A determined Eastbourne United beat a very capable Ampthill Town side to progress to the semi-final of the FA Vase at the Oval today (writes Derren Howard).
Wes Tate was the match winner for United with a goal in each half to see off the visitors who finished the match with nine players.
United are now a tantalising one round away from a dream Wembley final. The draw for a two-legged semi-final will be made on Monday.
There are two step six sides into the last four of the FA Vase as Eastbourne United and St Andrews are joined by West Auckland Town and Sholing.
Tate opened the scoring on 35 minutes with an absolute screamer.
The striker struck an angled volley from 40 yards from near the touch line that arrowed into the top corner.
Ampthill, riding high in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division, always carried a threat.
Set pieces and long throw-ins caused problems for the home side but the defence, with Sean Ray outstanding at centre half, stood firm.
After the break the game did swing further in United’s favour.
Mark Bunker, who was needlessly booked for dissent in the first half, clattered into Scott Dartnell and received a second yellow card.
Ampthill however were far from beaten and continued to apply pressure.
On 55 minutes they were level as Tyrone Taylor fired in an effort from the edge of the box through a crowded penalty area and into the net beyond Grant Young.
United were rattled but they soon settled and began to test the hard working visitors once more.
Striker Ryan McBride had a chance to give them the lead again but his effort was bravely thwarted by the advancing ‘keeper.
The winner did arrive in the 75th minute.
McBride rose well and flicked on a through ball for Peter Featherstone. Featherstone looked to run the ball into the goal himself but a deflection fell to Tate and he made no mistake from close range.
Ampthill battled to the end and even when their defender Steve Flux was dismissed in final minutes they went on to create chances.
Firstly, United ‘keeper Young was at full stretch to paw away a Taylor header and in the last minute Young was down sharply to save well at the foot of his post.
Speaking after the game, man of the match and two-goal match winner Wes Tate said, “It was unbelievable, it was a tough game but we came through it.
“To score twice in a game like this is special. The first one, the ball sat up nicely and I thought why not?
“I hit it well and it was a nice feeling to see it fly by the keeper.”
See Tuesday’s Gazette and Friday’s Herald for a full match report, pictures and further reaction.
United: Young, Featherstone, Scott Dartnell (Saunders 70), Loft, Ray, Franklin (B Dartnell 76), Robinson, Maclean, McBride,Tate,