Tilbury exit FA Vase after losing on penalties
By Ethan Crafter
10th Feb 2024 | Football
Tilbury 0, North Greenford 0
North Greenford won 5-3 on penalties.
TILBURY'S Wembley dream died in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at the EMR Stadium this afternoon (Saturday, 10 February) in front of a crowd of 664.
With an FA Vase quarter-final place at stake the two sides couldn't be separated at the end of 90 minutes and with no extra time or replays in play, it all went down to the lottery of a shoot-out.
And the saddest face at the end of it belong to Tilbury's Igli Metalia who took the third penalty for Dockers but saw it hit the upright.
The match survived two pitch inspections by ref Emily Heaslip and just seven minutes after kick-off Tilbury went close to opening the scoring when McCauley Joynes' corner was met by the head of Alex Clark and his effort was superbly saved by visiting keeper Sam House.
Joynes was involved again with a shot that just went over, but moments later, on 17 minutes, North Greenford tested home stopper Christian North when Ryan Ewhare brought a smart save from the Tilbury keeper.
Just before the break, in added time, North Greenford went close when a counter-attack down the left saw the ball break kindly for the arriving Joseph Mills but his strike hammered against the crossbar and went out for a goal kick.
Combined Counties League Premier Division North Greenford started the second half as they ended the first, on the front foot in counter-attacking mode and Ewhare skipped past three men but the ball just got away from him as he prepared to pull the trigger. He poked a foot out but North was out to make the block.
Both sides had chances as the clock ticked down but the closest anyone came to a goal was three minutes before the end when Ewhare yet again struck an effort goalwards but North produced another fine save.
So it went to penalties.
Samuel Brown put away the first for Greenford but Dockers' Roman Cambell produced an emphatic reply.
Callum Coen restored the visitors' initiative after being asked to retake his initial successful strike for some reason, but Harvey Browne remained calm and brought parity.
Sub Tomasz Siemienczuk netted United's third and then came the vital moment when Metalia hit the post.
Harvey Killeen and Sam Carter exchanged successful strikes and it was left to Greenford's Charlie Mitchell to send North the wrong way with the winning penalty.