Sunday 22nd August 2004
www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football

Lordswood anticipate tough Cup clash with Winchester's Vase heros

LORDSWOOD start their FA Cup campaign next Saturday with a mouth watering Extra Preliminary Round clash against current FA Vase holders Winchester City at North Dane Way, writes Stephen McCartney.

Winchester, currently top of the Wessex League with nine points from their opening three games, lifted the FA Vase in front of five thousand people in May, defeating Vase specialists AFC Sudbury 2-0 at St Andrews, the home of Premiership side Birmingham City.

Lordswood are anticipating over 150 away fans to be making the long trip to Kent, but manager Paul Piggott is hoping his young side can give it their best shot in front of  their biggest gate of the season so far.

He said: "Winchester won the FA Vase last year and they won their league so we couldn't have got a harder draw.

"But we've got off to a good start, we've got a home draw, so we won't be fearing anything.

"We just go into the game and give it our best shot."

Piggott revealed he will have a full strength squad to choose from after being without defenders Neil Crust (unavailable) and Andy Skinner (work commitments) for Saturday's entertaining goalless draw at home to Tunbridge Wells in the Go Travel Kent League.

He revealed: "I am back to a full strength squad.  It will be a good experience for a lot of our players as most of them haven't played in the FA Cup.

"I don't think that will be a problem - because they are so young, their enthusiasm is unbelievable."

Tunbridge Wells almost took the lead in the 15th minute when a cross to the back post saw Steve Smith rise above Lordswood goalkeeper Jake Slade to plant a header towards goal, but Wayne Barlow, Piggott's assistant manager, acrobatically kicked the ball off the line.

However, Lordswood found visiting goalkeeper Matt Bromby in outstanding form as he kept out a whole host of chances.

Andy Doerr's shot from the edge of the penalty area was fumbled by Bromby into the path of Sam Colyer whose point blank shot was blocked by the stopper, back in the side after a collarbone injury kept him out of their 1-1  midweek draw at Sevenoaks Town.

From the resulting corner, Scott Bucklen's six -yard shot was blocked by the inspired Tunbridge Wells goalkeeper.

When he was finally beaten by a 15-yard header from Gary Peck, the ball struck Lordswood player Sean Hetterley, and although Bromby was stranded, he survived as the ball went wide.

Just before the break, another chance fell Lordswood's way.  Doerr threaded the ball through to Cunningham inside the penalty area and his shot was blocked by Bromby.

In the second half, Lordswood carried on when they left off and Doerr delivered a cross into the penalty area but Peck headed wide after rising above the defence.

Tunbridge Wells' only effort of the half came in the 58th minute when Luke Williams' snap shot from the edge of the penalty area was punched out by former Gravesend & Northfleet goalkeeper Jake Slade.

With seven minutes remaining Bromby made sure the visitors chalked up their third draw in their third game of the season,  when he pushed Barlow's 20-yard free kick around the post.

Bromby's performance in between the sticks brought praise from both managers.

His boss, Kevin Metcalf said: "To be honest the first 20 minutes we played some of our best football of the season, without converting.

"Lordswood started coming into the game and it made it quite close throughout the 90 minutes"

"Matt Bromby was our man of the match to be honest.  I was very pleased, although James Coleman done well at Sevenoaks -  Matt was outstanding!"

On securing his third draw in succession, the Tunbridge Wells manager added: "I am happy with the progress. 

"One side of it we look hard to beat, but on the other side, we need a win from our next couple of games."

Piggott added: "Their goalkeeper had a blinder. He has well deserved his clean sheet.  We had a spell of 15 minutes in the first half where everything we threw at him he got something in the way.

"I am pleased with the performance, we created several chances despite losing two players from the previous game.

"So after two performances against Thamesmead Town and VCD Athletic, we were forced into changes we didn't really want to make.

"It showed what strength in depth we have at the club now, that we were able to cover these positions and still keep a clean sheet."

Piggott, however, is pleased to have a couple of old heads in his side, and his number two, Barlow is one of them.

Piggott added: "Wayne is experienced, and he has played at a decent non-league level.  He has been a manager at Sheppey United, and he helps the boys along with his experience."

With his team young and inexperienced, Piggott hopes this will help his players for  their FA Cup clash against Winchester City.

Piggott said: "If we had a team of experienced players they would probably freeze, but as they are youngsters, they just want to play football and don't care who they play."

Send in your news and match reports to:
Stephen McCartney



To advertise here telephone Stephen McCartney on 07979 418 360