Clayton scores late on to send Green through

editorial image

Buildbase FA Vase: Crawley Green 2 Tuffley Rovers 1

A late Charlie Clayton goal edged Crawley Green past Tuffley Rovers to progress into the next round of The Buildbase FA Vase on Saturday.

The game had looked destined for extra time with each team scoring either side of the interval before Clayton’s 87th minute strike ensured the hosts went through.

It was the visitors who should have taken the lead after only two minutes of the fixture when an Alex O’Leary corner from the right was headed over by an unmarked Brett James.

Crawley responded with efforts from Pat Daly and Clayton, as their best chance fell on 15 minutes when Clayton’s corner saw Michael Moss’s header well saved by Dave Evans.

Moss then turned provider with a cross for Daly, who also couldn’t beat Evans.

As the game progressed it was Tuffley who started to dominate, with successive corners from O’Leary cleared by Daly and Dean Bull, while Shayne Bradley’s firm header drifted wide.

Crawley fought back and Aarron Browne fired a shot off target after being set up by Clayton, but Green took the lead a minute before half time, when Daly’s attempt was blocked and Lee Hawkes drove the rebound home.

Tuffley almost levelled immediately, Joel White’s effort saved by Bull.

Kicking down the slope, Rovers were quickly out of the blocks and the second half was only two minutes old before they did equalise, Sam Hill’s cross headed into the net by James.

Crawley responded with a Browne free kick which was saved by Evans and another Moss header that was cleared off the line.

Daly and Terry Billy both saw shots blocked before Tuffley’s Cameron Williams had a firm header saved by Bull, but with time running out, Daly set up Clayton who cut in from the left and drove the ball past Evans.

In a frantic finale Tuffley poured forward looking for an equaliser but Crawley stood firm and will now travel to Langford in the next round on Saturday, September 23.

Green are at Stotfold in the league tonight and then head to Cockfosters this weekend.