Earlswood Town made hard work of beating a Badsey Rangers team reduced to nine men after 80 minutes. Badsey pushed Earls all the way in this Les James Cup game but can thank their keeper Jake Meredith who took the plaudits for an outstanding display.
Badsey, riding high in Division three, came to Malt House Lane with a good playing record and Earls really had to work hard for their victory.
On the 29 minute mark Badsey were awarded a free kick just outside the Earlswood penalty area and the shot was parried out by Hancock in the Earlswood goal only for the player to follow up and dispatch the loose ball into the Earlswood net to give them the lead.
Earls had a spell of pressure after this with the visitors defence at sixes and sevens with the home team hitting a post in the 35th minute.
The second half started with even play for the first ten minutes with both teams having chances. After 59 minutes Bradley Hall was pulled down in the Badsey penalty area but Roy Dunkley’s spot kick was well saved by keeper Meredith.
At this point the Badsey keeper was in fine form saving well on another couple of occasions. But it came as no surprise when Earlswood equalised after Dave Barfield went down the right flank and deftly chipped a shot over the outstretched hands of Meredith into the roof of the net. The visitors then had two dismissals for innocuous double-yellow cards.
In the ninth minute of extra time Earlswood took the lead through substitute Craig Nolan with a powerful shot from the left wing. Earls put the game to bed in the 110th minute when Ralf Richardson converted a penalty after a player was upended in the box.