05:00PM, Thursday 17 October 2019
Flackwell Heath’s FA Vase run may have ended prematurely but manager Marcus Richardson is pleased that his side ‘fought to their last breath’ with Colney Heath to take the game into extra-time before losing 3-2.
The Reds were forced to hit back against the Magpies in both halves, with Khalid Simmo cancelling out Jon Clements’ goal on the stroke of half time, and Marcus Ushiro-Lumb ensuring Flackwell weren’t down and out by firing a fantastic curled effort home in the 80th minute.
Both sides entered extra-time with high hopes of reaching the next round but, although Flackwell dominated, they failed to take the opportunities which came their way.
In the 105th minute Colney’s captain Spencer Clarke-Mardel dealt the Heathens a blow from which they couldn’t recover when he drove the ball low past Aaron Watkins.
Despite the defeat, boss Richardson said he was inspired by his team’s performance.
“I was very impressed with my team,” said Richardson. “We made a fight of the match against a very experienced side.”
“Every time we equalised, I always thought we were going to kick on and push on to the next level but unfortunately it wasn’t the case.
“It was like my team had their last breath and they were ready to fight for it to stay alive.”
The cup exit will give the Reds a chance to catch up in league fixtures, and Richardson believes the tournament has put the team in a good place.
“We can now focus on the league,” he said. “Hopefully the boys got a good belief from the cup exit and know that they are good enough to compete at that level.”
“We’re a young team, we can compete, and we will most probably push on.”
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