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Warrington Town 2 - 1 AFC Telford United

Match Date: 6/10/2018
Competition: FA Cup
Kick Off: 15:00
Attendance: 543

Daniel Udoh90
Opposition Own Goals: 0

Team Sheet
Max Bramley
Ross White
Stephan Morley
Ellis Deeney
Shane Sutton
Theo Streete
Jonathan Royle
James McQuilkin
Amari Morgan-Smith
Daniel Udoh
John McAtee

Dominic Smith
Andy Wycherley
Henry Cowans
Adam Dawson
Darryl Knights
Andre Brown
Matthew Barnes-Homer

Theo StreeteY
Ellis DeeneyY

Referee: Richard Aspinall
Assistant 1: Samuel Kane
Assistant 2: Neil Allsop
Official 4: n/a

The Bucks were bundled out of the Emirates FA Cup by Evostik League leaders Warrington Town in a display where they failed to put the home side under any real pressure until the game was effectively decided.

Gavin Cowan made four team changes, with Steph Morley and Amari Morgan-Smith restored to fitness and also the starting eleven. The early stages of the game were cagey. Warrington looked to use the early ball to utilise former Buck Tony Gray’s ‘little and large’ partnership with Bohan Dixon, whilst the Bucks closest efforts came from John McAtee; he twice put shots wide when finding space in the penalty area, though neither was a clear opportunity.

Winger Jack Mackreth started to become a bigger influence on the game, giving Morley a testing time down the home side’s right-hand side, with the Bucks not creating much to test Tony McMillan, aside from a James McQuilkin shot from distance held comfortably.

Just before half-time. McQuilkin was involved in a nasty incident, home full-back Alex Whittle using unnecessary force in a challenge which saw the Bucks midfielder thumped against the perimeter boards, taking a blow to the head. The Bucks collectively took issue with Whittle, and after the flashpoint died down referee Richard Aspinall booked the Warrington man. He also cautioned Theo Streete for what he presumably saw as Streete being too eager to stand up for his own team-mate.

McQuilkin was able to continue, but that moment provided a momentum shift; the home side won a corner in first-half injury time, and although initially dealt with they were able to return the ball from the right where Dixon leapt highest to connect and loop a back-post header back over Max Bramley and into the far corner.

HALF TIME: Warrington Town 1 AFC Telford United 0

The Bucks knew they needed to pick up the pace in the second half, with no second chances available in the Cup. They appeared more positive in the opening 10 minutes of the half, but again with no real end product. Gray was frequently the outlet for Warrington, and the wily striker got behind the Bucks just before the hour, Ross White’s superb interception stealing a chance from Dixon. The visitors were trying to find Daniel Udoh, but the ten-goal top scorer was too frequently isolated or having to drop deep rather than get behind the home defence.

On 64 minutes, the tie was effectively sealed. Warrington’s Robbie Evans, a midfield dynamo, burst forward to win a corner on the left; the Bucks didn’t clear it effectively, and when the ball found Evans’ midfield partner Ben Garrity around the penalty spot he somehow was able to wriggle free of a crowd of Bucks to turn and beat Bramley to his left. Collectively the Bucks’ heads dropped a little, facing an exit at the hands of a lower league side.

Cowan rang the changes, withdrawing McQuilkin and McAtee for Adam Dawson and Darryl Knights. That, and the prospect of an inglorious defeat, sparked the Bucks’ best spell of the afternoon. Udoh tried his luck from distance, sending a shot narrowly wide, and minutes later he was found at the back post; however, his header went straight into the clutches of keeper Tony McMillan.

Morgan-Smith made way for Andre Brown and the visitors’ efforts to get a goal back became more frantic and frenetic, using the width provided by Dawson wherever possible. On 86 minutes the Bucks had appeals for a goal dismissed as a spinning ball in the box was turned goalwards, though in truth they lacked real conviction. Jon Royle then shot wide from 20 yards, whilst a Ross White cross went too close to McMillan, and was claimed easily. Royle was involved again when winning a header in the box, providing a chance for Knights to shoot, but shoot wide of the target. Eventually the pressure told when, already into injury time. McMillan spilled a catch from a corner when he appeared to have matter under control, and in the resulting scramble Daniel Udoh poked the ball home from within the six-yard box.

It wasn’t to be the Bucks’ last effort on goal, but neither was it to prove to be a catalyst for a dramatic and perhaps undeserved late equaliser. Ross White forced McMillan to save his dipping volleyed effort from 20 yards and then, after Dawson had seen a shot deflected wide for a corner, keeper Bramley hared upfield to join the last desperate push for a goal. It didn’t come, and as Warrington cleared to the Bucks’ half a look at the watch from the referee signalled that the game was up, and the Bucks were out.

The visitors despondently applauded their followers as the home side celebrated their progression to the fourth qualifying round. To say the Bucks performance was flat would be to take credit from the home side, who aren’t top of their division without good reason. Whether they raised their game on the day is something that’s hard to judge, but the Gavin Cowan’s side didn’t match them, and as has been proven time after time in this famous competition, upsets happen because it’s all about who is better on the day. The Bucks won’t be the last team to fall victim to opponents to a team from a lower division, but that doesn’t make the pill any easier to swallow, for anyone.

Warrington: McMillan, Duggan, Whittle (Hughes 65), Garrity, Roberts (c), Raven, Mackreth, Evans, Gray (Amis 81), Dixon (George 84), Kirby.

Unused substitutes: Beeley, Benjamin, Carden, Speare (gk).

Scorers: Dixon (45), Garrity (64)

Bookings: Whittle, Roberts, Mackreth.

GALLERY: Club photographer Tim Roberts' match gallery can be found on Flickr >>> click link

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