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City take it to the Bank for cup replay
6:09pm Sunday 27th October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER City’s dream of reaching the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in eight years remains very much alive after earning a deserved replay against Lincoln City.
Saturday’s fourth qualifying round clash was on a knife-edge from first whistle to last and either side could have emerged victorious.
Aaron Williams, just three minutes after coming on as a substitute, swung the pendulum City’s way by tapping in following good work from Niall Thompson to drill the ball across the box.
But, 22 minutes later, a spell of Imps pressure paid off when Andrew Boyce fired past Jose Veiga following Alan Power’s corner.
That set up a grandstand finish with neither side prepared to settle for a replay but, despite their efforts, will have to do it all again at Sincil Bank tomorrow night.
This was a stereotypical cup tie with both teams going at it hammer and tongs throughout in front of City’s first four-figure Aggborough crowd.
Carl Heeley’s men served up one of their best performances of the season in more than matching their higher-ranked visitors.
Unlike in the previous rounds against Coventry Sphinx and Rugby Town, Worcester City tried to impose themselves from the off.
Danny Glover was a man possessed for much of the game and it took a last-ditch Jon Nolan block to prevent his second-minute diving header finding the net, while the striker also turned Ebby Nelson-Addy’s cross over the bar.
City also looked to exploit the pace of Thompson down the right flank and it worked a treat with the Torquay United winger, who has extended his loan until the end of December, giving the defenders plenty to ponder.
Defensively, Worcester looked like a team that had kept clean sheets in six of their last seven matches with Graham Hutchison and Shabir Khan, in for the injured Richard Munday, continually clearing their lines to good effect.
Keeper Jose Veiga played a major part too with excellent saves from former Hereford United striker Marlon Jackson, making his debut, sub Conner Robinson and Nolan.
Even after Boyce had found a way through the hosts dug deep to ensure that was a good as it got for the visitors.
Worcester also stood firm in the face of some rough treatment as Gary Simpson’s team left their mark, almost literally, on their opponents.
Hutchison was felled by Nat Brown in the first-half, with the hosts adamant that an elbow had been used, while Thompson limped off late on following a challenge.
To add insult to injury, a Lincoln supporter subjected Thompson to a torrent of verbal abuse as the winger received treated on the sidelines.
It was a similar story when Veiga needed the physio in the aftermath of second-half collision, and in both cases the stewards watched on.
But that shouldn’t detract from the efforts of Heeley’s side as they kept the dream alive.
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