walsh (C), Brad Neal, Andrew Charsley (sub-Scott Kinge), Jamie Johnston, Jordan Goater, Ousman Darboe (sub-Kalum Cousins), Brett Denham, Ben Wright, Brody Peart (sub-Sheldon Wright)

Subs not used: Aaron Parfitt, Adam Alliston, Connor Thorne.


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