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Dramatic Finale Sees Villa through

Ashville booked their place in the First Round proper of the Isuzu FA Vase after a penalty shootout victory against Fc St Helens.

Cup games always bring the drama and that rang true as Ashville were taken to penalties by Fc St Helens after 2 late goals

The day didn't start as Villa intended as Fc St Helens took the lead after 22 minutes. Good work down the right from Brad Green before the winger fired a cross into Matt Scarborough who couldn't miss.

That was the only incident of note from a very competitive first half that was mostly played in the midfield with neither side really taking control.

It meant a big second half was needed for Ashville, a repeat of last weekends home defeat to Stafford Town very much unwanted.

Villa came out in the second half a completely different team, putting endless pressure on Fc St Helens and creating a handful of chances. Just four minutes into the half Peter Morgan charged down Passant, dispossessing the St Helens keeper, unfortunately though his follow up effort was blocked by a retreating defender.

Ashville had their breakthrough on 54 minutes however, when a deep free kick found the head of Farrall and his powerful header finding the top corner. A real captains goal to level the tie.

Not even 60 seconds later and Greenop was in behind and nearly put Villa ahead. His effort was saved by the legs of Passant but the noise continued to rise at Ray Parker Stadium.

Just after the hour mark Greenop was denied a penalty after being brought down inside the area. He once again got the better of his marker to get in behind and was pulled down but the officials weren't having it.

Into the final ten minutes the game went with the scores still level and Ashville still on the front foot. The dramatic finale was started when Peter Morgan saw two efforts cleared off the line before Haynes took aim from range, his effort deflected on the way through leaving Passant wrong footed but dribbling just wide of the post.

The roar for every Ashville attack was deafening, the 107 in attendance truly making themselves heard. The most sound shattering roar coming on 85 minutes when Ben Greenop gave Ashville the lead. Peter Morgan's shot deflected into the path of Greenop who tapped home from two yards out.

Ashville would shoot themselves in the foot with seconds to go however, the defence failing to deal with a long ball before a goalmouth scramble saw Fc St Helens captain, Zak Riley level the scores once more.

And that was that, onto a penalty shootout we went.

Ashville took first and that proved to be the right decision. The sides went back and forth until the final St Helens penalty with Maldon, Hartley, Greenop, Morgan and Courtnell notching their penalties.

Michael Dixon would ultimately prove to be the hero with a brilliant low save to his left denying the last St Helens taker and securing Ashville's place in the First Round Proper. Fans flooded onto the pitch to congratulate their hero's and I'm sure it will be a day that lives long in the memory.

The First Round Proper draw takes place on Monday 25th September. Make sure to follow the club on social media to find out who awaits in the next round.

Ashville's next game is away to Stockport Town next Saturday, 30th September. Contact the club to book a seat on the coach, £10pp.




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