Emirates FA Cup
1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 4th September 2021
Tividale 0-1 Spalding United
What if’s & Maybe’s
With the previous wins against Shifnal Town and AFC Wulfruniuns both teams playing in our division. The next round saw us against Spalding United from the Northern Premier League and playing their football at a level above us.
With the 2 Dan’s, Bryson, and Smith unavailable and Manager Dave King made three changes to the side that beat Bewdley Town on Bank Holiday Monday. In came forwards Lewis McPike for his first game of the season and Jordan Edwards who had been out since the Romulus game.
Dave also made a tactical change. Relieving Elliot Hartley of his striker’s role and putting him back into his more natural wing back role and replacing Hayden Reeves who is still not 100% fit with Tom Hurdman in the centre of defence.
It was Spalding who had the first decent chance in just the 3rd minute. When forward Greg Smith tested the capabilities of the Tividale keeper with a long-range looping shot that Adam Harrison had to scrambled back for and tipped the ball over the cross bar. Tividale’s first real attack came in the 10th minutes when a telling Hartley cross evaded Michael Duggan in the Spalding goal, but full back Glenn Yala headed the ball out for a corner at the back post.
Spalding had a spell of three corners in quick succession as they began to exert some pressure on the Tividale back line, but the home side came through with their goal intact, ending with a Scott Floyd effort that flew wide. On 27 minutes Tividale had a great chance to open the scoring. A Cameron Milne free kick was knocked down by Matt Hunt at the back post and McPike’s shot was well saved by Duggan.
A minute later and Spalding had a sniff of a chance. Tividale defender Ben Birch’s attempted pass back to Harrison was going to fall well short but the keeper was alert to the situation and raced out to lash the ball clear from the advancing Chris Assombalonga.
On 31 minutes Spalding’s Stefan Broccoli tried an effort that was blocked. A Tividale free kick on 38 minutes from the edge of the area and taken by Brad Welding forced Duggan into an excellent save. And then on 44 minutes a long throw from Welding was flicked on by Birch but Edwards could only send his cushioned volley wide
Half Time Tividale 0-0 Spalding United
The second half could not have started any worse for the home side. On 47 minutes the ball is played across the Tividale box Harrison can only palm the ball away to Floyd and his cross back into the box is deflected up in the air. The deflection flat foots the Tividale defence and the ball is not cleared, and Broccoli is there to nod the ball home from 4 yards.
Spalding were now again looking to take the upper hand and half-time substitute Marcus Maddison was looking dangerous with a couple of shots saved by Harrison. The first on 50 minutes when Assombalonga played the ball out to him on the right, he cut in and hit it forcing Harrison into a decent save and the second on 55 minutes but this one never troubled Harrison.
The game was then held up for about 8 minutes from the hour mark when Spalding defender Hugo Atkinson went down and had to be stretchered off with what we all hope was not a serious injury.
Broccoli then had a great chance when after some great work from Assombalonga on 71 minutes. The forward played the ball into Broccoli, but he shot wide from 12 yards. Tividale’s Cameron Milne was unlucky in the 74th minute when a Tividale corner landed nicely for him, but his half volley was blocked by Duggan who knew little about it.
On 75 minutes Assombalonga created another great chance for the visitors. Again, he attacked the right side of the Tividale box, gets to the bye line, pulled the ball back to Floyd who in turn rolled the ball into the path of Broccoli who again missed the target with his shot. This time blazing it over the bar.
On 84 minutes a Tividale free kick was played into the Spalding United penalty are. Tividale’s appeals for a penalty were turned down. I think VAR would have reversed the decision on the photographic evidence provided on the following page.
On 92 minutes a Spalding free kick into the box and Harrison is unable to hold the ball under pressure from Assombalonga but he was able get up and block the shot from Floyd.
Tividale had the last decent chance of the game in the 95th minute when Hunt is unable to get his header on target from a Welding free kick
Full Time Tividale 0-1 Spalding United
So Tividale bowed out of this season’s FA Cup with a battling performance that deserved at least a replay and maybe on another day they could have been in the hat for the 2nd Qualifying Round.
But best of luck to Spalding United in the next round. And the rest of their season
The news on Spalding’s Hugo Atkinson was that he was taken to hospital with possible ligament damage. We hope he makes a full and speedy recovery
Tividale: – 1. Adam Harrison, 2. Tom Hurdman, 3. Brad Welding, 4. Luke Carter (14. Brogan Halpin 76), 5. Ben Birch, 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Curtis Cocking, 8. Cameron Milne (15. Ryan Grosvenor 76), 9. Lewis McPike, 10. Jordan Edwards (12. Hayden Reeves 54), 11. Elliott Hartley.
Unused Subs: – 13. Peter Hawks.