Longlevens & Tuffley Rovers will meet for the fifth time since the start of July on Tuesday night, after the two sides played out a 0-0 draw after extra time in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round at Saw Mills despite Longlevens ending the game with 9 men.
Having already met in the Severn Sport Shield during pre-season in July as well as both league meetings already under the belts for both sides, the two arrived at Longlevens ahead of some Friday night FA Vase action.
The match, that was sponsored by Cornell & Company Financial Planning, kicked off with both sides feeling their way into the contest which made for a tentative opening quarter.
Craig Martin nearly slipped in Myron Turner, before Tuffley debutant Samuel Dodoo fired an effort at Ash Wintle in the Longlevens goal.
Shaun O’Connor latched onto the end of a great piece of build up play from Longlevens, before snatching his shot wide. Harry Emmett then curled one over from 20 yards as neither keeper were made to work in the opening half an hour.
Tuffley goalkeeper Luke Merchant returned to the side after missing the last few games with injury and he was struggling with his kicking throughout the match. He was forced to get down low quickly to deny Myron Turner before Merchant was called into action again just before the break, this time denying the impressive Harry Emmett.
Right on half time saw Tuffley’s best chance of the opening 45, when the ball pinballed around the Longlevens box. The ball was hooked goalwards by Paul Carter, only for Ed Smyllie to head the ball clear off the line.
Longlevens were forced into a half time change with Dave Rich coming on for Craig Martin. Martin told Severn Sport after the game he was forced off with a tight hamstring. At the time he was the best player on the pitch.
Just ten minutes into the second half had gone when Dave Rich went in for a challenge with Jack Phillips. The two midfielders went in with a high boot and the referee deemed Rich to be guilty of serious foul play. Much to the amazement of the Longlevens players and fans in attendance, Dave Rich was dismissed.
As the second half wore on Longlevens sunk back and tried to catch Rovers on the break. With that Tuffley grew in confidence and forced Levens to do a lot of defending.
Substitute Mason Lewis nearly broke the deadlock on his Longlevens re-debut, when his goalbound effort was deflected away for a corner.
Ed Smyllie headed over from a late corner as both sides knocked on the door but couldn’t find a winner, and with that we went into extra time.
In extra time the game became very open. Substitute James Campbell fired over for Longlevens before he then laid the ball to Emmett 20 yards from goal. The midfield man whipped an effort towards the top left hand corner of the Tuffley goal, only for Luke Merchant to dive to his left and pluck the ball from the top corner.
With just seconds left of the first half of extra time Paul Carter fizzed an effort at goal from about 30 yards, it sailed just over.
Five minutes into the second half of extra time and another red card. This time after the ball fell loose Luke Kavanagh lunged in with Kieran Alder and the referee deemed the Longlevens centre half’s challenge to be off the ground and out of control and Longlevens had their second controversial red card of the night.
Both red card’s were decisions made that would anger you if they go against you but if they go for you then you welcome them.
The rest of extra time followed the pattern of Tuffley pressing for a winner and Longlevens trying to counter, but neither side were able to mount any further efforts on goal. In fact, one negative from a Tuffley perspective would be that even with the man advantage for most of the game, Longlevens goalkeeper Ash Wintle didn’t have too many saves to make.
Tuffley Rovers vs Longlevens in the FA Vase replay takes place at Glevum Park on Tuesday 18th September with kick off at 19:45. If you cannot make it then you can listen to the game absolutely live on Severn Sport.
Longlevens: Wintle, Dunn (Lewis), Kavanagh, Smyllie, Squires (Barnett), Roach, Martin (Rich), Welch, Turner, O’Connor (Campbell), Emmett
Subs Not Used: Johns
Tuffley Rovers: Merchant, Hill, Prictor, Pritchett, White, Phillips (Kent), James, Carter, Alder (Caddock), Dodoo (Dobbins), Rhodes (Bird)
Subs Not Used: Hamilton
As we announced earlier on the match sponsors, Cornell & Company Financial Planning & Consultancy, were picking theirs and our man of the match. They awarded the accolade to Longlevens midfielder Harry Emmett for his performance.