Gallery: We’ll finish them off’
FA Vase Fifth Round St Ives Town 3 Needham Market 3 (AET) AFTER being cruelly denied a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase on Saturday, St Ives Town s joint-managers have pledged to finish the job this weekend. Only a stunning save from Needham go
FA Vase Fifth Round
St Ives Town 3 Needham Market 3 (AET)
AFTER being cruelly denied a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase on Saturday, St Ives Town's joint-managers have pledged to finish the job this weekend.
Only a stunning save from Needham goalkeeper Liam Jones in the final stages of extra time prevented the Westwood Road side from taking the next step on the road to Wembley.
In a thrilling match, a record crowd of more than 800 watched as three times St Ives surrendered their lead against a side unbeaten in 21 games.
"We came off the pitch with a mixture of great disappointment and extreme pride," said Saints joint-boss Jez Hall.
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"We played very well but missing out on the win we deserved was extremely frustrating to say the least."
Having fallen two goals behind in the previous round at home to Bitton, St Ives got off to the perfect start this time when Graeme Thackray drove home a 20-yard effort after five minutes.
Needham quickly bounced back when Jay Denniss took advantage of slack home defending from a free-kick to poke the ball home.
St Ives remained on top for much of the first half without creating much in the way of clear-cut chances with Simon Claridge impressing for the home side.
Clearly rattled, Needham made a double change at the break and it was one of the substitutes, Nathan Szyszluk, who earned his side a dubious penalty with 15 minutes remaining.
However, the pressure of the moment got to the visitors' James Evans, who blasted his effort wide of Rob Mackney's goal.
With time running out, Dan Moyes sent the crowd wild with a curling drive from the edge of the box to seemingly send St Ives through.
However, again Needham bounced back and when Mackney spilled a firmly-struck effort, Ben Wake turned the ball home.
Despite the disappointment of the last-minute equaliser, St Ives re-took the lead at the end of the first period of extra time.
Midfielder Barry Albone was on hand to turn the ball into the net after a goalmouth scramble.
Needham continued to battle and seven minutes later Szyszluk broke St Ives hearts again from close range.
There was still time for Scott Fielding to raise hopes with a fine left-footed volley from 18 yards but Jones pulled off a superb save to force the replay.
Hall added: "Now we have played them we have to believe we can go there and win. Dan Pilsworth is available for us again and we know we have a great chance."
Fellow joint-manager Warren Everdell said: "We'll do 'em next week."
If St Ives beat Needham Market on Saturday, they will face a trip to runaway Combined Counties League leaders Merstham on March 1.
The Surrey side came back from 4-2 down in extra time at home to Consett to win 5-4 on Saturday.
Elsewhere at the weekend, Concord Rangers, Lowestoft Town, Whitley Bay, Kirkham & Wesham and Coventry Sphinx booked quarter-final places.
Hungerford Town and Greenwich Borough will try again on Saturday.