Bitton 0 - 1 Clevedon Town (AET)
FA Cup Replay
Tuesday 8th August 2017Clevedon went away from the Rec on Tuesday night with £1,500 and a trip to Barnstaple Town in the next round of the FA Cup after two hours of intense football which often promised to ignite but never quite did writes Kerry Miller.
In the end it took a disputed penalty ten minutes from the end of extra-time to separate the sides who had drawn 2-2 at the Hand Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams were missing players but visiting skipper Ollie Barnes soon livened things up with a scything tackle which earned him an early booking while Clevedon struggled to contain Bitton who had all the early play going uphill. Alex Russell shot over then Joe McLennan began his assault on the away goal with a strike from distance which Damien Freeman did well to keep out. Daine O’Connor and Kane Ingram then tested Ben John in the Bitton goal but the half brought few clear cut chances with the teams cancelling each other out and ended goalless.
On the restart McLennan looked the most dangerous player and after he went on a solo run which eventually was snuffed out his 25 yard shot brought a tip over from Freeman who did even better from the same player five minutes later as the game finally got into gear.
Clevedon responded as Liam Dempsey was just wide with another drive but all the efforts on goal were from distance with both defences looking strong. Reeko Best, one of five men booked in a feisty encounter, saw his shot parried by Freeman who then kept out a Kevin Camargo volley.
Clevedon survived the onslaught and began to again make inroads and when Kane Ingram hit a curling shot from the edge of the penalty area only a deflection off Scott Brice stopped it from going in. It was a rare chance where penalty area action was at a premium but the pace was frantic before the inevitable extra-time came into play.
McLennan started it off with the play of the match as his dipping 30 yarder was going in but for a wonderful save from Freeman flying away to his left, which ultimately proved to be the match winner. Soon after the break a long diagonal ball found Barnes tussling with Ryan Batten and a linesman’s flag signalled a penalty which Barnes himself dispatched for the winner.
Bitton forced three late corners, one of which almost brought a headed goal from keeper John but it was in vain and Clevedon took the honours to book a trip to Barnstaple Town on Saturday week.