The Vase was starting to get into the really interesting stage as this was the last “regionalised” round before the country wide ties started and Wembley got even closer. Last season’s FA Cup road saw us go over to Essex for Colchester United, and for this round we were back in that general direction for a trip to nearby Southend. Or Saaaaafend!
Southend Manor have had a good season in the Cups, especially the FA Cup as they reached the 4th and final Qualifying Round of the FA Cup before crashing out to Blue Square Premier side Kettering Town 3-1 away from home. League form was also decent as they current sit in 3rd place and with games in hand on the top 2, meaning they have a real chance of the Essex Senior League title this season.
A tough game for Three Bridges it seemed then, especially away from home, however they managed to overcome the sending off of Joel O’Hara on 65 minutes and defending stoutly (including creating several chances of their own) for 120 minutes to earn a midweek replay. By this stage, both sides knew the winners would be going to Derbyshire for a 4th Round tie against Midland Football Alliance side Gresley FC. The replay was not as close, as a “scout” on the Gresley forum explains,
“It's finished Three Bridges 4-1 Southend Manor. They're a very good side - Southend are clearly not bad but they got outclassed in the first half (all goals were in the first 45) tonight by great pace and a solid midfield in a 4-3-3 formation from Three Bridges. More to follow when my fingers are less blue.”
Three Bridges are starting to look good it would seem but now have their toughest test yet against Gresley. I’m hoping to be at this game, although I do have one pressing question. Where the f**k is Gresley!?
ROAD TO WEMBLEY 2011/2012:
3RD ROUND: Southend Manor 0-0 Three Bridges [After Extra Time] (Southchurch Park, Att: 64)
3RD ROUND REPLAY: Three Bridges 4-1 Southend Manor (Jubilee Field, Att: 66)