Blues suffer a late cup knockout blow
Tuesday night football ARLESEY Town failed in their bid to reach the Beds Senior Cup final. The Blues bowed out with a goal in the 118th minute at home to Dunstable Town, a result that their play did not deserve. Despite missing several key players, they
Tuesday night football
ARLESEY Town failed in their bid to reach the Beds Senior Cup final.
The Blues bowed out with a goal in the 118th minute at home to Dunstable Town, a result that their play did not deserve.
Despite missing several key players, they performed with spirit and panache in a 2-1 defeat after extra time.
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Skipper James Gray was suspended, player-manager Darran Hay not fully fit and the influential Dean McElroy was forced to leave the field before half time.
Without doubt the rejigged midfield of Lee Tekell and Craig Rydeheard, partnered by Matthew Clark and Alex Charamboulis, was by far the home side's best suit and they looked more creative in this department than for several weeks.
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Dunstable had the better of the early exchanges but did not force any saves out of Luke Bliss.
In the 19th minute, a Rydeheard corner was headed wide by Ashley Townsend.
Arlesey also put together a move that ended with Tekell playing the ball behind the Dunstable defence for Townsend to cross for Charamboulis to head narrowly wide.
On the stroke of half-time, McElroy was replaced by Kaan Fehmi.
Almost immediately on the restart, Townsend was involved in a nasty clash of heads with Dunstable keeper Lovell who recovered to make a fine save from Tekell with the resultant free-kick.
The opening goal came in the 55th minute as Burfoot raced into the area for Bliss to bring him down. The fact that the forward was tracking away from goal saved the home keeper a red card, Marsh converting the spot-kick.
Just two minutes later, Arlesey were awarded a free-kick and Rydeheard drove the ball across the area for Fehmi to slot the ball home.
The Blues now enjoyed their best period of the game, Steve Dogbe heading wide from a Tekell free-kick and then Rydeheard skinned Boyle only to see his inviting cross mishit by Wayne Mills.
Arlesey thought they had booked their passage to the final in the 87th minute when Charamboulis linked with Rydeheard whose chip beat Lovell only to pass agonisingly past the far post.
It was hard to separate the sides in extra-time as generally defences held firm.
The defining moment came as both sides appeared to have settled for penalties.
Dunstable were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Pratton drove the ball to the near post leaving Bliss helpless.
Blues squad: Bliss, Reed, McElroy, Clark, Dogbe, Charamboulis, Tekell, Barr, Hay, Townsend, Rydeheard, Mills, A Fehmi, Clark, Leon, K Fehmi.
Stotfold lost 2-1 in a Bedfordshire derby at home to Wootton in the Hinchingbrooke Cup.
Visiting skipper Darek Jozwiak gave his side a 32nd minute lead from the penalty spot.
Darrell Elliott extended the lead 18 minutes from time with Dave Drury replying for the Rokermen five minutes later.
Langford were thrashed 5-0 at Forde Park by high-flying Harefield United in the SML Premier Division.