March Town 1, Thrapston 2
A late second half-revival just failed to keep the Hares on track in the FA Vase on Saturday at the GER.
A goalkeeper’s error and some sloppy play had seen them trail 2-0 in the first hour, but in the last 15 minutes March dominated play and carved out enough chances to stride on to the next round.
Paul Crosbie’s side had started the game well enough but were struck down when Ben Collett, making his debut in goal, failed to collect a cross cleanly and the ball fell to a Thrapston forward to accept an easy chance of the opening goal.
The goal seemed to drain March of confidence and self belief and Crosbie must have been pleased to get his troops in at half-time without any further damage.
But 10 minutes into the second half March lost the ball in midfield and a Thrapston player broke away and chipped the ball over the advancing Collett to make it 2-0.
With 20 minutes to go Crosbie decided to go for broke and went 3-4-3 bringing on substitutes Danny Emmington, Scott Welcher and James McDonough and it certainly had a telling effect.
Robbie Masters got the final touch to make it 2-1 after Scott Welcher looked to have got his head to a corner and that signalled siege on the Thrapston goal.
Masters hit the woodwork and managed to lift the ball over the bar from just two yards, while Stu Anderson’s shot looked goal bound until a late bounce took it the wrong side of a post. Jack Saunders also had a good opportunity while there were two other efforts cleared off the line.
But March just could not get that vital second goal but manager Crosbie, although very disappointed, was still boosted by the positives from the game.
He said: “We started well enough but their first goal stopped us in our tracks. I thought we had sorted things out at the break but they then hit us with a second goal.
“We had to change things then and we really started to play and started creating lots of chances. When we got the first goal I thought we could get at least a draw but really it was a game we could have won in the end.
“The players who came on did really well for us and the system worked well. We had tried it in pre-season but we leaked too many goals then but although disappointed with the result we have some positives to take into training this week.”
March: Ben Collett, Stu Porter, Josh Westley, Sam Darlow; Aidan Hollis; Sean White, Jack Saunders, Guiliano Staffieri; Stu Anderson, Robbie Masters. Subs used: Danny Emmington, Scott Welcher, James McDonough.