NEWSFLASH! We have drawn Wimborne Town away in the Second Round, to be played on 27th November.
The Larks booked their place in the Second Round Proper of the FA Trophy with a victory over Isthmian League side Marlow, but they had to do it the hard way.
Kick-off was delayed due to hold-ups on the M4 so the game didn’t get underway till nearly 3.30pm. Marlow immediately showed their speed and agility and we knew we were in for a tough tie. Somewhat against the run of play we won a corner 10 minutes in, taken by Alex Lambert. It looked innocuous enough, but Marlow didn’t clear the ball and Matt Britton lashed it home from the edge of the area.
With an unexpected lead the Larks barely had time to catch breath before Marlow equalised through striker Nnamdi Nwachuku, who proved to be a thorn in the side of the Larks defence all game. The same player put Marlow ahead on the 22nd minute and the Larks looked to have a mountain to climb. Our only chance of note in the remainder of the first half was a Mike Baker header which was cleared off the line. 2-1 at half time.
A couple of tactical substitutions at the start of the second half made all the difference. Midfield maestro Dale Evans brought his nous and decisiveness into the game, and Aysa Corrick’s pace and power gave the Marlow defence something to worry about. The Larks started winning and keeping the ball and Josh Jones and Mike Baker at the heart of our defence gave them no quarter.
The final stages of the game were hectic as Marlow tried to preserve their advantage and the Larks equally desperately sought that elusive equaliser. Shaun Semmens made what was to prove only the first of a series of superb saves to deny Kahlil Francis and as the players tired the game really opened up.
The Larks specialise in late comebacks and showed tremendous character to pull off one of the most important in the club’s history when Joe Hillard, who’d put in a massive shift all game, was rewarded with a ferocious left-footed strike on the 90th minute to take the tie to penalties.
More drama ensued as it took TWENTY penalty kicks to reach a conclusion. Shaun was absolutely on fire and saved no fewer than five attempts by Marlow; in return, four of our penalties failed to register. But big Josh stepped up and nervelessly fired past Simon Grant to win the tie.
Up the Larks!