NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Two sets for Rovers require a replay after FA Cup tie featuring Eynesbury and Godmanchester ends in deadlock

Celebration time for Ryan Wood after heading Godmanchester Rovers level in their FA Cup tie at Eynes

Celebration time for Ryan Wood after heading Godmanchester Rovers level in their FA Cup tie at Eynesbury Rovers. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

Two Huntingdonshire teams will meet again for a place in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Godmanchester defender Stephen Hurst and Eynesbury striker Craig Smith battle for the ball. Picture:

Godmanchester defender Stephen Hurst and Eynesbury striker Craig Smith battle for the ball. Picture: HELEN DRAKE - Credit: Archant

Eynesbury Rovers and Godmanchester Rovers battled out a wind-ravaged 1-1 draw at Hall Road yesterday in a preliminary round tie watched by close to 200 people.

The sides traded goals in the space of nine first-half minutes of a clash played on an immaculate surface, and which featured plenty of ferocious tackling, poor finishing and a delay due to running out of match-balls. Anyone parking a vehicle directly behind a goal at this venue is certainly a brave man.

Eynesbury were the better side early on and deserved to hit the front when Hayden Bream, a player who spent time with Godmanchester during pre-season, lashed in a 20-yard strike in the 23rd minute.

Tom Coles, the scorer of six goals already this season, had already been off-target with a couple of headed half-chances by then and only a last-ditch dive at his feet from Godmanchester goalkeeper Carl Mackney prevented him from increasing their advantage.


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But their period in the lead proved to be short-lived. Defender Ryan Wood, a former Eynesbury youngster, towered to head new-look Godmanchester level from a corner.

It was a passage of play which stemmed from Eynesbury keeper Jamie Greygoose picking up a back-pass, with a Ben Keating shot from the initial free-kick that followed being deflected behind for the corner.

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Action continued at both ends in the remainder of the opening period as Matt Bannister failed to provide the finish that Eynesbury’s best move of the match deserved before defender Daniel Moyes was a concerned figure after his poor pass out of defence was lashed just wide from 25 yards by Godmanchester frontman Jake Burton.

And both teams were then left to reflect on a glorious chance apiece that went begging in the second period.

Godmanchester were the first side to be left with heads in hands when Greygoose kept out a Joe Furness shot from close range after Chae Simons had left a couple of defenders in knots.

But an even more gift-wrapped opportunity went begging at the other end with 10 minutes to go as Craig Smith side-footed wide of a gaping target after substitute Chris Francis had danced through a couple of challenges and laid the ball into his path.

And there were plenty of other near misses for the home side as well. Bannister was denied by Mackney after being picked out by a perfectly-weighted Bream pass and Coles steered an angled effort wide of the far post.

Eynesbury did succeed in putting the ball in the net again in the closing stages, but Smith’s effort was quickly wiped out after an eagle-eyed assistant spotted the use of a hand to control the ball.

It meant a makeshift Godmanchester defence, with a right-back at centre-back, an on-loan youngster at full-back, and an assistant manager making his playing debut for the final few minutes, just about stood firm.

Their reward is home advantage at the David Wilson Homes Ground when the sides do battle against in a Wednesday night replay.

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