It was no halloween show for AFC, but an extra time goal for Long Eaton United saw
Atletico bow out of the FA Vase in this 1st round tie, holding their heads high after
a great performance against the higher league team.
A week after a dismal performance, every AFC player put in a determined effort which
resulted in an open end to end game, with both teams playing good football and the only
thing lacking from both sides was clinical finishing. Ryan Seal had the first chance for
AFC, his long range effort beating Scott Low, but coming back off the crossbar, then Seal
again turned Sean Williams low cross goalwards, but straight into the arms of Low.
Long Eaton capitalised on some hesitant defending and Bradley Wells was in on goal, though
Sam Arnold was equal to his effort and saved the chance. Marcus Jackson making his debut at
right back for AFC, came forward with the ball and as the Long Eaton defence backed off him,
he unleashed a long range effort that just curled away outside the post. Paolo Piliero had
a glorious chance to open the scoring for Long Eaton but somehow he mistimed his header
when unmarked 6 yards out, which left the scores 0-0 at half time.
It didn't take long for Long Eaton to make amends for that missed header before half time,
as in the first minute of the second half an almost carbon copy of the move, saw Aaron Cole
unmarked at the far post and he made no mistake heading United into the lead. That lead only
lasted 10 minutes as a superb defence splitting ball from Nathan Walker set Luke Richards
free through the middle and he took the ball around Low and slotted into the net equalising
the scores. Richards had another opportunity moments later, but Low got back enough to just
hold on to his chipped effort, then Richards again set up Seal and his goal bound header
beat Low, but was cleared off the line. United hit back through Wells, first forcing Arnold
to save his header and then heading wide when well placed. Grant Ryan, who had not really
done much all afternoon,let his frustrations get the better of him and two cynical fouls
on Walker in as many minutes saw him receive to yellow cards and dismissed with 10 minutes
left. This meant Long Eaton set up to protect their goal for the final few minutes, but a
long throw in for AFC in injury time caused confusion in the United area, and the ball fell
to Darious Darkin only to not put enough power on his shot and Low smothered the ball sending
the tie into extra time.
Despite being down to 10 men, United scored the deciding goal 6 minutes into extra time, a
long ball was not dealt with by the Hinckley defence, and Wells ran onto the ball and beat
the covering defender, slotting the ball past Arnold giving Long Eaton the lead again. With
United now sitting back with all their players, AFC failed to break through a resolute
defence and even with a lot of possession in extra time couldn't force any kind of break
through, and United saw out the final few minutes winning the tie, but AFC would go away
with their heads held high for a performance equaling the higher team.
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Long Eaton United match details