Biggleswade through in FA Vase after victory over Welwyn Garden City
PUBLISHED: 18:26 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:26 02 December 2017
Biggleswade FC are through to the Buildbase FA Vase fourth round after sealing a 2-1 win in extra-time against Welwyn Garden City in a tempestous affair.
The tie was always setup to be a cracker, as Welwyn were desperate to avoid a third straight defeat to Biggleswade, with a place in the fourth round up for grabs.
It was the third time since the beginning of November that the two sides had clashed, with Biggleswade taking the win in both the Spartan South Midlands League and League Challenge Trophy games.
The young Waders had won 1-0 at the Carlsberg Stadium in the SSML, ending the Citizen’s record-breaking 20 game unbeaten run, and their latest encounter was on Wednesday with Biggleswade earning a 3-2 win in the SSML League Challenge Trophy.
As Biggleswade said on twitter: “It doesn’t get bigger than this.”
The Citizens’ Paul Mann set the tone early. His crunching tackle earned him a yellow card with barely a minute played.
Some pushing and shoving followed, only riling up an already hostile atmosphere on the pitch.
Referee Tim Donnellan had a tough job, and elected to prevent the tie from being a stop-start affair, letting some rough challenges go.
After eight minutes, Josh Bronti’s cross from the right was only half cleared by Biggleswade to Citizens’ captain Danny Payne on the edge of the 18-yard-box, who smashed into the bottom left before running the length of the Eileen Hazell stand, celebrating with the Citizens’ faithful.
WGC were firmly the better team for the first 25 minutes but Bronti had to go off injured after 17, a big blow to the home side.
Biggleswade tried to gain composure and settle the game down, but there was little they could do about WGC’s counter attacking threat in the first half, as the tackles continued to fly in.
Biggleswade came into the game late in the half and, deep into an extended injury time, Alex Marsh smacked the ball over the line from close range after Welwyn failed to clear from a corner, levelling the scores at 1-1.
WGC had the better chances in the first half and could feel disappointed not to be leading at the break.
But Biggleswade looked a different side in the second half, while Welwyn struggled to work a meaningful chance, as the away side looked far more composed on the ball.
The visitors almost went into the lead after 49 minutes when Tom Cookman slotted in, only to be disallowed by the linesman’s flag, before Welwyn’s longest serving player in the squad, Yasin Boodhoo went up the other end and smashed the ball off the post from a diving header.
With 80 minutes gone, Welwyn sweeper-keeper Charlie May was fortunate not to see red when he wiped out a Biggleswade player while last man back.
Ninety minutes were not enough to separate the sides and extra time was the first period in the game when neither side were obviously on top. With 10 minutes to go in the second half of extra time, Biggleswade ran through yet again. Welwyn failed to deal with it and the visitors won a penalty in a penalty box scramble.
Nathan George stepped up an smacked it past May’s right for 2-1, celebrating wildly with the whole squad and coaching staff.
Welwyn tried route one at the death but couldn’t get through the visitors as Biggleswade moved a step closer to Wembley.