Marlow march on while Flackwell Heath earn impressive replay in FA Cup clashes

Sheppey United 0, Marlow 1

Marlow march on in the FA Cup after Junaid Bell scored the only goal to beat Sheppey United in the first qualifying round this afternoon (Saturday).

The Blues have won all of their league and cup matches to date this season, and that trend continued with Bell netting a fine individual goal to turn this tie in their favour.

Mark Bartley’s side, who saw off Slimbridge 3-0 with little difficulty in the last round, once again deserved their place in the second qualifying round having created several chances to win the game by an even greater margin.

Nnamdi Nwachuku went close at the end of the first half with a shot from close range that the Sheppey keeper saved. The keeper foiled the Blues’ front man once more in the 49th minute, tipping his effort around the post, but the decisive goal deservedly came just three minutes later through Bell’s strike.

Several Marlow players were cautioned as they battled to make sure of their place in the next round, while second half substitute Marcus Mealing picked up two soft bookings within the space of a minute to be sent off in the 87th minute.

The Blues had to see out six minutes of stoppage time, with Adam Richards pulling off a great last-ditch challenge to prevent Sheppey from scoring, but the Blues were good enough to hold on.

Marlow have yet to concede a goal this season after four matches in the league and cup, winning every single one of them.

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Weston Super Mare 2, Flackwell Heath 2

Marcus Richardson’s Flackwell Heath produced an impressive performance to earn a replay from their trip to step 3 side Weston Super Mare in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The Heathens were taking on a side from the Southern League Premier South, two levels above their own Spartan South Midlands League, but they were far from overawed by the occasion, twice taking the lead through Adam Thomas and Ashley Howell.

They forged ahead in the 12th minute, Thomas latching onto a cross and firing home with the Weston keeper rooted to the spot.

Flackwell came close to a second in the 18th minute when Howell dragged a cross come shot across the face of the area that was begging to be touched home by someone in red.

Pressure gradually began to build from the home side and they got themselves back on terms on the half-hour mark when Aaron Watkins parried a cross into the path of captain Nick McCootie who bundled the ball into the net.

The competitive nature of the fixture continued in the second half, as the Seagulls pressed forward with the Heathens remaining a threat on the counter. The hosts thought they’d taken the lead when McCootie headed home but the referee saw an infringement and disallowed it.

Within minutes Flackwell were back in front, Howell picking out the top corner from around 20 yards.

The Seagulls came back again and grabbed a second leveller in the 72nd minute, Jason Pope squeezing home a shot with his left foot after the ball bounced around the Flackwell box. McCootie might have won it with five minutes to play but shot over the angle of post and bar and the Heathens survived to earn a replay at Wilks Park on Tuesday evening.

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