Bowers & Pitsea 2 Dereham Town 2

Updated: October 7, 2017

My FA Trophy trail for this season began at the Len Salmon Stadium in Pitsea, Essex, for Bowers & Pitsea vs Dereham Town in an all Bostick North Preliminary Round tie.

Both teams had started their league seasons well and sat third and fifth respectively so a close battle was expected.

It was the hosts who saw the first opening on three minutes as Knight got the other side of the visitors back line but saw the defence recover to make a last ditch tackle to thwart him, although he wanted a penalty claiming he had been fouled.

On ten minutes Knight hit an effort straight at Dereham keeper Pride after a cutback from Ashman then moments later Dereham hit the bar after going up the other end, it was a big let off for the hosts.

On the quarter hour mark Crisp diverted a cross just over the Bowers bar as the visitors went close again but five minutes later the hosts went close when a great Bowers move ended with the ball finding Tony Stokes in the middle, but he got his feet in a tangle and saw the chance wasted, before Bowers got in again but saw Pride save the effort.

The resulting corner saw Nyanja receive the ball in a decent position inside the box however he could only sky his effort well over the bar and in the 28th minute another hosts corner saw centre half Martyn Stokes send a free header at the back post well over.

The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and with seven minutes of the half remaining were almost gifted the lead when a poor header back by the visitors went straight to Knight, and he rounded Pride but couldn’t get his shot away from a tight angle, and from the corner Martyn Stokes struck an effort off the bar and over.

It meant the half ended goalless, a half Bowers should of been two of three goals in front, however Dereham were still in the tie.

Half Time Bowers & Pitsea 0 Dereham Town 0

Bowers continued to pressure Dereham at the start of the second period and four minutes into it forced an error in the back line which was pounced on by Tony Stokes who dinked an effort over Pride and into the net and the hosts had finally broke though.

On the hour mark another great Bowers move ended with a Sartain effort pushed away by Pride as they looked for a second and a more comfortable position in this tie.

However the visitors exploded into life and levelled on 62 minutes as a ball played into Logan saw him lift an effort beyond Chaffer and suddenly we were all square.

Three minutes later Logan fired a decent effort straight at Chaffer as the visitors tails were well and truly up after that goal, and midway through the half went close to taking the lead when the impressive Logan cut inside onto his left foot and smacked an effort off the bar.

But with just under twenty minutes left Dereham did grab the lead as centre half Ebbage got the faintest of touches to an inswinging free kick and divert the ball into the far corner and The Magpies were now in the driving seat.

Bowers should of wiped out that lead five minutes later though when Sartain got in for the hosts, but he clipped his effort wide of the far post. It had been another great chance for Bowers in a game where they had squandered many.

With eight minutes left Logan threatened again for visitors, driving across the box before hitting a right footed effort just wide of the near post, whilst both sides also had free headers at goal but both were wasted.

But just as the game reached the 90 minute mark Bowers were level as after Sartain had sent a terrific long range dipping effort against the bar, Tony Stokes was the only one to react and prodded the rebound over the line to earn the hosts a replay at Aldiss Park on Tuesday evening.

It should be another decent cup tie in Norfolk, and the winners host Egham Town in the next round.

Full Time Bowers & Pitsea 2 Dereham Town 2

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