Ball bounces Arlesey out in first round - FA & League Cups - Football - The Independent

Ball bounces Arlesey out in first round

Coventry City 3 Arlesey Town 0

THE RICOH ARENA

The inhabitants of Arlesey reckon they live in the longest village in Britain and that will remain its rather peculiar claim to fame after their footballers failed to deliver an FA Cup upset against Coventry City.

Admittedly this team is not the Coventry that fell victim to one of the great Cup giantkilling feats when, as a top-flight side and Wembley winners only 20 months earlier, they lost to non-league Sutton United in the third round in 1989. Today's City, by contrast, sit 21st in League One but it was still a big day for their visitors from the Evo-Stick Southern League Premier Division, four tiers below – "the biggest game in the club's history" in the words of their player-manager Zema Abbey.

The Bedfordshire team brought four coachloads of travelling fans – considerably more than the 100 who had watched their last fixture – but they saw their team's first-ever encounter with league opponents end in a 3-0 defeat.

All the same, for Abbey, once a striker at Norwich City who combines his role with running a clothes shop in Luton, there was pride in the performance of his part-timers. "We showed bravery as a side, we showed that step-three football isn't a bad level," said Abbey, a late substitute. "Their finishing was the difference between the sides. We had a number of openings but didn't make the keeper make a save."

The closest Arlesey came was early on when Chris Marsh lifted a shot on to the roof of the net with goalkeeper Joe Murphy beaten. At that stage there were boos echoing around the Ricoh Arena as home passes went astray but Coventry stirred and Calum Ball gave them a 28th-minute lead after being put through by Franck Moussa.

Marsh went close again early in the second half but Coventry ensured there would be no surprise when marauding full-back Cyrus Christie cut in from the right and sent a low left-foot shot past Nathan Abbey – brother of the manager, his assistant coach and still a decent keeper on this showing. With the game now wide open, Jamie Reckford and Moussa each hit the bar before Steve Jennings bundled in a late third.

"Sorry to disappoint you," quipped Coventry manager Mark Robins afterwards. He knows all about this competition having won it with Manchester United in 1990 and it was hard to disagree with his verdict: "It wasn't so handsome to watch in the first half, [but] better in the second."

Coventry City (4-4-1-1): Murphy; Christie, Clarke, Edjenguele, Reckord (Willis, 72); Baker, Moussa, Jennings, Fleck; McSheffrey (McDonald, 55); Ball (O'Donovan, 78).

Arlesey Town (4-4-2): Abbey; Thurlbourne, Frater, Blackett, Davis (Patrick, 87); Goss, Hatch, Farrell (Abbey, 78), Marsh (Prosper, 55); Roberts, Dillon.

Referee Kevin Wright.

Man of the match Christie (Coventry).

Match rating 5/10.

Attendance 6,594.

Suggested Topics
News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Top conservatoire offers ‘groundbreaking’ arts degree

Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week