Grant Mitchell drive keeps Clay Cross Town’s Wembley dream alive in FA Vase
Clay Cross Town’s hopes of playing under the famous arch at Wembley Stadium are still alive after an FA Vase second round qualifying draw with Gedling Miners Welfare.
Saturday’s visitors to Mill Lane, Gedling, arrived as clear favourites being a step higher on the football pyramid and also on an impressive run of recent form.
But the home side took an unlikely lead after just 38 seconds when debutant Adam Kimberley’s piercing run and pinpoint cross gave Josh Scully, on his 50th club appearance, the perfect opportunity to smash the ball past ‘keeper, Keaton Sharp.
Gedling responded and finally breached the Millers rearguard on 39 minutes when Tony Law fired past Andy Topham from close range. There was a sigh of relief for the hosts minutes later when the officials ruled out a Gedling second before the break.
Yet the visitors did eventually take the lead through Aaron Large with 20 minutes left. With the clock ticking away towards an early exit for the Millers, Grant Mitchell scored a cracking low drive in the 91st-minute to level the game at 2-2.
Clay Cross looked the stronger of the two teams in the 30 minutes of extra-time, aided by the dismissal of Alex Haughton four minutes into the period, but Gedling made swift tactical changes which saw them survive and force a replay.
The best chance of time added on looked to be heading towards Scully but he could only despair as he saw the opportunity taken from him by a team-mate who was unaware of his better position to strike.
The replay at Gedling Miners Welfare was on Tuesday night.