Steyning Town 0 Sheppey United 5  (Emirates FA Cup, Qualifying Round 1)

The Barrowmen came back down to earth with a bit of a bump on Tuesday night, crashing out of the Emirates FA Cup in the first Qualifying Round to a 5-0 defeat at home to Sheppey United of the Southern Counties East Premier Division.

We came into this Cup tie on the back of last Saturday’s 3-1 FA Vase success over Bagshot but we knew we were in for a stern test against the North Kent side who have won all their opening League fixtures and had also progressed in the FA Vase at the weekend.

On a warm evening at the Birchwood @Shooting Field, and with a decent sized socially-distanced crowd in attendance, despite the score-line we battled hard throughout with plenty of strong running and link-up play from George Cousins and Harry Heath, Rob Clark and Josh Maher also attacking well from the back.

If good early attempts by Heath, Louis Coulson and Tom Bold had yielded something, then things may have evolved a little differently.

The early dismissal of Tony Timms for a reckless challenge obviously did not help matters but we generally compensated well for the extra man.

However, after a lively start by us our visitors were always the much stronger and in-control side and we were put to the sword by three quick-fire first half goals from Carnegie, Leonard and former AFC Wimbledon player Jack Midson and a further two in the second, another for Midson and one from Bennett.

Indeed, if it had not been for more heroics from our keeper Sam Marsden, who made a string of superb saves, the margin of defeat would have been even wider.

All credit to Sheppey United though. They made the long mid-week round trip from North Kent and their fans were marvellous. They are well worthy of their place in the next Round and we wish them all the best going forward.

Meanwhile, for us it’s back to League action on Saturday and another home match – the visitors Newhaven (KO at Birchwood @Shooting Field 3pm).

Final score – Steyning Town 0 Sheppey United 5

Town line up – Marsden, Clark, Maher, Boiling, Tony Timms (red carded), Gathern (capt) (Maxwell), Cousins, Bold, Coulson (Romain), Faber (Hards), Heath

Unused subs – Theobold, Griffin-Tilley