Shropshire Star

Giant-killers Whitchurch Alport fall at the first hurdle in FA Vase

Whitchurch Alport found themselves on the wrong end of an FA Vase upset on Saturday in defeat on the road at Brocton.


Luke Goddard’s men attracted national attention last season with a stunning run to the quarter-finals, where they were edged out by eventual Wembley champions Newport Pagnell Town, but Alport fell at the first hurdle this term.

Whitchurch were permitted to begin their campaign at the second-round stage, later than other step five rivals, due to their exploits last season but fell at the hands of their steps six Staffordshire hosts.

Connor Haddaway was the Brocton hero as he netted a stunning strike from distance after a fine solo run midway through the contest and the effort was enough to separate the sides.

Boss Goddard said: “Without a doubt it was a hugely disappointing result for the whole of the football club.

“We knew to match last year’s historic run in the Vase would be hard, however, we expected this group of players to at least go a couple of rounds to help build momentum.

“Unfortunately we simply never got anywhere near the bare minimum standards we expect and hardly had a shot on goal all afternoon.

“Brocton were well-drilled, had their own game plan and deserved to progress into the next round.”

Alport were without former Shrewsbury favourite Junior Brown. Goddard revealed the club were so grateful for their hosts’ hospitality that Alport waived the 50 per cent gate receipts per FA Vase rules.

With a limited Midland Premier fixture list due to Vase action, fifth-placed Shifnal Town were without action, but basement boys Market Drayton Town did feature.

It was to be another disappointing defeat for Richard Brown’s struggling Gingerbread Men, who suffered a 15th league defeat on the spin to remain rock-bottom.

They were seen off 2-0 at home to Racing Club Warwick and are eight points from safety.

Elsewhere, in Midland One, there was disappointment in defeat for AFC Bridgnorth and Shawbury United.

Bridgnorth, though, who are 17th, will be pleased with their impressive battling display in just being edged out 2-1 at home to runaway leaders Dudley Town.

Dudley’s Rhys Boswell lit up Crown Meadow with a stunning opening goal after just a couple of minutes as Bridgnorth faced what might have been a long afternoon.

But Charlie Knowles hauled the home side level around the hour mark with a slotted finish after impressive build-up play by Shaquille Ologitere. Parity was shortlived, however, as Owen Massey struck the winner on 66 minutes.

It was very much a weekend to forget for Shawbury who are 16th, one place and point above Bridgnorth, following a heavy 4-0 defeat at bottom side Cradley Town, who had won just once in 19 games.

Ellesmere Rangers, third in the North West Counties One South, enjoyed a thumping 5-1 win second-bottom strugglers Foley Meir.

Owen Lloyd fired a brace, with Karl Bailey, Will Evans and Jack Harris on target.