FA TROPHY: Moles snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

Lee Grant got FC's goal
Lee Grant got FC's goal

Aylesbury FC left the West London home of North Greenford United wondering how they were not in the hat for the next round of the FA Trophy.

On 83 minutes the team were looking to extend their comfortable 1-0 lead. Ten minutes plus injury time later and the Moles had been dumped out of the famous old competition as the home team performed a classic smash and grab raid to leave the visitors crestfallen, writes Jools Thomas.

FC had the lion’s share of the first half play however it was the home team who had the first real chance with Harry Walker feeding Daniel Vincent whose shot fizzed past Rhys Marshall’s post. Lee Grant threatened to give FC the lead a few minutes later but he couldn’t connect with Gareth Price’s teasing cross. Sonny French was the next FC man to try his luck but his shot again just cleared the post.

FC continued to press and a quality Matt Hall failed to find a man as another FC chance went begging. But it wasn’t long before FC took the lead.

Jamie Rudd’s powerful strike was parried by NGU keeper Lee Pearce and rebounded to Lee Grant. After beating one man, Grant coolly slipped the ball into the net with the home defence in disarray.

United almost grabbed an equaliser immediately. A quality cross was met with a bullet header from Liam Hind who saw his effort tipped over the bar from Marshall. FC still had the upper hand and further efforts from Gareth Price, Lamar Simpson and Jamie Rudd may have found the net with more luck and indeed more patience. At the opposite end Harry Walker played in another teasing cross but strike partner Anthony O’Connor could not make full contact as he stretched to get a header on target.

With FC cheered on by a good number of travelling fans including the noisy Drummer Boys, the team started the second period brightly and Gareth Price had a wonderful chance early on when put clean through. He chose to fire from distance with his effort clearing the post when taking on the home keeper might have been the more fruitful option. The home team were beginning to find their feet in the game however FC never looked in serious peril for example when David Taylor challenged Rhys Marshall in a one to one duel on 56 minutes. Three minutes and FC had yet another chance to extend their lead. With the keeper in no-man’s land following a jinking right wing Price cross, Ollie Hogg and then Jamie Rudd had goal bound shots cleared by defenders patrolling the goal line.

Kwasi Frempong was the next FC man to try to extend the lead but his free-kick was gathered by the keeper.

Harry O’Connor and home substitute Myles Stephenson attempted to find an equaliser, the latter forcing a fingertip save from Rhys Marshall. Again FC went forwards. Ollie Hogg and then Matt Hall had golden chances but failed to extend the scoreline before the home team grabbed the equaliser with four minutes to go.

A corner was tipped clear but in the ensuing confusion Carlton Stewart bundled the ball home. An injury time winner against VCD Atheltic in the previous round was met with cheers of joy however this time the boot was on the other foot and in the 93rd minute, a melee in the box saw the ball fall to David Taylor who struck home much to the delight of his team mates and to the disbelief of the travelling FC followers.