Michael Clement reports from the Eastwood Centre.
Sheerwater looked to progress to the 1st Round Proper of the Isuzu FA Vase when they welcomed Hellenic Premier Division side Brimscombe & Thrupp to the Eastwood Centre.
With ninety-two minutes on the clock, the Sheers had one foot in Round One courtesy of a free kick from Hugo Silveira but Brimscombe were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty following a clumsy challenge by substitute, Mark Dunckley. Ollie Pitt stepped up and calmly slotted home past Andy Rider to take the game straight to penalties. The lottery of a penalty shoot-out is a cruel way to lose and it was Sheerwater who slipped up with two misses, whereas, Brimscombe were very composed and scored their first four to claim
The hosts were the more positive side going forward over the course of the game but only had one goal to show for their efforts which came on 70 minutes. Silveira hit his free kick from 25 yards up and over the wall and it bounced just in front of Brimscombe goalkeeper Jones, who made a hash of it and palmed it into his net. Brimscombe responded to this setback by pouring forward, forcing the Sheers into a rear-guard action instead of pushing for a second. The wide players were finding space and getting balls into the box, cue some composed and last ditch defending which kept the score at 1-0. Eventually Sheerwater crumbled, with Dunckley, perhaps slipping before making the fateful challenge, conceding the late penalty.
There were plenty of opportunities in the first half for the home side. Cameron Edwin got in a good position on 3 minutes but his shot from an acute angle was saved by Jones. Silveira broke forward and fed Danilo Cadete whose shot on target from distance was saved at the second attempt. Callum Coen worked a chance for himself that was blocked and then from a long throw, Cadete flicked on to Edwin who powered a header just off target. Following this, Josh Dillon did well to win the ball back and set up an attack, feeding Cadete who slipped Silveira through but Jones was out quick to block. Dillon followed up and his shot was on target but Ponting deflected the ball away for a corner. Coen was really unlucky on 31 minutes with a powerful strike that came back off the bar. Jones made a fine save from a powerful header by Joe Gritt.
At the other end Andy Rider had a relatively quiet half. Oliver Barnes had a chance very early on as a decent cross picked him out but he failed to connect. Harlie Price got a shot away but Rider wasn’t troubled.
Dillon's shot on target in the first minute of the second half saw Jones get down low to save at his near post. Brimscombe then had a little spell of pressure, with two blocked efforts before Gritt made a timely intervention as a 2v2 situation developed.
Silveira made the breakthrough before Brimscombe rolled up their sleeves and sought the equaliser. Rider made an excellent save from a crisp effort across goal by Pitt. With no further goals it was straight to penalties. Edwin and Cox both had their efforts from the spot saved, falling to Barnes, he stepped up and won the game for the jubilant visitors.
As for the Sheers, it was another game where chances were created but not converted. Sheerwater boss, Michael Herbert would be more concerned if chances were not being created but at some point questions will be asked as we look to try and move up the table with a number of games to come in October.
SHEERWATER: Rider YC, Barley (Dunckley 80'), Lofthouse-Smith, Cox, Green, Gritt, Cadete,
Coen (Mutero 90+4) Edwin YC, Silveira (Davis 73'), Dillon