Levy face replay after late stunner

Leverstock defender Zak Howells, crossing the ball here against Edgware, is the latest injury blow for The Green.
Leverstock defender Zak Howells, crossing the ball here against Edgware, is the latest injury blow for The Green.

Leverstock Green faced a home replay in their FA Cup extra-preliminary round tie against Edgware Town last night (Tuesday) after a free kick deep into stoppage time denied them a win they very much deserved.

As in last Tuesday night’s Herts Charity Shield match at Tring (see page 54), Leverstock played some excellent football and created many chances, but they did not get the goals their dominance merited, leaving them vulnerable to a last-gasp stunner.

Former Luton Town keeper Craig King, who has signed for Leverstock as a striker, took his place between the sticks on Saturday with no other netminder available, and his ability and experience was evident throughout the match.

The Green created chances from early on. In the fourth minute a corner went just over the head of skipper Shane Wood, back in the side after returning from holiday.

Two minutes later a pass from Chris Marsh put Sam Nair through but Edgware keeper Cain Davies came out to save at his feet.

In the 11th minute Jonathan Lacey hit a fierce long-distance effort on the run which Davies did well to parry away, and seconds later Davies saved another effort from Ross Adams.

In the 14th minute Lacey played a great ball out wide to Adams, who played it inside for Zak Howells, who shaped to shoot but instead squared for Nair, whose shot went wide.

There was an early injury blow as Alex Marsh had to leave the game in the 18th minute to be replaced by Luke Preedy, but on the half-hour Leverstock finally got their deserved goal.

A ball down the left found Lacey, who beat a defender and cut inside before playing a low ball into the box for Adams to slot home from six yards out.

It could have been two in the 36th minute when Lacey took the ball out of defence and played another great pass to put Nair through on goal, but his shot was kept out.

A minute before the break a free-kick from Casey Linsell just eluded the head of Wood.

Three minutes into first-half stoppage time Lacey ran clear of the defence and squared the ball to set up David Lawrence with a great chance but Davies produced another wonderful save.

Again, as at Tring, Leverstock were not as impressive in the second period, although they still created enough chances to have won.

Edgware had one of their few chances on 52 minutes when a blocked shot fell to Mikkel James, who shot over.

It should have been 2-0 in the 65th minute when Chris Marsh floated in a free kick and Wood headed it across goal, but Lawrence somehow put the ball wide from a couple of yards out. Lawrence had another effort eight minutes later that went just over the bar.

In the 81st minute 16-year-old substitute Mason Tunbridge almost clinched the game when he ran onto a pass from Howells and hit a shot which took a big deflection, but yet again Davies produced a miraculous save to keep it out.

A minute later Lacey went close again, hitting a shot just wide after a solo run.

As the game went into stoppage time Leverstock still looked comfortable, although they did not take advantage of a couple of opportunities to take the ball into the corner and run the clock down.

This came back to haunt them when the referee penalised a foul by Lewis Bowers to give Edgware a free kick a yard outside the box deep in stoppage time.

King lined up his wall well enough, but they could do nothing to stop a great effort from Ethan Mooney, who curled the ball over the wall and in off the underside of the bar to rescue a draw.

For Leverstock it was a draw that felt more like a defeat.

The Green will be opening their Spartan South Midlands Premier Division league campaign this Saturday when they face a trip to London Colney (3pm).