Staveley Miners Welfare 1-0 Cheadle Town

Nearly 48 hours on, I'm still baffled as to how we have come away from Inkersall Road without a goal to our name.

The latter stages of the game was like the proverbial Alamo as we laid siege to the Staveley net.

Liam Tongue curled one of his specials onto the foot of the post; Rick Whyatt had a header cleared off the line; Mike Sherrington was put clean through only to be thwarted by the keeper...with the loose ball then being struck off the post by his brother Chris; Luke Hincks forces the keeper into a good save; a Chris Sherrington cross drops into the middle of the area but nobody can dig it out to score....

...all of this in the final twelve minutes of play. It was relentless. It was also relentless bad luck.

Enough of the wailing for the time being as we are in danger of doing the hosts a disservice.

They played their part in what must have been an excellent FA Vase match for the neutral. Staveley were arguably the better side in the first half and gave Ben Jupp in net plenty to do.

They were let in as early as the 8th minute after a wayward defensive header but fortunately the loose ball was lashed wide.

Their towering no4 then caused problems from set pieces, heading just over the bar twice from successive corners on the 15 minute mark.

Staveley should have been ahead just two minutes later. Ben Jupp made an excellent save to beat out a header from a corner with the loose ball falling at the feet of a Staveley forward merely a yard from goal; luckily he (somehow) chose to send it on its way to Chesterfield.

We carved out our first effort on 18 minutes when a fiercely-driven Luke Hincks ball from the left cannoned off the back of Chris Sherrington and hung in the air for Mike Sherrington to try and nod home. Alas, his effort sailed wide of the upright.

And just as we were starting to get a foothold in the game, Staveley went ahead. Adam Lee's run starting on the edge of the area, avoiding challenges galore before resulting in him keeping his head and rounding Ben Jupp to slot home.

Chris Sherrington then volleyed over from the edge of the area before we should have been on level terms. Chris' free-kick was almost inch-perfect, cannoning off the underside of the bar and bouncing temptingly for Nathan Tosum to surely head home from close range....

Staveley made a brisk start to the second half, forcing Ben Jupp to make an excellent stop down low before Nathan Tosum had another chance to level matters, agonisingly getting the ball stuck under his feet after meeting a Chris Sherrington cross.

Nathan then returned the favour for Chris with a flicked header going just over this time before a surging Liam Tongue run saw the ball squared to Luke Hincks on the edge of the area forcing the keeper into making a decent stop.

Staveley then enjoyed a good spell just after the hour mark, heading over when well placed, causing havoc with their no8's long throws into the box and forcing Ben Jupp to scramble down and claw away on the 68 minute mark.

On 76 minutes they then cracked a header off the crossbar, and that was their last foray on goal before all manner of frustrating silliness down at the other end.

All the best to Staveley in the 2nd Qualifying Round where they get to be (excellent) hosts again versus Grimsby Borough.

For us, the focus now sharpens back onto the league as City of Liverpool come to Park Road this coming Wednesday before a trip to Chadderton this Saturday. Two tricky encounters but, if a performance akin to what was witnessed at Inkersall Road is repeated, there shouldn't be any concern.

TEAM: Jupp, McLaughlin, Magida, German, Todd (Whyatt), Dunn, Hincks, Tongue, Tosum (Russell), M Sherrington, C Sherrington. SUBS: Piggott (gk), Whyatt, Russell.