FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round
There was late heartbreak for Brentwood Town in this re-arranged FA Trophy Third qualifying round tie on a bitterly cold night in Hertfordshire.
Brentwood came flying out of the traps and went in front on 4 minutes when top scorer Andy Freeman cleverly flicked in a cross and it should’ve been two on 28 mins when Robbie Rees put over a fine cross but Rob Harvey clipped the top of the crossbar with his shot.
Brentwood did get their second immediately afterwards and it was again Rees who was having a great half fired a tremendous effort past ex-Billericay keeper Jack Giddens for a 2-0 lead and good reward for Town’s dominance in the first half an hour.
Stortford were disrupted by two early injuries and had to make two substitutions in the first 20 minutes but they got a lifeline when against the run of play Tom Richardson scored from close range in the 38th minute. You sensed this was the turning point but Town held out to lead 2-1 at the break.
The second half saw a totally different Bishop’s Stortford and the one that had gone unbeaten in league and cup so far this season. One of the early substitutes Archie Jones fired emphatically home in the 63rd minute to level the tie with his first goal for the club.
Brentwood were still looking dangerous on the break but these attacks were getting fewer and fewer as the game went on and Stortford finally got their winner four minutes from time when top scorer Frankie Merrifield headed in a corner.
Merrifield almost grabbed another two minutes later but visiting keeper Ollie Bowles made the save of the night.
406 fans braved the cold and were rewarded with a pulsating cup tie and a final chance of live football before the second lockdown begins though Stortford – now 11 unbeaten- do have a big FA Cup tie to play this weekend.
BISHOP’S STORTFORD; Giddens, Mullings (Robbins 20), Mvemba, Thomas, Henshaw, Davidson, Marlow, Richardson (Merrifield 61), Foxley, Baker, Haines.
BRENTWOOD; Bowles, Gray, Gould, Dickinson (Ogunleye 79), Swaine, Heath, Reid (Love 68), Ngandu, Harvey, Freeman, Rees.