Just got back, robbed is an under statement, second half we were excellent and a draw didnt do us justice never mind getting beat.
How there Keeper stayed on is a answer only the Ref can give.
Heads held high as we left .
Buildbase FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round
Phillips 66 Community Stadium
Saturday 24th November 2018
Brakes staged the football version of the Great Train Robbery at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium as substitute Anthony Dwyer scored a spectacular injury time goal to win a game which if not for skipper Tony Breeden, they would have been well beaten by an impressive Witton Albion team.
The Northern Premier League club had already beaten Spennymoor Town and FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup this season, and arrived in South Warwickshire off the back of a 5-0 win at Buxton, so they were clearly going to be no pushovers, and this was certainly in evidence throughout the afternoon.
Paul Holleran made one change to his starting eleven from Tuesday night’s fine win at Alfreton, replacing Callum Gittings with Joe Clarke, while Anthony Dwyer returned to the squad.
Jack Edwards glanced an early header wide of the target from Reece Flanagan’s free kick but Brakes had clearly been sapped by their efforts against Chester and Alfreton in the previous two games, and at times were given the run around by their visitors, who moved the ball around well and deservedly went in front on 9 minutes through James Foley, who swept home a low right wing cross first time at the far post to delight the raucous band of travelling fans on the North Bank.
The main talking point of the afternoon occurred shortly afterwards. Tony Breeden was well outside his penalty area when he star jumped to block an attempted shot. As Referee Greg Rollason blew to stop play the immediate reaction was that he had awarded a free kick and was going to show the Leamington skipper a red card, but to the anger of the visitors he only showed the goalkeeper a yellow card, presumably for dissent, afterwards. His explanation to the visitors was that he believed two defenders were covering. One for the match highlights to clear up then, but it would not have gone unnoticed by Witton that Breeden would go on to play a big part in them not winning this game.
The visitors were dominant in the opening twenty minutes but the game became scrappy for a period. Leamington were beginning to work their way back into it but were unable to make an impression on the Albion defence. Kieran Dunbar’s inviting delivery from the right ended safely in the arms of keeper Grant Hall, while at the other end Cesaire Lingouba had a glorious chance to head Witton into a two goal lead as he met a great cross from the impressive Danny McKenna right in front of goal, only to direct it straight into the arms of Breeden.
Sometimes a stroke of good fortune is needed when a team is not playing well, and Brakes were handed the chance to level things up on the half hour when Edwards was manhandled to floor by River Humphreys to win a penalty. Colby Bishop stepped up and calmly sent Hall the wrong way to score his fourth goal in six games since returning to the side.
Witton striker Will Jones was grounded in the Leamington penalty area for some minutes after appearing to land heavily after an aerial challenge. He was tended to in the dressing room by Brakes fan and paramedic Lizzie Fisher before being taken to hospital. We wish him all the best.
There was still time for Connor Taylor to drag a shot well wide and for Witton to work the ball into the penalty area well, only for Lingouba to slip as he stabbed a shot into Breeden’s arms.
However, it was at the other end that there was an almighty scramble in first half injury time, Junior English and Jamie Hood trying to hammer the ball towards goal before it ricocheted off a defender and behind at the near post. Hall did well to punch the resulting corner clear as it was thundered into the six yard box.
Tom Owens fired the first shot of the restart well wide for Witton before goalscorer Foley came close again as he was fed the ball on the edge of the box, scooping a shot just over the bar.
Play switched quickly, but Bishop was unable to make it count as he looked to have worked himself into a good position for a shot at goal.
A routine clearance from Hall then quickly turned into a great through ball for first half substitute Rob Hopley, the former Colwyn Bay man charging into the area on the right with only Breeden to beat, was denied by a strong palm from the Brakes skipper to divert the ball away from goal.
The visitors came closer still in their next attack, Breeden again required to make another good save from Owens before Foley’s header struck the top of the bar as the ball was played back in.
Another free kick was pushed behind by the busy Breeden while Taylor drove a daisy cutter wide in a rare Leamington attack. Breeden was again at the centre of the action as he came off his line once more with Owens bearing down on goal, doing enough to smuggle the ball away as the Albion player slipped, the fans behind the goal screaming for a penalty.
Jamie Hood was penalised and yellow carded for handball as Witton won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. The dead ball was driven into the defensive wall but from the next phase of play Breeden was alert once more to deny the frustrated visitors with a superb reaction save.
Dwyer was introduced in place of Bishop with five minutes remaining, and the striker, back in the squad after serving a three match suspension for his red card in the draw against Darlington, went some way to making up for his misdemeanour in injury time, picking up the ball midway through the Witton half and driving at the defence before unleashing a powerful low drive that whistled past the dive of Hall into the bottom corner to the disbelief but utter delight of the home support.
It was difficult not have sympathy for Witton afterwards, but Holleran also pointed out that the effort and endeavour put in by his team in the previous two games had clearly been a factor in the performance, despite not wishing to take anything away from how well the visitors had played. ‘The supporters who saw last Saturday and those who travelled Tuesday night saw a real performance of grit and desire, lots of will… but it took it out of us. I had more players in the treatment room than on the training pitch on Thursday night, so I think that explains a little bit, why we struggled to get to the levels we should be at, but I’m certainly not taking anything away from Witton. We’ve had a little look at them, we’ve watched a couple of games, had a few reports sent over. They’ve got a good manager, who’s been at our level of football and has had a good playing career, they’ve got good players, they play a good brand of football, and to be honest at times today they were too much for us, you have to accept that. Their patterns of play caused us a real problem, but sometimes you’ve got to find a way, and we found a way to stay in the game when other teams might have crumbled, and then we found a way to score a super winner at the end.’
‘I do understand the legginess with some of our players, but I certainly don’t want to take anything away from Witton because if they carry on with that type of momentum in the division they are in, when the medals start getting handed out they won’t be far away.’
‘It’s happened to us umpteen times this season, conceding late goals. It’s not nice, but I’ve been around long enough to know that it happens now and again. It’s probably the first time this season where we’ve really been on the back foot and got out of jail, but at the same time, working closely with the players I know how many of them were struggling today. We were a bit patched up and we looked a little bit off it against a lively, fresh, vibrant team. A really good side. There’s one or two players that definitely need a little break now, so we’ll look to utilise the squad on Tuesday night and give minutes to players that need them.’
I may be wrong but doesn’t the remark regarding the sending off “ two defenders were covering” apply to a foul and not handball. I may be wrong.
Irrespective It didn’t appear that there were two defenders covering to me .
Excellent highlights, thanks to them for such a professional job and good luck to them in the next round and for the rest of the season. Clearly though the referee does not know the rules of the game, their keeper should have been red carded. Also we were robbed blind, daylight and floodlit robbery to lose that game. Brilliant performance by all! Also I hope there will be some good news of Will Jones that sounds like a nasty injury he picked up!
A superb performance from Witton. How we didn't win this one is down to bad refereeing, their keeper should have been red carded. If the ref had got that decision right we would have won the game. I hope we put a complaint in about the ref.
However we should take heart from the way Witton played, it was an awesome display, we can go on from this and climb the league. UTA