Walsham-le-Willows’ FA Vase dream ended by Tring

Walsham v Tring FA Vase football, Summer Rd, Walsham le Willows, Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday.

Walsham v Tring FA Vase football, Summer Rd, Walsham le Willows, Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

An early strike from Adam Scotcher was enough to see the Hertfordshire visitors progress in a bad-tempered affair which saw Walsham finish the game with 10 men.

Midfielder Alex Steed was sent off with 20 minutes to go, forcing Walsham to play the final minutes, against a side from the Spartan South Midlands Premier League who were on a 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with 10 men.

The hosts had already seen off Deeping Rangers and Boston Town in the preliminary rounds and this was going to be another difficult game and so it proved. However, a much-improved second half showing saw the hosts unlucky not to force an equaliser.

Tring got the decisive goal in the fourth minute with their first attack.

George Carbery hooked the ball through to Scotcher who exploited a gaping hole in the middle of the Walsham defence and ran through before driving the ball into the bottom corner.

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The visitors were playing some tidy football and could have gone further ahead, only for Sam Peters to make a great block to deny Carbery.

Soon afterwards, Chris Vardy got free down the left and his cross was headed wide from a great position by Ryan Sturges.

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As the half progressed Walsham began to gain a foothold in the game and forced a series of corners which eventually led to Jack Brame volleying straight at Tring keeper Jack Hopwood.

Sam Peters almost immediately tested Hopwood again from long range but he was able to palm the effort over the bar.

Walsham boss Paul Smith made a change at half-time bringing on top-scorer Andrew Wood to beef up the attack, and he was soon combining well with Tannar Call, who was denied by some last-ditch defending.

That said, Tring should have extended their advantage on 56 minutes when an excellent flowing move ended with Carbery somehow blazing over the bar from just six yards out.

Back came Walsham and skipper Matt Morton’s deep free kick eventually reached Wood, only for his effort came back off the crossbar.

The home side were then dealt a blow with Steed receiving a straight red card for treading on a defender as the ball was being ushered out of play.

The game then became punctuated by free kicks and arguments and Tring’s players surrounded the referee asking for him to give Brame a second yellow in a minute.

Walsham were defying their numerical disadvantage and got on top in the closing stages, almost bringing the scores level two minutes from the end of normal time.

Brame played in Peters down the left hand side and he drove in a shot which was brilliantly saved by Hopwood.

The rest of the game saw more stoppages, disputes and four further yellow cards as Walsham ran out of time to save the game, their Vase dream at an end.

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