Plucky Langwith see off James in Vase

Vase Quarter Final

Images: Lily Grant

A Louis Pegg free-kick five minutes before the end of the game ensured that Langwith seconds beat James fourths, to book their place in the Vase semi finals against Alcuin thirds next week.

In a first half devoid of quality and many notable events, it was Langwith that had the earliest of the chances, with some last ditch defending from James keeper Ashley Lowe keeping the ball out of the back of the net.

Both sides were playing the ball in the air, and Langwith’s physical prowess paid dividends as they controlled the majority of first touches from headers. James had their first notable chance when Sam Wright blasted an effort goalwards, but cleared Ollie Williamson’s crossbar.

Langwith then had further opportunities to carve out chances of their own; Tom Rudden, who enjoyed a solid game at the back, threaded through a dangerous ball for Ritchie Hemingway, before a succession of corners were eventually well defended by James.

However, James also continued to press and grabbed a number of corners of their own before the break, which resulted in shots from Littler and Bull going wide of danger. Before the close of the half, Langwith then had a further chance of their own, as Sam Blumson shot wide from far out. However, neither side could find a way through and it remained goalless at the break.

The game picked up in the second half, with more entertaining play and opportunities for both teams. Some excellent control from Louis Pegg presented a good chance for Langwith to grab a goal, before Littler again went close for James.

Pegg will be disappointed not to have opened the scoring three minutes into the second half, as his shot from just a few yards out was blocked at point-blank range by Chris Marjoram. Typical of the scrappy nature of the game, James then rushed up field and had an opportunity of their own, as the Langwith defence was caught napping; Littler’s shot went narrowly wide of Williamson’s near post.

Nevertheless, the deadlock was eventually broken six minutes into the second half, as Craig Burnell utilised his position in the centre of the box to latch onto a brilliant cross from Sam Woodall and slot the ball home.

The game settled down after the opening goal, with Langwith buoyed by their lead; James struggled to have an impact upon the game in the ensuing 10 minutes, and play was frequently broken up by a number of stoppages.

However, fresh life was breathed into affairs with less than ten minutes remaining on the clock. As Sam Wright aimed to control the ball, Mark Starling was penalised for a push in the back, with the referee awarding a penalty kick despite Langwith protests. Wright stepped up and made no mistake to level the scores at 1-1.

Just as it seemed that the game would go to penalties, Langwith snatched another goal which would be enough to grab victory. In the build-up of a dangerous Langwith attack, Burnell went to ground after being shoulder-charged by Tom Schofield. From the resulting free kick, Pegg curled a good ball past a weak James wall and into the bottom corner at the near post.

Despite battling until the end, James could not find a way through and will be kicking themselves for a poor piece of defending which ultimately cost them a place in the Vase Semi-Final.

Losing captain Sam Blumson said; “I think we were hard done by today. We can be proud of our performance because I don’t think we got what we deserved from that game. On another day we’d have been talking about a victory today.”

By contrast, pleased Langwith skipper Sam Morley commented; “We were lucky today. We need to do better next week against Alcuin thirds or we’ll find ourselves in trouble. We didn’t really turn up by our standards today but fortunately we did enough to get through. Credit to James for having a real go at us, but we’ll put this game to bed now and focus on Alcuin next week.”

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