Ham­mond free-kick cracker sinks Town

The Non-League Football Paper - - FA TROPHY 2ND ROUND QUALIFYING - By James Boyes By David Ball­heimer

TWO FIRST-HALF goals were enough to see Lewes progress.

The Welsh­men be­gan brightly, with both Tom Meechan and Owain Jones aim­ing early ef­forts at the Lewes goal.

How­ever, it was the Rooks who took the lead when Con­nor Young con­ceded a foul 25 yards out. Ideal range for James Ham­mond to open the scor­ing in with a direct free-kick.

Three min­utes later, Ian Tray­lor had a free kick from a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion for Merthyr but could only find the arms of Lewes goal­keeper Lewis Carey.

Jonte Smith shot wide as Town be­gan to gain a foothold, with Jar­rad Wright test­ing Carey with a sharp header.

Six min­utes from the break, Luke Blew­den dou­bled the lead when his pow­er­ful shot had goal­keeper Joe Perry tip­ping the ball into his own goal.

Merthyr had a lot of pos­ses­sion but couldn’t cre­ate any dan­ger for Carey, with Jones’s side­footed ef­fort gath­ered eas­ily by the goal­keeper.

Matt Har­ris had two lon­grange ef­forts in a pro­longed in­jury time, with Carey at full stretch to tip the sec­ond one over the bar, but Merthyr were un­able to pre­vent the Rooks’ safe pas­sage into the third qual­i­fy­ing round. BIGGLESWADE Town came away from a rain-sod­den Sil­ver Ju­bilee Park with the spoils af­ter scor­ing twice in the last ten min­utes to beat ten-man Hen­don.

For­mer Greens favourite Matt Ball was at the cen­tre of al­most every at­tempt on goal by the Waders. He had ef­forts that went just wide and just over the bar in the first 20 min­utes, as well as an ef­fort that was easy meat for Danny Boness.

Hen­don came close when Shaquille Hip­polyte-Pa­trick crashed a shot off the un­der­side of the bar.

It took Hen­don two min­utes of the sec­ond half to break the deadlock. Hip­polyte-Pa­trick was put through, stead­ied him­self, and smashed the ball past Sam Donkin.

Ball came close to an equaliser with an au­da­cious 45-yard ris­ing shot that Boness caught leap­ing high as he back-ped­alled. The game changed on 79 min­utes when Adam Pepara was red carded for a chal­lenge on Ball that was caused by the slip­pery con­di­tions and was with­out mal­ice.

Ball’s free-kick was headed half clear and when the ball was played back into the box, David Longe-King headed home.

And in stop­page time, Joe White found him­self some space and his shot ended up in the back of the net.

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