Tomczak Strike Seals it for Saints

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2014 04:41pm
Southam, Stratford-on-Avon
By David Hucker
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Pawel Tomczak scored the only goal of the match against Atherstone Town to send Southam United through to the Birmingham County FA Midweek Floodlit Cup final for the second year running.

Saints started brightly, forcing two corners in the opening four minutes, before creating the first real scoring chance when Jamie Coleman’s long throw found Tomczak, but the striker’s header was saved easily by Phil Smith.

Town started to assert with Martin Hutchcox making a saving tackle to deny David Boal a scoring opportunity. Boal then headed over from a corner by Lee Chapman and Simon Hicks made a number of clearances to break up what was becoming a wave of Town attacks.

Saints came back with Tomczak setting up Danny Gordon, but the winger took too much time before trying to shoot and was crowded out. Gordon did better with a fierce shot that brought the first of a number of good saves from Smith and then, in the 28th minute, Tomczak was agonisingly just wide of the post, having rolled a shot past Smith.

Daniel Creaney was also wide of the upright for Town before Saints were awarded a penalty as Gordon became the meat in the sandwich between two defenders. Joss Holford, who has been unerring from the spot this season, hit the ball with power, but Smith moved the right way and saved.

No score at the interval, but Town pressed from the re-start, without breaking down the Saints defence. They then conceded a free-kick after Christian Mullings passed back to Smith and, with the ball placed on the six-yard line, Tomzcak tapped it to Holford, who blasted a shot into the crowded goalmouth, but without finding a gap.

Chapman hit a long-range shot wide of the post before Saints got the all-important breakthrough in the 58th minute. Keeper Tom Cross sent the ball upfield and, helped by a miskick from a defender, it fell to Tomczak who calmly slid it under Smith. 

Cross then saved well from Liam Bailey and, at the other end, Smith again denied Gordon with an acrobatic save. Cross showed his experience, tipping a Lee Smith shot onto the bar and Town were reduced to ten men when substitute Ben Ashby, who had been on the field for just eight minutes, got his marching orders.

Ashby was returning from a suspension handed out for a red card he picked up when the two sides met back in January and his departure left his side a man short when they need to chase the game over the final 14 minutes.

Saints should have wrapped things up, as Tomczak (twice), Lee Thomas and Robbie Stephens all had clear-cut chances, but Smith kept the score to a single goal at the end.



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