Woodley United’s FA Cup dream ends but Horscroft goal is a highlight

Woodley United's Danny Horscroft. Photo: Neil Graham.
Woodley United's Danny Horscroft. Photo: Neil Graham.

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Woodley United’s FA Cup adventure ended at the first hurdle in front of the club’s biggest crowd since moving to Rivermoor Stadium.

United started slowly; the visitors having much the better of the opening ten minutes. Twelve minutes in and with Rovers dominating possession Woodley fell behind when Brett James placed a shot into the right corner from the left side of the box.

The hosts were looking most dangerous from Nathanael Robinson’s set pieces; a beautifully flighted left wing corner somehow evaded a sky blue shirt as it flashed across the six yard box.

Tuffley doubled their advantage on twenty five minutes when an Ashley Davies effort crept over the line after Alex Reed in the home goal got a hand on the shot from fifteen yards.

Related: Former Woodley youngster is the hero for Maidenhead United on Conference debut

Moments later Rovers nearly increased their lead further when Jack Overthrow clipped the top of Reed’s crossbar.

Woodley were struggling; but were nearly presented with a chance to get back into the game when a defender failed to cut out a long Josh Drew pass to Charlie Oakley. Unfortunately the United forward couldn’t control the ball and Tuffley cleared.

The final chance of the half fell to the away side when a slip by Woodley captain Jake Nicholls allowed Alex O’Leary to shoot narrowly wide from outside the box.

The second half got underway with a flurry of United corners. Centre back Michael Porter saw his header nick off a Tuffley head and miss to the right.

Woodley were much improved since the restart. A nice move saw Danny Horscroft win back possession in the final third and find Robinson on the left wing; his ball to Oakley was slightly too strong allowing Tuffley keeper Dave Evans to rush off his line and gather.

Rovers’ first chance of the half saw Overthrow sky a difficult chance.

United made a double change on the hour when Robinson and Ashley Ledger made way for Carl Prestidge and Amin Khomsi; the latter making his first competitive appearance for the club.

Read more: The local draw for our remaining FA Cup competitors

After an easy save for Reed from an O’Leary free kick Woodley made their final change when Marvin Hinds replaced left back Joe Barley. This saw United change formation with right back Danny Greenwood joining Idris Kamara and Porter in a back three.

The change immediately payed dividends when Hinds set up Horscroft who curled a left foot shot into the top corner from twenty five yards. A fitting goal for a historic occasion.

With real urgency Woodley went looking for an equaliser. Horscroft missed from a free kick before Nicholls sliced wide from distance.

More chances followed; Oakley volleyed a difficult chance over from a Drew corner whilst Horscroft hooked over from twenty yards.

With the game into injury time Tuffley went down to ten men when Davies was shown a red card following a bad tackle on Prestidge. However with just ninety seconds left United had no time to make the most of their numbers advantage and Rovers went through.

Woodley: Reed, Greenwood, Barley (Hinds), Nicholls, I Kamara, Porter, Drew, Ledger (Khomsi), Oakley, Horscroft, Robinson (Prestidge) Subs not used: Davies, Beckett, Brown and Turner

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