Gorleston win dramatic FA Vase penalty shoot out


Connor Ingram has a shot blocked by Hoddesdon defender - Credit: David Hardy

Gorleston's first foray into this season's FA Vase was at the home of the first team ever to win the trophy with the Greens scraping past Hoddesdon on penalties after 0-0 at full time at the weekend.

In a largely uneventful first half, the Greens began strongly and possibly should have taken the lead in the first minute when Peter Lambert placed a free header over the bar.

Harrison Bacon shot wide before a good run from Blue Gallagher saw him shoot into Jake Jessup's sidenetting.

Kyle Ingram sent Christy Finch through but his low shot was pushed wide and Harrison Bacon's volleyed cross was turned over his own bar by a defender's diving header.

The half continued with Gorleston asking the questions but unable to find answers. Gorleston began the second half with a bit more intensity.

Bacon drilled the ball across the face of the goal before scuffing another effort wide. Connor Deeks came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 63rd minute.

After Lambert had been fouled on the edge of the box, Deeks' free kick was scrambled off the line by a combination of keeper and defender.

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Jack Gibbs upset the ref and was subbed in the 66th minute with the Butlers deciding that was time for substitutions, throwing Ross Gilfedder into the forward line and bringing on Nick Davis.

Still they couldn't find the net with Finch seeing a low shot saved and a well-worked free kick ending with Deeks shooting narrowly wide.

Hoddesdon hung on and earned themselves a penalty shootout which started badly for Gorleston.

The usually reliable Connor Ingram saw his first one saved but then Hoddesdon missed their third to even up the shootout at 2-2. The next two each were scored then Sam Knock converted for Gorleston.

Ryan Stevenson had to score to keep his side in it but Jake Jessup saved with his feet and Gorleston progressed through to the second round.

Gorleston's reward for winning on penalties in Hoddesdon is a home tie against Buckhurst Hill in the second round of the FA Vase.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Greens have a home match against March Town United, kick off 3pm.