0 v 0
Bucks boss Gavin Cowan was left to rue a string of missed chances as AFC Telford United headed out of the FA Cup following a penalty shoot-out loss to Southern League Leiston.
His side laid siege to the goal at Victory Road for long periods of the game, but despite their territorial dominance, Telford were unable to force their way onto the scoresheet.
And the Bucks were unable to repeat their shoot-out heroics from Chasetown in the previous round, Adam Walker seeing his penalty decisively saved by Leiston ‘keeper Sam Donkin to spark wild celebrations amongst the 334 home fans in attendance.
The result left Cowan in a philosophical mood after the game.
“I don’t want to make excuses. Ultimately we’ve not been victorious and that’s another scalp for the FA Cup I feel,” he said.
“We had eight chances in the first half which were ‘must-score’ and numerous times hit the bar, we’ve had numerous chances in the second half so yes, it’s hard to wrap your head around, it just screams ‘FA Cup’.
“We should have been out of sight, credit to my players for showing the character ad the professionalism to keep doing what they were doing, the only thing we’ll do tonight is rue our missed chances.”
Aaron Williams had the game’s first half-chance, firing wide at the far post under pressure from a Leiston defender after 10 minutes, but the home side forced Bucks ‘keeper Russ Griffiths into action moments later when he had to get down smartly to prevent Will Davies’ effort from creeping in at the far post.
The Bucks should have had the lead after half an hour when Courtney Meppen-Walters headed back across goal from James Hardy’s far post corner, but Theo Streete was inches short of connecting with a diving lunge no more than a yard out from goal, and the chance came and went.
The second half introduction of Jordan Davies and Dom McHale seemed to turn the screw even further in the Bucks favour, and with the home side tiring the Bucks crashed efforts off the metalwork twice in the final ten minutes, first through Walker’s neat curling effort from the edge of the penalty area before Hardy first against the foot of the post having worked space for himself inside the penalty area.
“Credit to Leiston, you have to give them credit because they had a game plan and they would probably appreciate that we were the better side on any given day, [so] they made it difficult,” reflected Cowan.
“It was difficult conditions, but for both teams. We wanted to play through the lines and credit to the lads because they keep doing it and it was fruitful for us because we were getting many-a-chance, and again I can’t really put my finger on why we haven’t taken our chances and it just smacked of the FA Cup – their year I suppose.”
AFC Telford United: Griffiths, Streete, Sutton (c), Meppen-Walter, Vaughan, Cowans, Byrne, Walker, Hardy, Williams (McHale 70), Oswell (Davies 55).
Substitutes not used: Rawlins, Lilly, Barnes-Homer, Bower, Scott.
Leiston: Donkin, Hammond (Eaton-Collins 59), Saunders, Keys, Richardson, Weaire, Barnes, Eagle, Davies, Switters (Jackson 90), Wilkinson (Hitter 83).
Substitutes not used: Richardson, Bailey-Dennis, Godbold, Potter.
Match Date: October 13th, 2020 7:45 pm
Competition: FA Cup
Kick Off: 19:45
Venue: Victory Road
Referee: Callum Walchester
Assistant 1: Paul Burnham
Assistant 2: Emily Heaslip
Official 4: n/a