Dale Burgess’s double saw South Park produce a classic Emirates FA Cup upset on Wednesday to overcome Leatherhead 3-1 at Fetcham Grove.
The Sparks were unlucky to be denied victory against their higher-league opposition in the original first round qualifying clash, with Kiernan Hughes-Mason to netting late on to force the replay.
But they got off to the perfect start in this Surrey derby when Karl Parker opened the scoring on 19 minutes, heading home Jack MacLeod’s cross at the far post.
Burgess then doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, latching onto a great ball over the top from Jack Stafford, before cutting inside and clinically finishing into the corner.
The Emirates FA Cup
First Round Qualifying replays
Tuesday 22 & Wednesday 23 September 2015
Winners receive £3000 from prize fund
By Jack Miller
South Park’s longest-serving player Burgess was causing the Tanners all kinds of problems from the left, but Leatherhead forced a nervous final ten minutes when Daniel Burnett-Thomas netted and Dylan Marchant saw red in the aftermath.
But up stepped Burgess again to make it more comfortable for the Reigate-based side with the clock ticking into the red.
He slid the ball home following a great break from MacLeod and Kofi Quartey, with the latter squaring brilliantly for the midfielder’s second of the evening to send Park into a Second Round Qualifying clash with Maidstone United on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in Tuesday evening’s only fixture St Neots Town progresed after four goals in a frantic final five minutes saw them run out 5-2 winners at Tilbury.
These sides were forced into a replay after sharing a 1-1 draw at St Neots ten days earlier, when a Neil Richmond volley levelled things up for Tilbury after the break.
Saints had the better of the first half and Tom Ward handed them the lead after 20 minutes, though spirits were deflated amongst the travelling support soon after when Matt Mitchell-King was forced off injured.
That didn’t last long, however, as they were soon awarded a penalty and Tom Meechan, who impressed when these sides drew earlier this month, kept his composure to double the lead.
Tilbury were handed the opportunity to pull one back from the penalty spot shortly before the break but Saints goalkeeper Danny Gay, who had conceded the spot kick, saved it.
Jamie Anton was sent off for St Neots after he was adjudged to have raised an elbow and the hosts capitalised to pull one back through Jack Carlile.
However, with 11 minutes to play, Tilbury were reduced to nine men when Kurt Smith and Carlile both followed Anton down the tunnel.
Dan Hobbs set up Ryan Hawkins to restore the Saints’ two-goal lead only for Harry Cook to hit back just a minute later.
But Meechan and Hobbs each netted in the dying stages to add some gloss to the scoreline and ensure the Saints progressed.