Barwell 3 AFCW 0

AFC Wulfrunians’ FA Cup dream came to an end with a 3-0 defeat away at Barwell but the Evo-Stick Southern Premier high-flyers by no means had it all their own way.


Despite being three leagues higher up the pyramid, the Canaries had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock when a goal from Richard Lavery put them in front and it was only two goals from Paul Spacey in the final five minutes that made the tie comfortable.


The visitors pushed forwards from the start and Danny Crudgington found Tom Piggott who shaped to shoot only for Guy Hadland to put in a timely interception.


Barwell’s first attempt on goal came from Jamie Towers who was set up by Tom Weale. He shot from 20 yards but his effort ended a yard over the bar.


Liam Castle was brought into action after 5 minutes as Piggott fed Andy Thompson who shot across the Barwell keeper but an outstretched left hand from Castle came to the home side’s rescue.


Two minutes later a corner from Tom Bates found Richard Lavery behind the right post. He headed back across the goal but the ball sailed a yard over the bar.


Barwell were enjoying plenty of possession but were finding it difficult to penetrate the Wulfrunians’ defence.


After 13 minutes Wulfs responded as a long ball found Thompson but Mark Albrighton was well placed to head back to Castle.


Thompson was again in the action as he found some space to drift past Jamie McAteer and shoot from six yards but Castle was again able to guide the ball out for the corner.


Another long ball found Tom Weale on 19 minutes who fed Towers but his shot lacked direction and ended well over the bar.


Barwell had an excellent chance on 26 minutes as Tom Weale found himself running goalwards with the ball. He let the ball run away towards the byline and lost the opportunity to shoot from close range.


On the half hour Wulfrunians had a chance to shoot as Richard Palmer gathered the ball on the edge of the Barwell box only to scoop his effort four yards over the bar.


On 35 minutes a long ball from the visitors was chased by Piggott running through the offside trap but he was thwarted by an alert Liam Castle who came out of his penalty area to hoof to safety.


Three minutes later a well constructed move involving a cross from Scott Lower found Tom Weale but he seemed to be surprised by the ball and his header was directed at the Wulfs’ keeper Daniel Tipton.


After 42 minutes Barwell went close as a corner from Paul Spacey found the head of Guy Hadland who glanced a header goalwards but his effort crashed against the bar.


Barwell finally broke the deadlock after 49 minutes after a good run from Scott Lower found Paul Spacey. He put in a looping ball from the right which appeared to have sailed over its target at the far post but it dipped suddenly and Richard Lavery was on hand to head the ball into the net from close range to give the Canaries the lead.


Two minutes later after a period of pressure from the home side, the ball broke to Piggott who ran down the left flank with only Scott Lower to beat. The right back made an excellent connection with the ball and dispelled the danger under great pressure.


On the hour a surge into the box by Jamie Towers gave him the chance to shoot but Tipton saved well at his feet and deflected the ball away to touch.


Three minutes after another good run from Lower fed Weale who tried to shoot but James Skedgel was on hand to intercept for Wulfrunians.


After 65 minutes a long ball upfield had the Barwell backs scurrying to recover after they had moved up for a corner but Scott Lower who had stayed back was on hand to make an excellent interception as Piggott was trying to make the most of the situation.


Shortly after, a free kick from Tom Bates from 20 yards drew a good save from Tipton as he got a hand to the ball and put it round the left post.


The resultant corner from Bates found Towers but the ball seemed to rebound off his knee and sailed over the bar.


With 72 minutes on the clock, Piggott again tried his luck going up against Mark Albrighton but the experienced centre back had the better of the young forward as he turned him and played the ball to safety.


Barwell again went close soon after as Towers received a good ball from Luke Barlone and squared for Kev Charley but the ball went inches over the forward’s head and away from the danger area.


In the 74th minute an excellent ball across the park from Spacey almost found Towers but a touch from Jordan Perks took the ball away from the tall winger and Barwell had to settle for a corner.


The resultant corner from Spacey found Guy Hadland who headed the ball against the bar. It rebounded to Kev Charley but his shot was defended away and another Barwell move broke down.


Wulfrunians were able to respond as Michael Robertson played a long ball forwards for the pacy Jake Webb and followed the ball forwards to receive it back. However, the ball ran away from him and Castle was able to gather.


Wulfrunians were enjoying a good spell of pressure as the game approached 80 minutes and Piggott found Ryan Bright who tried to chip Castle but the keeper made an excellent save diving to his right.


Barwell were struggling to find the target and although a number of shots rained in from Lavery and Barlone they sailed over the bar.


On 83 minutes another sprightly run down the right by Webb was well cut out by McAteer.


A minute later a ball forward found Luke Barlone who ran into the left side of the box and shot but his effort could only find the side netting from six yards.


Barwell doubled their lead on 86 minutes as a ball from the back found Towers who ran to the byline and crossed square on three yards for Paul Spacey who was waiting behind Charley. He had a simple job of tapping in from three yards.


Two minutes later Towers had a chance to score himself as he shot across the goal but saw his effort drift past the post.


Wulfrunians were visibly tiring by now and their sterling efforts to keep up with the Step 3 side had taken their toll.


In the first minute of stoppage time, Barwell cemented the tie with a third goal. Similar to the previous score, a long ball from Albrighton found Towers who again squared for Spacey who helped himself to a second and Barwell’s third.


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