Ipswich Wanderers bow out of FA Vase following extra-time loss
Ipswich Wanderers suffered extra-time heart-ache as they bowed out of the FA Vase, at the hands of Bowers & Pitsea in a fifth round replay played at Canvey Island last night.
Matt Mackenzie swept Wanderers into the lead in the 24th minute with a slick finish from Jack Severy’s low delivery.
But Aaron Waters flicked home a pinpoint corner by Jack Gardner, just 11 minutes later, to equalise and ultimately force the tie into extra-time.
And Bowers substitute Tom Hine popped up with the winner, in the third minute of extra-time, tucking home from Lewis Manor’s pass.
It was rough luck on Wanderers, who had defended stoically throughout the night, with centre-halves Mark Goldfinch and David Head particularly impressive.
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But in truth, Essex Senior League side Bowers were the better team on the night, and deserved their passage through to the quarter-finals, where they will entertain Kidlington.
This was only Wanderers’ sixth game since the turn of the year, due to a spate of postponements, including the previous round against Bodmin Town (eventual 3-1 away win) and this replay.
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Bowers midfielder Ross Adams blasted just wide from long-range in the fourth minute, and his team-mate Jack Gardner curled in a sixth minute free-kick which was easily gathered by keeper Callum Deacon.
Wanderers struggled to create any clear-cut chances during the first quarter of the game, but they took the lead with their first real goal attempt on 24 minutes.
Mackenzie gleefully swept home Severy’s low cross, from just outside the six-yard box, to put the Suffolk visitors in front.
Bowers threatened an equaliser from a corner, on the half-hour mark, but Shane Wardley was in the right place to clear off the goal-line.
Defender Head did well to clear another dangerous cross, behind for a corner, but Wanderers duly conceded from this set piece.
Keeper Deacon was powerless to prevent Waters’ close-range header from flying in, from Gardner’s excellent corner.
Bowers had the momentum, and they threatened to take the lead in the 40th minute. Striker Manor got in front of centre-half Head, but his looping header was well smothered by Deacon.
At the other end, just before half-time, Wanderers’ Craig Stuart rose high to meet a free-kick, but he could not direct his header on target.
Wanderers began the second half on the attack, and left-back Wardley let fly from 20 yards out with a swerving shot that was well saved by home keeper Martyn Guest.
At the other end, Gardner looked odds on to put Bowers in front on 63 minutes, only to volley straight at Deacon from point blank range.
Bowers looked the more likely winners in normal time, although an 87th minute free-kick by Severy eluded the grasp of keeper Guest and nearly trickled over the line, with Stuart trying to bundle home.
But the hosts won it in extra-time, thanks to Hine’s 93rd minute finish to end Wanderers’ brave challenge.