The Magpies went into the Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday buoyed by a perfect start to the season with three wins out of three and as such travelled to Banstead Athletic of the Combined Counties League with plenty of confidence. The starting line-up welcomed back skipper Byron Napper, who was away for the midweek win against Three Bridges, but lost the goal scoring hero of that game, Tom Familton, who was only fit enough for a place on the bench.
Full match report courtesy of Ollie Berry at the West Sussex County Times...
The Magpies exited the competition at the preliminary round away to Banstead Athletic on Saturday in a game which saw two sendings off and nine goals. It was the hosts that won it 6-3 to pocket £1,925 and a place in the first qualifying round.
The Combined Counties League side led 4-0 at half-time and 6-0 in the second-half, before they had a man sent off and conceded three goals themselves. But a moment which swung the game in the host’s favour was when they led 2-0. From a Magpies corner, Andrade was on the goalkeeper, when one of Banstead’s defenders pushed in between the pair and then went down. The referee, who both managers remain adamant did not see the incident, then brandished a straight red card to Andrade saying he’d seen him kick his opponent.
Magpies boss, Dave Cocoracchio, who was also then sent off, said:
“I am certainly not going to say that it was the whole reason and cost us the game. Before the really controversial incident, we were 2-0 down in the first six minutes. “With all the preparation in the world and talk beforehand, we got off to the worst possible start. We started cold and got severely punished, but then to lose a player under the circumstances we did is very hard to swallow." "The referee had his back to the incident and neither assistant saw it, they told us that. To everyone’s astonishment, the referee has called Tiago over and shown him a red card. I have to give their manager credit as even before me, he went mad. “He turned around and said to the assistant, it was outrageous and he did not want to win with such an unjust decision. “Within two minutes I had been sent from the technical area because I had asked what he had given the red card for. “He said that Tiago had kicked him, but he was clearly not looking at it. I told him that wasn’t the truth as he has not seen it, he has then sent me off.”
Loxwood changed to three at the back after being reduced to ten men, but the hosts added a third and then fourth just before half-time.
The visitors improved after the break, but Banstead added two more through their impressive strikers to lead 6-0 thanks to a Stefan Joseph hat-trick, a brace from Leonel Medrado and a Joseph Kelly goal. After Banstead had a player sent off for a poor tackle, Michael Wood bundled a goal back from a corner in between a number of missed chances, before Harry Bachelor and Gary Pritchard netted late on with fine strikes from the edge of the penalty area.
“It was the worst 45 minutes of the season in the first half and that’s pre-season as well. We asked the boys to go out and play for pride in the second half and, to be fair, they did. “I could not tell you how many chances we missed and if we had scored a bit early it could have been a ridiculous comeback as they fell apart when we did.”
Team: Andrade, Colbran, French, Gritt, Moore (Pritchard 61), Napper, Smith, Todd, Warren (Familton 39), Williams (Bachelor 46) & Wood Subs not used: Holvey & Milbarrow