AFCW 3 Black Country Rangers 1 (FA Vase)

AFC Wulfrunians progressed to the second qualifying round of the FA Vase after a 3-1 victory over Black Country Rangers at the Castlecroft Stadium.


It was Rangers who started the game stronger and Wulfs keeper Jono Brown had to be at his acrobatic best to tip a powerful Andy Price header over the bar.


Visiting skipper Shaun Griffiths then went close when he headed a corner just wide while, at the other end, Wulfs had their first sight of goal when James Skedgel flicked a near post corner just wide.


As the half wore on, the home side began to take control and Rangers keeper Steve Booth was forced into a good save from Mike Robertson.


The deadlock was finally broken on just before half time. Scott Stevenson played a long free kick in to the area which was deflected and while everyone hesitated, Skedgel nipped in to divert the ball past the keeper from close range.


Wulfs were close to doubling their lead virtually straight from the kick off when Craig Gregg saw his fierce shot pushed away by Booth and Josh Jones’ follow up effort was well blocked.


The second half started in much the same manner and Wulfs had a great chance to double their advantage in the 53rd minute when Andy Thompson was brought down in the area but Booth guessed the right way to keep out Skedgel’s resulting spot kick.


Another great chance was spurned just two minutes later when Gregg’s low ball across goal was screwed wide by Thompson with the goal at his mercy.


He made amends in emphatic style in the 64th minute though when he latched on to a Craig Gregg flick on before crashing a shot past Booth to extend Wulfs’ lead.


Black Country, to their credit, refused to roll over and pulled a goal back within three minutes when substitute Nicky Turton produced an excellent lob over the keeper from just outside the area.


Wulfs had their own supersub, however, as they increased their lead in the 75th minute. Gregg was again the provider with a great ball across goal and substitute Jamie King arrived late to volley a right-footed shot past the keeper with his first touch of the game.


The visitors were then reduced to ten men when Andy Price was dismissed but Wulfs failed to add to the scoreline despite late efforts from King, Gregg and Jack Marsh.


AFC Wulfrunians line up: Brown, Jones, Talbot, Howells, Skedgel, Parker, Perks (Haynes 85), Thompson (King 74), Gregg, Stevenson, Robertson (Marsh 88).


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