FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round March Town United 3 St Ives Town 3 ST IVES Town let slip a two-goal lead in a thrilling derby. A crowd of more than 180 gathered to watch an absorbing game which Saints led 3-1 at the break. Two goals from Chris Ewles and o

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FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

March Town United 3 St Ives Town 3

ST IVES Town let slip a two-goal lead in a thrilling derby.

A crowd of more than 180 gathered to watch an absorbing game which Saints led 3-1 at the break.

Steve Kuhne

Two goals from Chris Ewles and one from Stefan Lewis seemed to have secured victory for Saints but two second half goals from March forced a replay.

Despite scoring three goals Saints found their fluency only sporadically, although they almost took the lead after 10 minutes when a James Clark corner found Pilsworth but his shot was hacked off the line.

Saints eventually broke the deadlock seven minutes later when Pilsworth flicked on another corner and Lewis ghosted in at the back post to power home.

The lead was short-lived however, and March scored a deserved equaliser on 21 minutes.

A break down Saints' left led to a deflected cross, and despite keeper Rob Mackney's point-blank save, Teddy Rimmell followed up to score.

Saints withstood more pressure from March before forging their way into a two-goal lead before half time.

Ewles put the visitors in front in the 41st minute after some neat interplay and then doubled his tally two minutes later when he dispatched a confident penalty after being tripped himself.

It looked grim for the home side, but a much-improved second half display saw March dominate the midfield, with Harry Roe and Ashley Spendelow seeing much more of the ball.

Saints were still struggling to find their rhythm, and the home side halved the deficit afterr 52 minutes when the ball found its way to Paul Shafer eight yards out and he turned and fired into the bottom corner.

The visitors responded with a couple of chances but March goalkeeper Trevor Marshall saved well from Pilsworth, and Ewles watched as his shot just rolled past the post.

As time went on March looked the more likely to score and Paul Cousins went close to an equaliser when he got on the end of a free kick, but his header went wide.

The equaliser came with just five minutes remaining, with a great shot from Shafer on the edge of the Saints' box forcing a replay at Westwood Road.

Disappointed Saints joint manager Jez Hall said: "This was our worst display of the season so far.

"I don't know how we managed to get ourselves 3-1 up, but if we play like that again, we won't be going anywhere.

"We need to get ourselves that first win before a run starts building up, hopefully we can do that in the replay at home."

The replay was last night (Tuesday) Read a full report by visiting www.huntspost.co.uk.

The winners of the tie will face a trip to Cornard United in the next round with BorehamWood potential opponents in the first qualifying round.