No fairy tale for Cinderford

Gravesend and Northfleet earned a lucrative third-round trip to Aston Villa with a comfortable 3-0 home victory in their FA Cup second- round replay against Cinderford Town, their fellow Beazer Homes League club, last night.

The Kent side could have sealed the game before half-time but for a string of fine saves by the visiting goalkeeper, Russ Bowles. He was beaten, though, when Grant Best finished off a neat four-man move to open the scoring in the sixth minute.

Cinderford could only create occasional chances, and the home side went further in front after 69 minutes when a free-kick by Jimmy Jackson found Mark Munday, who headed in. Dave Powell strolled through the defence to score the third five minutes from time. It was his ninth in the competition this season, a club record.

Chris Weller, Gravesend's caretaker-manager, is looking forward to going to Villa Park for their next tie. "It's a dream," he said. "I think I'll reflect more on it when I get home, and when I wake up in the morning and read the papers and see it for myself."

Fulham's goalkeeper, Tony Lange, earned his side a home third-round tie against Shrewsbury Town by scoring the decisive spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out that settled last night's replay at Brighton. The game remained scoreless after extra time but Fulham kept their nerve amid the tension of the penalty shoot-out to win it by a 4-1 margin.

Fulham, who earlier this season put Albion out of the Coca-Cola Cup 5- 0 on aggregate, dominated the shoot-out, with Lange emerging as their hero.

Lange produced a series of important stops before firing home the final penalty to seal victory. Brighton's Ian Chapman and Dean Wilkins missed their spot kicks as Fulham took a 3-1 shoot-out lead before Lange sent his opposite number, Nicky Rust, the wrong way.

Junior McDougald missed Brighton's best chance of the night, in the last minute of extra-time, when he shot straight at Lange after a pin-point cross from Wilkins.

Comments