On a night that tested their character, Gavin Cowan’s Bucks
showed they possess plenty of grit in progressing to the quarter-finals of the
Buildbase FA Trophy.
Goals from captain Shane Sutton and Andre Brown, allied to
some late defensive heroics, earned the Bucks a shot at National League side
Solihull Moors on 23rd February, as the Bucks maintained their
hoodoo over Spennymoor, to whom Telford have never lost.
With the Brewery Field surface wet and heavy it cut up
underfoot quickly, and neither side were able to assert any real authority in a
first half that was a war of attrition.
Ryan Barnett sliced a shot wide of Matt Gould’s far post
after the Bucks profited from a missed tackle by James Curtis, whilst National
League North’s top scorer, Moors Glenn Taylor, headed wide at the far post
Andre Brown couldn’t control a far-post header from a
free-kick, and then shot into the side netting from the right of the penalty
area when slipped in behind the home defence. The final chance of the half fell
to Stephen Brogan; James McQuilkin fouled Rob Ramshaw as he headed for goal,
and from 20 yards out Brogan hit a free-kick around the wall that Andy
Wycherley got behind, moving to his left.
Any thoughts that the second half would be a similar affair
were blown wide apart early on. On 50 minutes, Bucks keeper Andy Wycherley had to show lightning reactions to race from his goal and deny Adam Boyes, the substitute put through but unable to beat Wycherley's outstretched leg as he looked to place the ball to his left. Moments later, home keeper Matt Gould was similarly busy, saving from James McQuilkin at close range after a well-worked move from Henry Cowans and Ryan Barnett down the left unlocked the Moors defence.
Barnett was starting to find room against home right-back Williams, and from a corner earned by another probing Barnett run the Bucks took the lead, with Shane Sutton shaking off his marker to divert a close-range effort home past
Matt Gould. The jubilation was short-lived as home marksman Glenn Taylor
brought his side level within two minutes; from a ball played up to him, he
showed the hallmarks of a man in form to place a beautifully weighted shot over
a stranded Wycherley from 25 yards.
The game started to open up more, and from another corner won by Barnett, Sutton almost repeated his goal scoring feat, but sliced
his effort over from 15 yards. However, the Bucks weren’t to be denied for
long; on 75 minutes, Barnett found room on the edge of the box, fired in a shot that Gould got
a hand to, but Andre Brown, given his chance, took his chance, and pounced to bury
the loose ball from close range.
With 15 minutes left, the Moors didn’t respond immediately,
but in the final five minutes they threw proverbial kitchen sink at the Bucks. Wycherley turned substitute Shaun Tuton's 20 yard effort over the bar for a corner, and then turned a low Andrew Johnson effort around his left post from similar range. Defender James Curtis flashed a header wide, Steph Morley then headed off his
own line in another penalty-area scramble. Wycherley saved low at his near post from Tuton again before Taylor wasted the final chance; from a corner, and with Moors keeper Gould joining the attack, the Moors danger man fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
There was some late frustration, with Curtis and Matthew
Barnes-Homer booked for an altercation, but Cowan’s troops held firm to move a
step closer to Wembley.Spennymoor Town: Gould,
Williams, Brogan, Chandler, Thackray (Hibbs 87), Curtis (c), Hall (Tuton 72), Henry
(Boyes 41), Taylor, Ramshaw, Johnson.
Unused Substitutes: Elliott, Anderson.
Scorers: Taylor (59).
Bookings: Curtis, Thackray.