Cobblers win FA Cup Replay
A more clinical Cobblers put in a dominant display to see off Hallen 4-1 at the Hallen Centre last night in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round replay.
It was the hosts who started brightly putting Street under pressure with a few early corners and they had the first clear chance of the evening after 6 minutes when Street's Ross McErlain bundled over a Hallen forward for the referee to give a clear penalty. However Tom Punchard was in imperious form and got down low to his right to save from Tyler Davis.
This stirred the Cobblers into life and after 23 minutes Craig Herrod danced around a couple of defenders in the box and shoot low into the corner only for the Hallen keeper to make a superb save, however the ever alert Josh Wadham followed up and slotted from a tight angle to give Street the lead.
5 minutes later the lead was doubled when a Steve Murray header the centre circle found Dave O'Hare in an advanced position, he sold his man a dummy and turned in on goal before rounding the keeper and casual stroking the ball into an empty net.
Hallen weren't lying down and came close on 2 occasions to reducing the deficit but both occasions saw Punchard make superb saves to maintain the 2 goal cushion.
Street made sure the tie was safe just before half time with the dangerous Wadham tearing into the Hallen half, he then laid a through ball for Murray to slot under the advancing keeper to make it 3-0.
The start of the second was comfortable for the Cobblers with neither team going close. On 70 minutes Hallen got awarded their second penalty of the evening with the referee blowing for obstruction in the box, this time the Hallen forward went to the left and sent Punchard the wrong way to get a consolation for the hosts and make the score 3-1.
The Cobblers finished the game in style when Wadham again the provider put a dangerous ball into the box only for a partial clearance from the Hallen defence to land at the feet of Craig Herrod who capped off a superb display with a rifled finish into the near post from 16 yards and restore the Cobblers 3 goal finish the game 4-1.
Overall a similar performance to last Saturday's 1-1 draw however the clinical finishing was the key difference.
The Cobblers now face an away trip in the next round on Saturday 19th August to either St Austell or Bridport whose replay takes place tonight (Wednsday 9th August).
This Saturday the Cobblers are at home against Longwell Green Sports 3pm ko.
MOM Tom Punchard
Up the cobblers!