NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: March Town suffer cup heartbreak after FA Vase defeat to Rothwell Corinthians
- Credit: Archant
March Town could not deliver another cup upset as they bowed out of this season’s FA Vase following a 1-0 home defeat to Rothwell Corinthians on Saturday.
Jordan Henson's spectacular second-half strike was the sole difference against a Hares outfit that absorbed a great deal of pressure from their United Counties League opponents in this first round tie.
This defeat is only March's third home reverse this term, having aimed to add a fourth step five side to their impressive conquered list in cup competitions, reaching this stage for the first time in nine campaigns.
A tight first period saw March have arguably their clearest chances of the tie, Adam Rothery and Toby Allen denied by a splendid double save from Rothwell's Ash Bodycote.
Former Wisbech St Mary winger Ryan Lennon's skewed effort on 15 minutes was another rare sighting of the Rothwell goal, and should have done better as a result.
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The visitors grew into this contest gradually, as one moment of madness from Hares goalkeeper Charlie Congreve nearly proved costly when trying to clear his lines.
That chipped effort resulting from Congreve's rush out of goal gave Rothwell an edge, although in the cup comes a slice of luck, which duly came for the hosts.
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Craig Maisiri happily tapped home as he latched onto a pinpoint pass before the Hares 'keeper could get there, but referee Mohamed Ahmed ruled a foul on the forward to give March a fortunate reprieve.
It was this reprieve that sparked Rothwell into life from thereon, probing March on a regular basis with menacing deliveries and surging runs through the midfield.
Brett Whaley's men performed admirably to contend with the Rothwell wave, surfing their way out of trouble on many occasions, such as Niall Duffy's wayward attempt caused from Jack Rawson's error in a perilous position.
Whaley added impetus in attack with Brody Warren and Lewis Gibson entering the fray, the former shooting perhaps March's best chance of the second-half over a relieved Bodycote.
Both sides had mixed outcomes in midweek, the hosts buzzing after a Fen derby win whereas the visitors narrowly lost in a league fixture, but March were unable to build on this without key talisman Jack Friend owing to suspension.
Signs of fatigue may have played a pivotal role in allowing Henson the space to unleash a ferocious shot into the top corner 10 minutes from time to send the visiting supporters into delirium.
Sloppy mistakes through most of this game led to March's exit, digging deep in desperation to maintain their unbeaten cup form at the GER.
But Rothwell held firm in what was a resolute display from a side judging on this performance, surprisingly sit fourth from bottom in their division.
For March, it's back to the bread and butter, although they may feel relieved that after a busy period, they can recuperate for more important matters that lie ahead.
March: Charlie Congreve; Drew Barker, Dylan Kilford (sub Brody Warren, 56'), Scott Callaghan, Danny Emmington ©, Jamie Short, Ryan Lennon (sub Lewis Gibson, 62'), Adam Rothery (sub Mark Warren, 83'), Craig Gillies, Toby Allen, Jack Rawson.
Unused subs: Gavin Cooke, Brad Foxwell.
Cautions: March Town - none.
Referee: Mr Mohamed Ahmed