Two out of three ain't bad

By Ian Townsend

Although really it's two out of four! We had three FA Trophy ties last night, four clubs involved, and two victories. Here's our round up.

Wingate and Finchley. Royston Town. Cray Wanderers. Leyton Orient. Folkestone Invicta.

So far this season Maldon and Tiptree have faced five sides from a higher level in cup competitions, and left each of them to concentrate on the league. Last night it was the turn of Invicta, and the stripes put up a real battle in an attempt not to be the latest name on that list, even going two goals up, but eventually they succumbed to the inevitable and went down to a four-three defeat.

Ira Jackson and Alfie Paxman got those two goals, in the tenth and twenty-second minutes, to shock the home faithful- but by half time normal service had been resumed, as Charlie Hughes got a rather incredible nineteen minute hat trick (26, 35 and 45) and Jorome Slew also found the net, turning the deficit into a four-two advantage. Kieron McCann made things interesting in the sixty third minute, closing the gap- but try as they might Invicta couldn't find an equaliser, and the Jammers marched on to a Third Qualifying Round tie at Enfield Town.

That's twenty one victories from twenty two matches so far this season for Maldon, and seventy eight goals scored. They're at home to Histon on Saturday- a side they knocked out of the FA Cup two months ago.

Elsewhere, another side with a magnificent cup record, Kingstonian, headed to Southampton to take on Blackfield and Langley. After a goalless first half a Tom Kavanagh double and a third from Louis Theophanous eased them to victory and a home tie with AFC Sudbury. That was the K's ninth cup tie of the season so far, and they have eight victories and a draw to show for their efforts, twenty six goals scored and only five conceded. If they ever get back to playing league matches and can bring that form with them, expect them to be at the right end of the table very quickly!

Finally, Soham Town Rangers FA Trophy adventure came to a late but valiant end at Hayes & Yeading United. Ryan Auger gave the visitors an early lead, but they couldn't hold on to it for long, and then went behind six minutes after the break. An own goal drew them level once more, however- but just when it seemed that extra time was on the cards, Hayes found two late, late goals, both coming in the last three minutes, to seal victory.

Where next?

Merstham borrow a trio Three temporary arrivals at Moatside
Tanners strengthen their strikeforce Tonbridge hitman heads to Fetcham Grove

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