Early exits for leading clubs as they fall at first hurdle

Adam Rimmer made several top saves for Easington Sports at Highworth Town
Adam Rimmer made several top saves for Easington Sports at Highworth Town

All three Banburyshire clubs went out of the Buildbase FA Vase at the first hurdle.

Easington Sports could not have drawn a much tougher tie in their first season back in the competition since 1991 as they lost 4-0 at Highworth Town.

The UHLSport Hellenic League high fliers scored twice in each half of Saturday’s first qualifying round tie to progress.

Sports could not have got off to a worse start, going behind in the fifth minute when Aysa Corrick nicked the ball off Josh Rose and pulled it back for Chris Taylor to score from ten yards. Highworth threatened to double their advantage, Adam Rimmer tipped a shot from the lively Corrick around the post and then made a point-blank save from Dan Drewett.

Sports settled into the game and, although they were unable to carve out any openings, they managed to stay in the tie. But five minutes before the break Highworth doubled their advantage when Callum Parsons headed home a near post corner from the impressive Ryan O’Hara.

Sports had their best chance shortly after the restart when Mike Spaull broke down the right and his low cross found James McMahon but Gary Aulsberry turned his first time effort around the upright.

Highworth resumed control and Rimmer made another couple of smart saves before substitute Kias Bonner-Shia increased Highworth’s lead in the 75th minute when he headed home a cross from Josh Jones. Parsons bagged his second goal in the 85th minute after Sports failed to deal with another O’Hara corner.

Brackley Town Saints lost 3-1 at Welwyn Garden City.

The South Midland League premier division side took control from the outset. Saints defenders cleared a couple of early chances before City’s Josh Bronti beat Ali Worby with a tidy finish.

Five minutes later Saints switched off after clearing a corner and Clements comfortably headed home. Saints were given a mountain to climb when Bronti was given far too much time in the area to pick his spot and beat Worby again.

Saints continued to work hard and were rewarded when Josh Bowden’s pull-back was perfectly placed for Chris Jordan to fire home.

Bronti was given the ideal opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the second half when Charlie Kille handled in the box following a corner. But Saints stopper Worby pulled off a superb save.

Ardley United lost 3-1 at Longlevens.

The UHLSport Hellenic League premier division outfit took the lead on the stroke of halftime from an own goal and doubled their advantage through Dave Merrill in the 53rd minute. Alex Feaver reduced the arrears two minutes later but Shaun O’Connor restored his side’s two-goal advantage on the hour mark.

Connor Harris pulled another one back in the 84th minute but Jay Kennedy added a fourth goal in the final minute of normal time.