Jacob Geddes’ second half header secured a win for Tuffley Rovers as they Hellenic Premier side marked their return to their Glevum Park ground with a 3-2 win against Fleet Spurs in the FA Vase.
After playing every game this season away from their home pitch, Tuffley returned to Glevum Park for the first time this campaign as they looked to try and avenge their 5-1 defeat at Brimscombe & Thrupp last weekend.
In the early stages of the game both sides felt their way into the Second Qualifying Round tie and after Dom Kent fired over and Joe Shutt firing wide in the opening quarter of the game the hosts deservedly took the lead just after the 25 minute mark.
The goal came from Warren Mann beating his man on the left side of the box then seeing his driven ball in slid into the net by a recovering defender.
Fleet Spurs should have been level within five minutes when Tuffley were guilty of overplaying in their own half and the ball was eventually laid to Khouray Taylor, who fired well wide when one on one.
Jacob Geddes, who was returning from injury as captain, nearly doubled his side’s lead with two minutes left on the clock for the first half as he thundered in a header from a corner, but saw his effort somehow clawed away low to the keeper’s right.
Rovers didn’t need to wait long for their second though and it came with seconds left of the half.
After Dom Kent nipped in on the right hand side of the box, the former Gloucester City U18s man had the presence of mind to cut the ball back for the oncoming Joe Shutt to roll the ball home and see the hosts ease in two up at the break
Tuffley were the makers of their own downfall inside the first 60 seconds of the second half and saw their lead cut instantly.
After Liam Smith was caught dwelling on the ball on the edge of the Tuffley Rovers box, Fleet Spurs’ forward Tom White won the ball and slotted home in off the post.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw Tuffley really struggle to find their feet and if Fleet Spurs could have found their rhythm then they really would have pressed for an equaliser.
But on the hour mark Tuffley broke and found themselves in a 3-on-1 situation, but Lewis Bainbridge couldn’t convert and saw his shot roll just wide of the post.
What turned out to be the deciding moment of the game came with 20 minutes to go.
Joe Shutt’s poor corner was cleared and as the visitors tried to break the referee stopped the game as the linesman had flagged for the ball not being in the quadrant correctly and a re-take was ordered.
As expected the corner was swung in by Shutt and Geddes’ header flew back across goal and into the corner to extend Tuffley’s lead once again to two goals.
Substitute Dion Ellis-Clark should have made it 4-1 with 90 seconds left, but after getting in down the left side of the box, could only curl his shot wide of the post.
Tom White scored his and Fleet Spurs’ second of the afternoon in stoppage time but it was too little, too late and Tuffley advance into the First Round Proper Draw on Monday.
Tuffley are back in action at Glevum Park once again next Saturday (2nd October) when they host Bradford Town in the Hellenic Premier.
Tuffley Rovers: Clark, Wright, McNally, Geddes, Smith, Kent, Shutt, Basford, Price, Bainbridge, Mann
Subs: Romais, Brain, Idowu, Butler, Ellis-Clark, Mendes, Walker
Fleet Spurs: Bufton, Dalton, Yewings, Bush, Small, Allison, Taylor, Dowell, White, Wilson, Goddard
Subs: Lycett, Briggs, Penchen, Master, Lenon, Gibson
M&S Roofing Man of the Match – Dom Kent & Jacob Geddes (Tuffley Rovers)