Clevedon see off New Milton to make FA Vase progress
- Credit: pitchero.com/clubs/clevedontown
Clevedon Town booked their place in the last 32 of the FA Vase with s 2-0 win over New Milton.
Goals from Jay Murray and substitute Will Gould were enough to see off the Wessex League side at the Everyone Active Stadium as the Seasiders ensured progress.
And coach Alex White hailed the achievement, saying: "Today was all about getting through and New Milton come and give us a real tough game.
"Fortunatelty we had enough quailty in the side to shine through. It's a great day for the club, we're all delighted because it's the furthest we've got in this competition for 27 years and it keeps the season going.
"We said at the start that we wanted to still be in the Vase after Christmas as that would be a fantastic achievement given our recent record in it.
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"Now we've done that, things start to get serious and really exciting. If you want to do well in this competition, you've got to beat the best and whatever is put in front of you and we look forward to the next round.
"So far we've had some tough draws and some that would appear on paper to be more favourable, but all the games have been hard and all have been close and sum up what this great competition is all about."
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Having beaten Bitton in a seven-goal thriller in the previous round, Clevedon started with Morgan Davies in midfield after Mitch Osmond failed a late fitness test.
Davies saw an early cross headed clear, while Syd Camper was on hand to deny Chris Long as New Milton broke forward at the other end.
Jay Murray had a cross-shot headed off the line by Callum Parnell on nine minutes, with Long and Ben Cooper counter-attacking to set up Parnell, whose shot was deflected behind.
Joe Kimber shot wide from the corner and Harley Wilkinson produced a superb point-blank save on 17 minutes to keep the scoreline blank as New Milton's style forced the hosts deeper.
Callum Kingdon stopped Cooper, while a Charlie Turner shot was blocked and a 25-yard shot from Kimber flew into Wilkinson's arms, but Clevedon rallied and Murray had two shots well blocked before Camper cut out Cooper with another well-timed block.
The deadlock was broken on 33 minutes when Morgan Williams beat two defenders to burst into the box and was brought down by Elliot Eavis, with Murray sending Luke Dennison the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Fin Biggs replaced Sam Iles, who had suffered an arm injury when colliding with the barriers, for the second half and Clevedon saw Murray, Williams and Davies to the fore, with Ethan Feltham competing well against big defenders.
Sam Hedges had a powerful header saved, then put Feltham through to scuff a shot wide on the hour mark.
New Milton began to apply pressure of their own, with Charlie Turner and captain Kimber having shots blocked as Clevedon's players worked hard to protect Wilkinson, who was rarely troubled.
Gould entered the fray on 71 minutes for the tiring Feltham and Camper put a free-kick wide after Murray was fouled when making a break.
A second goal arrived out of nothing six minutes from time as Murray nipped in to gain possession and send Gould through to curl the ball around the advancing keeper, but a foul on Williams then led to a melee which saw Eavis sent off.
Camper denied the visitors a late reply as Clevedon made it to the fourth round for the first time since 1993 to the delight of manager Micky Bell, who said: "It's a cup game and all you have to do is make sure you win and we did that."
Clevedon: Wilkinson, Nicholson, Camper, Kingdon, Hedges, Dempsey, Williams, Davies (C Gould 83), Feltham (W Gould 71), Murray, Iles (Biggs 46). Unused subs: Hayer, Osmond, King, Bayliss.