FA Cup extra preliminary round: Bridgwater United 4-2 Liskeard Athletic

THIS 90 minute slice of football had it all. Importantly it gave the Robins the chance to progress to a home game against Street in the next round, writes Mark Hollidge.

As with the Brixham game, the Robins left it late but we all enjoy an exciting finale and happy ending don’t we?

The villain of the piece was the wind. It rampaged over the green acres of Fairfax Park trying to catch out even the most accomplished performers.

Storm Antoni wasn’t listed in the team line ups but it might just as well have been part of the cast.

However, due to the unstinting efforts of both teams, we were served up a classic game which could fairly be described as an epic.

As chance would have it, the first deluge arrived just in time for Liskeard to score their first. Morgan Williams, just outside the penalty area, dwelt on the ball too long and was dispossessed by Dan Jennings. He drove a rising shot which flicked the fingers of Steve Phillips and skimmed the underside of the crossbar.

Star man Jack Thorne wasn’t to be denied for long. Borthwick made a hash of a clearance and the ball squirted out to the right wing. Jack Taylor collected it and, in spite of there being four defenders and only Thorne in the box, his cross was perfectly aimed and a downward header from Thorne did the rest.

United took the lead with a goal that momentarily had the crowd stunned.

From wide on the left side of the penalty area George King took careful aim and slammed a powerful, curling shot which was striking the inside of the right stanchion before anyone could move. Breathtaking stuff. Suspension of disbelief. A real thriller.

United were dominating in all areas now as the conditions eased a bit and at the break it was 2-1.

Soon into the second period, Liskeard equalised. Again United conceded possession rather cheaply just outside the penalty area.

Jared Woods wasted no time in drilling a high shot past Phillips. Another goal given away carelessly. For a little while Liskeard fancied the win and the Robins were grateful when Mark Armstrong managed to block Finn Bartlett after his clever run had put him in pole position.

This United team is not short of pluck as well as ability and they got on top for the last 20 minutes.

Thorne again performed his party piece and got Borthwick busy again with a low save. Taylor was very unlucky when his audacious flick at a low corner from Tom Llewellyn hit the crossbar.

A free kick was floated to the back post where Jacob Spence got to it. He headed across to the right post and Taylor was there to head over the line for his 150th goal for the club.

With plenty still happening, both teams had the ball in the net but were considered offside. Josh Phillips was especially unlucky as he started his run from inside his own half and, to make it a worse case of injustice, he got a yellow card too.

The game ended with the climax of a 4th goal in time added on. Horton picked out Thorne with a low cross and this time Borthwick wasn’t in the way to deny his close range flick. 6 goals for the elusive Jack Thorne in 3 games and , at last, one with his feet!

So it all ended happily after all. The next FA Cup episode will be against neighbours Street.