Fairford Town manager Jody Bevan said he was delighted to see his side make the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, especially after conceding a 90th minute equaliser to send the game into penalties.
Nick Stanley’s second goal of Fairford’s FA Cup run broke the deadlock before Edgware Town made it 1-1. Then just before half-time after Ross Langworthy was bundled over, Ian Herring stepped up to make it 2-1 before the break.
Then, as it appeared Fairford was destined to hold on to the win a final minute leveller sent the game into penalties – where Fairford would eventually go on to win 4-2 in the shoot-out.
After the game Bevan spoke to us about the game and what it means to see Fairford make the First Qualifying Round for the first time since the 2008/09 season.
“We were made to work very hard for the win,” said Bevan. “We started brightly and looked excellent in the first 20 minutes and once we went one up I thought we would go on and win comfortably.
Unfortunately we got a little complacent and that allowed Edgware back into the game and their confidence grew from there. We got back in front just before half time and I felt we needed the next goal to kill the game off. Unfortunately we didn’t display that ruthless streak and credit to Edgware they threw the kitchen sink at us in the last 20 minutes ending up with 5 up front!
It was devastating to concede so late, to be honest. We had the game won and all of a sudden it was a penalty shoot out. We had to remind the lads that we still had the advantage.
We had practiced penalties before the Lydney game so I knew we had excellent quality. Edgware won their last game on penalties and that had been captured on YouTube. I studied the penalties on Friday night and I gave the keepers all the info prior to the shootout and it helped as Ayresy pulled out a great stop from the first penalty. The shootout was a huge test of our character and we passed with flying colours.
For non-league footballers there is nothing more exciting than the FA Cup. With it being a very compact schedule this season we are just keeping our fingers crossed for a home draw as we know the game will be on a Tuesday night.
Naturally we want to go as far as we can but we know we are not going to win the FA Cup, so everything been achieve from here is a bonus. I believe this is the first time the club has reached the first qualifying round since 2007 or 2008 so we are all naturally delighted,” added Bevan.
Next up for Fairford Town is a trip to Holmer Green on Tuesday night as they look to get their Hellenic Premier season off to the perfect start and Bevan admits that whilst his side are looking to get the right result he still isn’t happy with facing a long trip on the first midweek of the season.
“Holmer Green away on is not ideal and the league know our views on travelling so far on a Tuesday night. It’s a recurring battle but unfortunately it always falls on deaf ears. Apparently Fairford to Holmer Green is a 58.8 mile distance, which if it was straight up the motorway would not be an issue.
The fact it is cross country all the way and traffic means it’s a 2 hour journey for us on a Tuesday night. 4 or 5 of our lads won’t know until tomorrow if they can get time off work so it’s not the best preparation. But we have a big squad for this reason and we will go there with confidence desperate to get a result!” Bevan said.