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Ledger strike brings Whitchurch back home for Cup replay
Hallen 1 Whitchurch United 1.
An Ashley Ledger strike 15 minutes from time gave battling Whitchurch United an FA Cup extra-preliminary round replay and another stab at the £1,500 prize money as they returned from their long trip to Bristol with a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The visitors were without skipper Adam Pearson, who had failed to recover from an injury sustained in the midweek victory over Romsey, and had Curtis Angell partnering Luke Walker up front against a Hallen side that had won their opening two matches of the season.
‘Church keeper Tom Hindmarsh was first into action to foil Aysa Corrick before at the other end home keeper Sam Burgess denied Walker who shot over following good work by Alex Dockree and James Tennant.
Isaac Sedu left off from Tuesday’s excellent showing and home full back Marcus Maggs brought him down, earning a caution, and Burgess kept out Tennant’s free-kick. Hindmarsh saved a Greening header and his defence somehow survived the scramble from the corner with Ben Bament eventually firing over.
Whitchurch then ended the half on the attack with Ally Brown and Walker heading wide then Alex Pickering jabbed a Tennant cross just wide. Burgess then tipped over a Dockree drive as the game remained goalless at the break.
Hallen were quicker into their stride on the restart and were rewarded on 55 minutes when Ricky Charlton fastened on to the ball 35 yards out and lashed the ball home.
Whitchurch survived another furious scramble before Sedu shot across the face of goal. Walker and Dockree then gave way to Lee Hamilton and Shane Lock and a third change saw Ledger replace Tom Pemberton which led to the equaliser which by then was fully deserved. The Jamboys won a corner on the left, Chris Smalley jumped highest to nod the ball down and Ledger turned it into the net from close range with 15 minutes left.
Neither defence looked particularly secure and Collett fired the ball in only for celebrations to be halted by the offside flag.
Both sides survived four minutes of stoppage time to set up the replay.
Macey said: “They played a long ball game with two quick wingers and we had to ride the storm early on. “I threw on three substitutes - Lee Hamilton, Shane Long and Ashley Ledger as we had nothing to lose and Lee and Ash caused them all sorts of problems and we got our equaliser.” l Whitchurch have made a double signing of Scott Hassell and Jason Graham.
Hassell played in the Isthmian League for Corinthian Casuals for four seasons and last year played in Canada. Striker Graham arrives from Hartley Wintney and once fit will add even more firepower to the forward line.
Macey is delighted with new additions to his squad and said: “Scott is living in Andover and is a great pick up for us and looked really good in training. Jason has not played in pre-season and gives us another option up front.”
Full report on tomorrow's replay with more news and pictures from Whitchurch United here and in Friday's Advertiser