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FA Cup: Woodford Town 1 White Ensign 1

PUBLISHED: 08:28 10 August 2019

Vlad Sighiartau of Woodford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Vlad Sighiartau of Woodford (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Woodford Town will have to try again to progress in the FA Cup after being held to a draw on Friday night.

Woodford manager Dee Safer talks to his players (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Woodford manager Dee Safer talks to his players (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Thurlow Nunn League outfit White Ensign were making their first-ever appearance in the prestigious competition, but took the lead against the run of play.

But Woods got back on terms in front of a crowd of almost 300 at Harlow Arena and rode their luck at times to set up a second chance in a replay.

The hosts, having opened their Essex Senior League campaign with back-to-back wins, began brightly as Asher Modeste and Vlad Sighiartau threatened and Andrea Mantovani headed wide at the far post.

But Ensign struck first as a mistake by Chris John allowed Brett Munyard to feed Connor Barnby, who rounded Alex Reed to slot into an empty net.

A Wodford Town banner hangs on the railings (pic Gavin Elliis/TGS Photo)A Wodford Town banner hangs on the railings (pic Gavin Elliis/TGS Photo)

The visitors had a great chance to double their lead when Munyard was put in on the right, but his touch let him down and Reed gathered the ball.

Mantovani fired over for Woods, while Sharn Quinn dragged another effort wide, but Andy George headed a Munyard free-kick over for Ensign before Mantovani was off-target again.

Woodford had a let-off when conceding possession and seeing Luke Skinner's curling effort come back off the woodwork, while Barnby had a shot deflected wide.

But then Woodford hit the post as Modeste shrugged off a defender on the left and fired goalwards from a tight angle, with James Parkins deflecting the ball onto the upright.

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The home side were back on terms soon after, though, as Parkins was caught in two minds when the ball was played long and Sighiartau produced a superb lob from outside of the box to find the net.

Munyard fired a 30-yard free-kick just wide, before another set-piece found George at the far post and his header came back off the woodwork.

And Ensign were unlucky again when Dominic Locke's drive beat Reed but also came back off an upright.

Woodford ended a pulsating first half with John forcing Parkins to turn the ball around a post and Ricardo Shaw heading the corner wide, with John smashing another shot over soon after the restart.

George saw a header from a corner go close to creeping over the line, before Harry Skinner fired well over for the visitors.

And Ensign then hit the woodwork for a fourth time when a corner to the far post found substitute James Ainsley, who headed against a post before Barnby volleyed straight at Reed.

The Woodford keeper denied Barnby again as the tie entered its final 20 minutes, before Tola Odedoyin headed over from a corner for the hosts.

And Woods went close to taking the lead when Mantovani's free-kick from the left beat everyone and glanced off the far post.

Luke Skinner just failed to connect with Locke's low ball from the right at the other end and Munyard then teed up Locke, who was denied by Reed's superb save.

But Woodford went close to snatching a late winner when Quinn's dangerous ball in from the left could not be converted by Morgan Seaman and Ensign cleared the danger.

Woodford: Reed, Brown, Routledge, John, Shaw, Odedoyin, Mantovani, Hebi, Modeste, Sighiartau, Quinn. Subs: Wildman, Seaman, Leon, Cardona, Anderson, Babalola.

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