Melton Town out of FA Vase as Ingles hit late replay winner
Melton Town slipped to their first defeat of the season as Ingles grabbed a late winner in their FA Vase replay last Wednesday.
Town thought they had won the first meeting on a penalty shoot-out, only for the FA to overturn the result after an error by match officials.
There was a great atmosphere at The Dovecote, with both sets of supporters anticipating a great rematch.
Melton started as if they meant business with their very first attack in the opening minute when Reeve received the ball on the edge of the area and his rasping shot was well saved by Buchanan.
The very next attack saw Reeve again causing havoc in the Ingles penalty area, collecting the ball on the penalty spot and shooting on the turn, only for Buchanan to tip round the post.
Player-manager Manship then drove a free-kick into the area where Buchanan and Hibbitt both challenged for the ball and Dean Copson had to clear off the line.
The game became end-to-end with both teams failing to create many chances until midway through the half.
Hibbitt won a header in midfield which fell to Reeve who outmuscled Bowley to go clear on goal, but his low shot was once more well saved by Buchanan.
It took Hammond, Ingles’ main threat, 35 minutes to carve out a real chance from a free kick knocked down by Bennett. But the striker’s sharp shot went inches wide.
Sam Kee nearly opened the scoring for the hosts with a cross-come-shot which flew just wide of the post.
Manship nearly scored direct from a free-kick on the stroke of half-time, but his shot beat both keeper and post.
The second half became very scrappy, with Ingles resorting to the physical game which led to needless free-kicks.
Eventually their star man Hammond showed his frustration by clashing heads with Appleton and was sent off.
The 10 men then dug in and frustrated Melton with their tight defence and quick breaks, and it took until the 75th minute before Melton conjured up a chance.
Sam Thorpe collected a long ball forward and rounded the keeper, but his shot from an acute angle was scrambled clear by Jack Green.
Parsons then drove through the defence and played in Reeve whose powerful shot was well saved.
Melton dominated possession, but created very few chances, the best of which came with eight minutes to go, when Hill’s shot was scrambled wide after good interplay by Thorpe and Reeve on the edge of the box.
The resulting corner fell to Thorpe whose shot flew over.
Then came the sucker-punch with just five minutes to go.
Ingles broke quickly upfield and the ball fell to Copson whose shot was tipped past the post. The resulting corner found man-of-the-match Jimmy Brooks unmarked in the six-yard box and his thunderous header hit the roof of the net.
The 10 men from Shepshed battled to the end in a very scrappy match in front of a large crowd.
With last weekend off, Melton were able to rest and re-focus for their return to league duties on Saturday at home to third-placed Lutterworth Athletic (kick-off 3pm).