Concord Rangers 4, St Ives Town 3
CONCORD made hard work of putting their lower league visitors away in Saturday’s Second Qualifying Round tie at Thames Road.
The plaudits were deservedly with visiting keeper Nick Bennion who produced a string of magnificent saves to keep his side in the tie after the reckless captain Jimmy Dean made the task no easier by seeing red midway through the second half.
Concord took the lead after 11 minutes when Gary Ogilvie showed sound technique in volleying into the bottom right corner. The lead was doubled by Steve Cawley with a composed finish to the bottom right six minutes later.
The lively Dubi Ogbonna then gave the visitors something to shout about, slotting the ball past Butler on 22 minutes to reduce the deficit before the Beachboys’ two goal lead was restored with Sam Higgins skipping round Bennion and striking into an empty net just befoe the half hour.
However once again Ogbonna was on hand to gift Town a lifeline with a neat 25 yard finish five minutes before half time.
Concord raised the pace in the second half and it led to Dean seeing red for two rash challenges. The resulting free kick turned into a goal with the deflected Higgins effort falling kindly for Cawley to pass into a gaping goal.
Bennion made several top class saves much to the hosts frustration and St Ives bowed out the cup in style with a deep cross from Stuart Cobb fortuitously finding the top corner to cap the scoring six minutes from the end.