St Ives close to causing FA Cup upset at Concord Rovers
- Credit: Archant
St Ives Town pushed Conference South side Concord Rovers to the end in their FA Cup second qualifying round clash on Saturday, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men.
More than 100 away fans made the trip to Canvey Island for the game which saw Saints lose 4-3.
Goals from Gary Ogilvie, Sam Higgins and a Steve Cawley double were enough for the home side to progress as St Ives had captain Jimmy Dean sent off with 40 minutes to play.
Two goals from Dubi Ogbonna and a long-range effort from Stuart Cobb forced a tense final 10 minutes for Rovers, but St Ives were unable to get on level terms with their Essex opposition, who play two levels above.
The game started ominously for the Saints who were two down after 20 minutes. Ogvilie’s low drive into the bottom corner opened the scoring on 12 minutes and Higgins made it 2-0 shortly afterwards with a neat finish past St Ives goalkeeper Nick Bennion.
St Ives pulled one back when Ogbonna knocked the ball past on-rushing Concord goalkeeper Jamie Butler into the net, but the two-goal cushion was restored when a Jordan Lambert back pass was intercepted by Concord’s Higgins who finished to make it 3-1 on shortly before the half-hour mark.
Ogbonna made sure the sides went in at 3-2, driving the ball into the bottom corner from well outside the box on 36 minutes to claim his second.
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Just one behind at the interval, St Ives would have fancied their chances, but disaster struck for the away side five minutes in to the second half when skipper Dean was shown a second yellow card for a lunging tackle from behind.
Things went from bad to worse for the Saints when the resulting free-kick deflected off the wall into the path of Rovers forward Cawley, who scored his second from close range, before Ogbonna was forced to withdraw through injury.
Stuart Cobb set up an exciting finale when his curling long range effort found the top corner on 83 minutes, but the away side were unable to find an equaliser.
Saints joint manager Jez Hall said: “We’re pleased to have run a Conference side so close, especially considering we played 40 minutes with 10 men and lost Dubi to injury in the second half.
“We scored three goals away from home and who knows what would have happened if we’d had 11 on the field for 90 minutes.”
St Ives travel to Rainworth on Saturday for the first FA Trophy game in the club’s history.