FA Trophy hopes ended by late Concord strike

It was third time unlucky for City tonight as they exited the FA Trophy in a 2-1 defeat to Concord Rangers at Twerton Park. The 2nd Round replay, which had twice been postponed, was decided by Nouble’s 88th minute goal to send the Beachboys into the 3rd Round for the first time in their history. City began the game well and twice Concord keeper Haigh flapped unconvincingly at Connor Riley-Lowe crosses but the ball didn’t drop to a Roman. However, it was the visitors who struck first when Roast headed home a 15th minute corner. Any fears of a repeat of Saturday’s collapse at Wealdstone were soon dispelled as City responded well to this set-back and on 23 minutes Mann was tripped in the box by Haigh and Ryan Brunt emphatically fired home the resultant penalty. Haigh redeemed himself with two excellent saves in as many minutes from Adam Mann and Tom Smith, then Concord’s Reynolds completely miskicked with the goal at his mercy. The second half saw City back on the front foot but they couldn’t create any clear openings and the game got increasingly scrappy with neither side able to get on top. It looked as if the tie was headed for extra-time but out of nowhere Concord grabbed the winner with two minutes left, when Nouble, who had looked Concord’s only real attacking threat all evening, latched onto to a through ball to slide a shot past Ryan Clarke. The Essex side’s celebrations led to some pushing and shoving by the City bench, which saw already substituted Krasniqi receive a red card, but the goal turned out to be enough to end City’s FA Trophy hopes for another season.