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Monday 06 September 2004
League clubs put up good Cup showing

Club secretary Trevor Williams rounds up the efforts of the Ryman Division One sides in the FA Cup Preliminary Round:

AFC Wimbledon 3 - 0 Ashford Town
Banstead Athletic 3 - 1 Littlehampton Town
Bashley 2 - 1 Camberley Town
Burgess Hill Town 1 - 2 Brockenhurst
Chessington & Hook 0 - 1 Bromley
Corinthian-Casuals 0 - 3 Winchester City
Cray Wanderers 4 - 0 Epsom & Ewell
Croydon Athletic 5 - 0 Farnham Town
Dulwich Hamlet 2 - 1 Burnham
Hastings United 3 - 1 Croydon
Horsham 3 - 0 Chipstead
Hungerford Town 1 - 2 Dorking
Metropolitan Police 4 - 3 Alton Town
Molesey 5 - 0 Westfield
Moneyfields 0 - 5 Tooting & Mitcham Utd
Newport IoW 0 - 0 Walton Casuals
Walton & Hersham 1 - 2 Leatherhead
Whyteleafe 2 - 4 Erith & Belvedere
Wingate & Finchley 4 - 1 Fleet Town

A good FA cup weekend saw the majority of the Ryman One teams progressing to the First Qualifying Round. Of the all-Ryman-One ties, Walton v Leatherhead proved to be the tightest. Walton started the game better and looked more lively, with their front two of Gibbs and Fowler looking good. Gibbs went close after picking up the ball on the left wing, beating a couple of defenders, making his way into the box and firing in a low shot, but ex-Tooting and Sutton keeper Tommy Dunn got down well and turned the ball round his near post. Walton continued to exert the most pressure with Dunn having to be in fine form to deny midfielder Lampton?s long range shot and another Carl Gibbs effort. He also had to save well from his own defender when an attempted chest back sent him scrambling to his right.

John Fowler, making his Walton debut after signing from Croydon Athletic, had a great chance to open his account but he shot wide with only Dunn to beat. Somewhat against the run of play in the 25th minute Leatherhead then took the lead. A fine run down the right saw a cross driven across the box. The ball evaded the Leatherhead strikers, but fell to advancing left-back Adam Gray, who drove it home. Walton continued to attack, with Lampton forcing Dunn into another fine save from a long shot. Leatherhead?s counters were sporadic, with Marc Charles-Smith having their best chance, but his header from a Beer cross went just round the post. Walton went close again just before the break, when defender Danny Lavender sliced a clearance which went just round the post with Dunn only a spectator.

Walton went on the attack once again in the second half, but yet another fine save denied Lampton. Leatherhead were defending well and limiting the home side to long range efforts and hopeful crosses into the box which Dunn was dealing with comfortably. They then extended their lead when substitute Dave Stevens chased a long ball from the back and touched the ball past the advancing Walton keeper for 2-0. Walton piled on the pressure, but Leatherhead ware concentrated in defence. Finally Walton did pull one back in the 88th minutes through Wes Goggin, when he latched onto a clever pass from Gibbs. But despite further pressure they never managed to get the equaliser.

Bromley progressed to the next round by beating Chessington and Hook in a scrappy game at Chalky Lane. In a game of few chances, Bromley went closest in the first half when striker Leroy Huggins had a shot well saved after a mazy run down the left. Bromley were dominating possession, but not creating a great deal of chances and the home side were limited to the odd attack on the break. Chessington did have a good five minutes just before the break, but they never really tested Walker in the Bromley net. The second half saw a sluggish start by Bromley. And the home side had their best chance when their striker beat Frost in the centre of defence. His shot beat the wrong-footed keeper but flew past the post. At this stage Chessington looked the better side for a while, but Bromley soon got the upper hand with Drewit and Bennetts on the left and right wings causing problems. With the game looking to be heading for a replay, in the 90th minute a free-kick from the left was swung in and Bromley defender Dean Frost bundled the ball over the line to break Chessington and Hook hearts.

Burgess Hill Town were the only side to go out to lower level team, losing 2-1 to Wessex Division One side Brockenhurst Town. Brockenhurst took the lead in the first half with a Jason Lovell header and extended their lead midway through the second period with a 30 yard screamer from Lee Winsall, Burgess Hill pulled one back straight away through Leo Day header, but the lower-ranked side never really looked in danger and held on to win.

Met Police made hard work of beating more Wessex league opposition in the form of Alton Town FC. The Police travelled to Alton with a few injuries and started sluggishly. Home striker Steve Poulton opened the scoring, but Met Police were soon back in front though a low Haworth drive into the corner of the net and an Ian Batten header. Alton equalised just before half time, again though Poulton. The Met police dominated the start of the second half and went 4-2 up, thanks to Haworth (again) and Brown. But Alton, and in particular Poulton, would not give up and made it 4-3 with only minutes to go to make it a grandstand finish.