Blackfield end a 'tough' week on FA Vase high

Daily Echo: Glenn Burnett Glenn Burnett

BLACKFIELD & Langley put what manager Glenn Burnett described as a “tough week” behind them to join Sholing and Alresford Town in today’s FA Vase last 32 draw.

The rumour mill was working overtime over the weekend with suggestions that Watersiders’ ‘money man’ Sam Davies had left the club and that player departures would inevitably follow.

But Blackfield travelled with a full squad to Shepton Mallet on Saturday and came away with a gutsy 2-1 extra-time victory to make the fourth round proper for the second year running.

Quizzed on the weekend r u m o u r s , Burnett said: “It’s been a tough week and a lot’s been said (by people outside the club).

“Sam wasn’t at the game on Saturday, but he’s a busy man and has missed a couple of games before.

“He texted me to congratulate us and said: ‘Well done, I heard it was a good performance and the tactics were spot on.’ “As far as I’m concerned we’re going into tomorrow’s league game at home to Horndean no different.

“We’ve got Micky Hubbard and Scott Sampson unavailable, TJ Cuthbertson’s still suspended and Joe Byrne dislocated his shoulder on Saturday and is probably out for six weeks.

“But the team’s in a strong place at the moment and they ran through brick walls for me on Saturday.”

Blackfield took the lead early in the second half when goalkeeper Adam Garlick lost Sampson’s cross in the air and Nathan Lynch nipped in behind to slide the ball over the line.

Shepton – handed a reprieve when AFC Portchester were removed from the competition – levelled through sub Dave Stone midway through the second half before both sides were reduced to ten men in the space of five minutes.

New Blackfield signing Wayne Crutcher was the first to walk for a second yellow and the Somerset hosts quickly had a man red-carded for a professional foul on Craig Feeney.

Burnett made two substitutions with Maurice Stuart replacing the injured Byrne at left-back before Adam ‘Taz’ Roberts went on for Neil Williams.

The incident-packed tie took another twist when Shepton had a second player red-carded for retaliation and it was Roberts who bagged Blackfield’s extra-time winner, sumptuously curling the ball over Garlick into the top corner.

“Shepton created a couple of chances but the boys defended brilliantly in difficult, wet conditions,”

said Burnett.

“We should have scored another when Alex Baldacchino came on and rounded the goalkeeper. One of their players dived and tipped his shot round the post, but the ref just gave a corner."

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