FA Vase fifth round
Ampthill Town 3-1 Hanwell Town (after extra time)
Dominic Rhone was both hero and villain as Hanwell Town's record-breaking run in the FA Vase came to a heart-wrenching end on Saturday.
Rhone opened the scoring with a sublime free kick but then put past his own keeper with just two minutes remaining - and hosts Ampthill went on to score twice in extra time to book a sixth round spot.
In a game dominated by a very strong wind, Hanwell were put under heavy early pressure by Ampthill midfielder Tyrone Taylor who was able to launch throw in after throw in into the danger area. The visitors dealt with the bombardment with excellent defending and then a terrific save from keeper Charlie Fanner who turned Phil Draycott's close range shot around the post for a corner. From the resulting kick, Ricky Pither was on hand to head the ball out from under the cross bar.
Hanwell created the best chance of the half when Bill Healey flicked the ball into the path of Pither who evaded a couple of tackles before finding himself right through on goal with only keeper Martyn Conway to beat only to poke the ball wide of the post. They were almost made to pay for that miss when from another long throw by Taylor the ball was flicked on at the near post only for Christian Lester to head against the far post from point blank range.
But two minutes into injury time, Kyle Watson was brought down some 30 yards from goal and Rhone curled a beautiful free kick past Conway to give Hanwell a half-time lead. They continued to dominate after the interval with Connor Duffy going close and Rhone sending another fine free kick just over the angle of post and bar. They should have sealed victory when Healey headed over from a corner, when unmarked in the centre of the goal.
Desperate to get back in the tie, Ampthill changed their formation and made a couple of substitutions. It seemed Hanwell had done enough for a famous win, however until in the 88th minute a free kick floated into the goalmouth saw Rhone leap highest in a bid to clear only to see the ball flick off his head past Fanner's despairing dive.
Boosted by that goal, Ampthill started extra time strongly and for once they found a crucial gap in the Hanwell defence for Danny Watson to turn sharply and fire his side into the lead Hanwell hit back strongly with Kyle Watson firing just wide and Conway blocking two near post efforts.
Their last chance came and went, however when Callum Duffy's low cross shot beat Conway but rebounded off the inside of the far post. That it was not meant to be their day was underlined two minutes from time when a speculative effort by Holmes looped over a stranded Fanner into the net to seal the tie.There was still plenty of passion in the game however. which boiled over at the finish when Ampthill's Michael Lyon was red carded for a late tackle on Rhone.
Sadly players from both sides then became involved in a confrontation which led to Amptill's Danny Watson and Connor Duffy also being dismissed.