EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
Welwyn Garden City 3 Haverhill Borough 1
The 68th minute dismissal of Borough ‘keeper Graham Smith with the game interestingly poised at 1-1 proved a critical moment in their exit from the FA Cup at the first stage.
Smith collided with Welwyn striker Ash Kersey as he rushed out of his goal in an attempt to head the ball clear, an act the referee deemed a deliberate professional foul and therefore worthy of a red card.
Borough had fallen 1-0 behind against their step five, Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division opponents on 22 minutes when Jason Claswell converted expertly after being played in.
Nine minutes into the second period Harry Halls levelled from a Matt Staines cross and got a foothold in the tie, playing some good football.
Smith’s red card though, left them with an uphill task and a Craig Arnott volley on 75 minutes and a clinical finish from substitute David Parkinson on 83 settled the match for the hosts.
Borough have a chance to avenge the defeat when they return to Welwyn for the FA Vase first qualifying round on September 5.
For a more detailed match report buy Thursday’s (September 20) Haverhill Echo.