Biggleswade FC produced an outstanding comeback to win 2-1 at Welwyn on Saturday and reach the last 32 of the FA Vase.
The home side responded to losing to Biggleswade the previous Wednesday by looking to starve FC of the ball and press high – and for half an hour the plan worked superbly.
With the game heated from the start Alex Marsh was the victim of a crude two footed challenge after two minutes. Credit to Welwyn, pressure paid off in the eighth minute as they forced a mistake and worked the ball to the edge of the box where Danny Payne fired it into the left hand corner of the net.
Under constant pressure FC were determined in defence and Dan Green produced a brave point blank save to prevent a second.
Another late challenge left Conor Inskip in a heap on 25 minutes – however importantly FC were growing into the game. Adam Hunt twice got to the byline to produce crosses which just eluded green shirts.
With the half running into its final minute Biggleswade earned a corner on their right. Ryan Inskip took it and Marsh held off a challenge to force home the leveller.
On the hour a great move involving Ryan Inskip, Lee Northfield and Marsh saw Tom Cookman guide the ball home only for the official’s flag to rule it out. The same four players were involved two minutes later as this time Cookman just dragged his shot wide.
With 15 minutes left Cookman picked up a ball, cut inside and picked out Marsh who hit his shot back across the Welwyn keeper Charlie may who produced the save of the day to turn the shot past the post.
The same player was lucky to stay on the pitch moments later as Cookman was put away by Conor Inskip before being brought down outside the box.
The 90 minutes finished with FC on top but unable to force home a winner so with an extra 30 minutes to play Biggleswade introduced Justin Leavers for Cookman who had run himself into the ground.
Welwyn were always a threat with aerial balls but Green, assisted by a back four of Adam Hunt, Josh Holmes, Darren Woodend and Nathan George, were in defiant mood.
The second period again saw FC looking the more likelier and their pressure paid in the 102nd minute as Holmes worked his way into the box only to be upended and the referee instantly pointing to the spot.
George stepped up and smashed the spot kick into the corner. Two minutes later FC could have had a second penalty as Ryan Inskip looked to put it into an empty net only to have his leg pulled back – but the referee gave nothing.
Biggleswade saw out five additional minutes to reach the fourth round.