• Rob McNeil

Long Eaton see Vase dreams end at Atherstone

FA Vase Second Round

Atherstone Town 3

Cowley 44, Piggon 82pen, 86

Long Eaton Utd 1

Robinson 72

Mitch Piggon's second-half brace knocked Long Eaton United out of the FA Vase in Second Round Proper.

The hosts took the lead just before half-time through Chris Cowley. With 18 minutes left to play, Mitchell Robinson levelled the score, but Piggon's brace in the last ten minutes sealed Long Eaton's fate.

Five United players were unavailable for selection in the match. Kameron Campbell and Romaine Graham were sidelined through injury, Sam Wilson and Brad Wilson served suspensions and Joel Valentin was cup tied.

In an end-to-end first half, the Blues had a couple of chances to take the lead early on. In the fifth minute Alex Marshall played Jamie Walker through on goal, but the close-range effort was parried by Carl O'Neill. James Taylor volleyed the rebound but could not keep the shot down.

At the other end, Atherstone's top goalscorer Brady Middleton sliced a shot wide from a tight angle after some great hold-up play from Piggon.

Robinson, who wore the captain's armband in Graham's absence, was denied by the crossbar as he headed Keiran Walker's throw-in goalwards approaching the break.

Three minutes later Cowley put The Adders in front. The winger cut in from the left and picked out the near post with a low driven effort which saw the hosts lead at the interval.

Shortly after the restart Ian Deakin made a triple change to inject some energy into the front three. Ben Hutchinson, Klein Gwenero and James Shaw entered the fray.

Hutchinson almost made an instant impact as he headed Larell King's cross narrowly over the bar from inside the box.

After the Blues bombarded the opposition with throw-ins in the first half, Robinson found the back of the net with a header at the near post to level the match in the 72nd minute.

The Blues almost made it two, as Hutchinson whipped a cross into the box, James Shaw met the ball at the far post, but Darren Eggleton just about got his body in the way to cut out the chance.

Atherstone continued to launch attack after attack on the Blues goal, and as Piggon raced through, Marcus Coombs was adjudged to have brought the striker down. Piggon sent Coombs the wrong way and tucked the penalty away to restore the hosts' lead.

Mitch Robinson heads home for Long Eaton. Photo: Long Eaton Utd FC.

Four minutes later Piggon latched onto a lofted through ball and slotted the ball home to double Atherstone's advantage.

As the game went into injury time, the Blues looked for a reply, but the scoreline remained the same and 2019/20's quarter-finalists Atherstone advanced to the third round.