An hour before kick-off and not many would have known that the preliminary round of the Emirates FA Cup was about to take place in the calm, settled town of Bodmin.
The club has an ingrained family feeling, as does the town itself and is hidden away from the heaving crowds of holiday-goers.
However, as the 3pm kick-off approached, Priory Park’s solitary stand gradually became busier and busier and the standing section was soon covered by Bodmin stalwarts. Men, women and children from all walks of local life turned up. Some 120 spectators had dedicated their Saturday afternoon to the game and they weren't disappointed.
- Emirates FA Cup
- Preliminary Round
- Saturday 25 August
- at Priory Park
- Winners: £2,890, losers: £960
Pre-match, Bodmin Town’s club secretary Nick Giles outlined the fascination the Emirates FA Cup holds for his club.
He said: “We are always delighted to have the opportunity to play in The FA Cup. It’s a competition we always aspire to participate in.
“This gives us a chance to play teams outside of our league and of higher leagues and then if we are successful and get through to the latter rounds then that’s amazing for the club.”
A fast tempo was set from the off and within 27 seconds the ball had already received a puncture and a replacement was needed, but this brief interruption did nothing to stifle the pace of the game.
Cadbury’s Sacha Tong opened proceedings, to add to his goal in the extra preliminary round, with a smart finish from close range minutes before the first half came to a close.
However, Bodmin Town’s 120 or so fans remained faithful and the noise increased as the locals attempted to rally their team.
The effect was immediate. A corner was whipped in which eventually found Danny O’Hagan who smashed home from six yards to send the home supporters wild.
Despite the leveller, Cadbury Heath’s domination continued, and it wasn’t long before Tong buried their second goal with a pinpoint header that arrowed into the top right-hand corner.
Neither Town or Heath have progressed further than the third round qualifying and it will take a while longer to see if either of these two clubs can accomplish more in the Emirates FA Cup as O’Hagan bagged his brace in the dying moments of added time with a header.
That 98th-minute equaliser made it 2-2 and sends Bodmin Town into a second replay in as many weeks.
Giles maintained a positive outlook ahead of their trip to Bristol on Wednesday evening.
“We’re delighted to still be in The FA Cup”, he said. “I thought we definitely deserved something from the game even if that something did come so late.
“We will now focus on Wednesday and look to go and get a result in Bristol.”