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Alport into second round of the Vase for first time

Whitchurch Alport reached the second round of the FA Vase for the first time in their history with a 2-1 triumph over Sleaford Town on Saturday.

Ivan Urvantev’s left-footed free-kick from 25 yards gave Alport the lead five minutes before the interval.

Kyle Watkins’ header levelled the tie for Sleaford with 15 minutes remaining, only for Jud Ellis to complete a fine team move, restore Whitchurch’s lead and secure them the win.

Boss Luke Goddard – whose side will host Malvern Town in round two – said: “It was just about getting to the next round, it’s cup football, and we could have won it comfortably in the end.

“We allowed them to have a 20-minute period where in fairness they should have scored one or two, but first half we were superb and we probably should have scored more.

“In open play, our final ball was probably the only disappointment of the day because we would have scored three or four goals if we had taken a little bit more care.

“But we are in the next round and that’s what matters.”

Reflecting on the superb free-kick from former Macedonia youth player Urvantev, Goddard added: “That’s what he’s got in him – he’s an outstanding player.

“We’ve got some very good players here and I’m glad for the group. We are building some momentum – that’s four wins in five with a draw – and we are clicking into gear.”

AFC Bridgnorth were not able to pull off another FA Vase upset as they were comprehensively beaten by Coventry Sphinx.

Bridgnorth – who stunned higher-league Lye Town in the previous round – had Anwar Olugbon sent off as the Sphinx scored nine unanswered.

Shawbury United took advantage of Bridgnorth being in Vase action to climb above them in Midland League Division One.

United secured just their third win of the season – but second in three games – as they overcame Chelmsley Town 3-1.

A brace from Seth Ellis and a penalty from George Durrell gave Shawbury a 3-0 advantage at the break – and despite a crazy second half, they were able to hold on to the three points. Shawbury’s Cian Fenlon and the Chelmsley goalkeeper were sent off after a scuffle, while United were later reduced to nine men when Elliot Lee received a second yellow card.

Ellesmere Rangers pinched a point at home to Alsager Town in North West Counties League Division One South after a thrilling final 25 minutes.

Ben Darby had fired the visitors into the lead at the end of the first half, but a David Howarth penalty drew Ellesmere level in the 65th minute.

That was just the start of a late goal rush as George West twice put Alsager ahead, only for Niall Thomas to level on each occasion – including in the final minute of the match.

Rock-bottom St Martins suffered another defeat – they went down 3-0 to Cheadle Heath Nomads.

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