The Saints travelled to a familiar foe in the shape of Wem Town for the 1st round of the TJ Vickers Premier Cup for a place in the quarter finals.
Manager Dan Stevens shuffled the pack again, with a debut for George Durrell, and starts for Walters, Stoker, Ash, Graybrook amongst others.
In truth, the game lacked quality for 120 minutes, especially in the final third. The Saints dominated possession from start to finish as Wem played deep and tried to counter attack. The first real chance came from Millington after five minutes but he dragged shot wide when in a good position. There were lots of half chances and nearly moments for the Saints in the half but in terms of really opening up Wem, it never really came. The best chance came right on half time, when a short corner was delivered and it dropped to Ash in the six yard box, and the keeper produced a good point blank save and Ask couldn’t convert the follow up. Wem never really offered much bar the odd long range effort for the whole half. The most entertainment in the half was the handbags that saw Dickin and Hands get booked, yet they were probably the least guilty of the flair up.
Half Time 0-0
The second half followed a similar pattern and Price had the best chance of opening the scoring when he met a Graybrook cross but his stretched effort was clawed away by the keeper. Easthope was introduced for Durrell and his creativity helped put Price in on goal but the keeper again made a good save with his legs. Wem should of been reduced to 10 men in the second half when the right back, who had been booked for a foul on Price in the first half, lunged in from behind on Price again, and everyone was expecting a second yellow but the referee, who has a really poor game for both sides, failed to give the second yellow. This disjointed the game and Austin was next to get a whack for his troubles on the knee and then Tom Ash had to be replaced due to a late tackle.
The Saints almost won it in normal time, when a cross was headed back across goal by Karl Bailey but it hit the post and the follow up could not be converted.
Full Time 0-0
Extra time was just three minutes old when The Saints finally took the lead in the most unlikely circumstances. A corner was won and taken short between Graybrook and Price, Price crossed and the Wem Centre half headed it straight in the far top corner from the centre of goal. A bizarre own to say the league. It should of been wrapped up by half time. First Bailey cut in from the left, smashed a low shot and it hit the post, the rebound came 6 yards out to Jordy Davies who somehow managed to fire the ball over the bar, a real contender for miss of the season. Bailey had another chance to get on the score sheet, doing some great work down the right, getting into the box and firing between the keepers legs but somehow it ended up wide, maybe the pitch played a part.
Full time (AET 0-1)
All in all a comfortable night for the Saints who defended well and limited the home side to no real efforts at goal. A lot of work to be done in attacking areas for the Saints who looked really blunt at times in the final third and decision making was poor at times. That said, it’s our name in the hat for the last eight of the cup and that’s what matters all in all.