STAFFORD Town reached the semi-finals of the Staffs FA Vase after a hard-fought 2-1 away victory over County League side Audley.
And there was an early shock for the Reds when the home side took a surprise lead after just four minutes when a well rehearsed free kick gave Daniel Meek the chance to smash the ball past Matt Challinor in Town’s goal.
The visitors hit back and just two minutes later Chris Morris had a shot well saved by Luke Jones. The Reds then equalised after eight minutes when a long throw by Spencer Gunnell caused confusion in the home penalty area and Ryan Fox smashed the ball into the net giving Jones no chance. It was Fox’s first goal since rejoining Stafford.
For the remainder of the half, play flowed from end to end and both sides had
chances to take the lead but the score remained level at half-time.
Town totally dominated the opening ten minutes of the second half with the home side hardly getting a touch of the ball.
Stafford took the lead after 56 minutes when Steve Bennett’s through ball found Gunnell who took the ball in his stride and fired a low shot under the diving Jones.
If Town thought the game was won they had a shock as the home side fought to the final whistle to take the tie into extra time.
Stafford also created several chances to wrap up the game but missed them and were grateful for the final whistle. This will be Town’s first appearance in a Staffs FA semi-final since 2000 when they reached the final before losing.
This Saturday, Town entertain Southam United in a league fixture at Evans Park (3pm).