It was a case of what might have been as Biggleswade FC’s FA Vase run ended in a 2-1 defeat in Berkshire on Saturday.
A couple of key decisions went against FC and Thatcham struck with a late sucker punch.
A frenetic opening saw both side try to take the initiative with the home side in particular looking to prevent FC’s passing game.
The first chance though fell to Biggleswade as great work from Alex Marsh saw him find Lee Northfield who drifted between two defenders, his shot going agonisingly wide.
Thatcham fashioned two half chances minutes later, Dan Green comfortably saving the first and the second flying high,and wide. The home side did though grab the lead midway through the first period as Josh Holmes saw his pass cut out and Harry Grant just had enough time to steer his effort beyond Green and into the far corner.
With their tails up Thatcham came close to a second, Green this time equal to the effort.
Good work from George Riley and Conor Inskip saw Tom Cookman get his head to a cross which was scrambled off the line. With FC starting to turn the game in their favour Ryan Inskip saw a tame effort saved before, on the half hour, more good play saw Cookman pick out the run of Marsh who was bundled to the floor by the keeper.
The referee pointed to the spot and Nathan George stepped up, sending the keeper the wrong way and FC were level.
FC almost grabbed the lead as Northfield cleverly found Cookman who saw his shot superbly saved.
The second half saw Biggleswade start to take full control with the home keeper making another good save, this time from Marsh after Lee Northfield had picked out his great run.
With the pressure building Biggleswade won a corner down their right, Riley found Northfield whose shot was turned onto the bar and down with everyone in a green shirt claiming it had crossed the line – unfortunately the linesman disagreed and the home side scrambled it to safety.
Marsh did find the net on 70 minutes as he and Northfield again combined with an offside flag coming to the home side’s rescue and George Riley’s free kick from the edge of the box was comfortably saved.
Controversy again reigned on 74 minutes as Adam Hunt, on one of many great runs down the right, picked out Northfield inside the box. He was brought crashing down only for the referee to wave play on when everyone inside the ground expected him to point to the spot.
Looking like it was just a matter of time before FC would get the goal they deserved, Thatcham broke out earning a corner and with it the bit of luck they needed to take the tie. With the ball delivered to the far side of the box a Thatcham forward hit his shot into the ground where it eluded everyone to be bundled in at the far post.
FC threw on Justin Leavers and Taishan Griffith in a bid to level things but it was not to be.