FA Cup third qualifying round replay: Metropolitan Police 2, Dereham Town 0
Brave Dereham Town were punished by The Law tonight as Metropolitan Police ended their FA Cup dream.
Jonte Smith's 16th-minute strike and Ty Smith's injury-time clincher was enough to see off the Magpies who left Surrey with their heads held high following a narrow third qualifying round replay defeat - against a side who play two levels above them.
After seeing off S&L Corby, Woodford United, Bugbrooke St Michaels and Chasetown in this season's competition it was a League Two Crawley Town striker - on-loan Smith - who proved too much for the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side. He bagged his eighth goal in this term's cup and terrorised Dereham's backline all night long.
Cheered on by a healthy away contingent, who had made the three-hour journey from Norfolk following Saturday's 1-1 draw, Matt Henman's Magpies started brightly. However, Ryman Premier Division Met soon took control.
Livewire Smith forced Andy Wilton into a comfortable save with a decent effort from the edge of the box before he gave the Blues the lead. Cutting in from the left, he breezed past Matt Howard's challenge and fired home - from the angle - from about 10 yards out.
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The hosts nearly doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark when Chris Bourne's in-swinging free-kick from the left evaded everyone, but struck the post. Battling Dereham went close through the impressive Nicky Howell but Met still looked likeliest to find the net again. And they nearly did when Smith somehow headed against Magpies 'keeper Wilton's legs from six yards out.
Just like they had at Aldiss Park at the weekend, Henman's troops found themselves 1-0 down at the break. After a gritty 45-minute showing in a half Met controlled, they needed to show similar belief to keep their cup dream alive.
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And they continued to hang in there as Smith and Jay Lovatt both missed golden opportunities before shot-stopper Wilton pulled off a fine save from Howard Newton to keep the Magpies in it. And despite Newton failing to finish a fine team move, an injury-time strike from Ty Smith sealed Met's win with Henman and Police boss Jim Cooper being sent off for a touchline spat after the goal. The victors travel to South Park in the next round.
Met Police: Butler, Lovatt, Tanner, Dolan, Taylor, Smart, Brown, T.Smith, J.Smith, Bourne (Crook, 60), Newton (Noakes, 85). Subs not used: Palmer, Lockyer, Tait, Smalley, McNeil. Booked: Dolan, Brown, T.Smith. Goal: J.Smith (16), T.Smith (90+3)
Dereham: Wilton, Roberts, Willis, Hannant, Howard, Gusterson (Eastoe-Smith, 84), Howell (Sutherland-Gray, 74), Borrer, Bammant, Tuttle, Bussens (Kay, 67). Subs not used: Hawkins, Smith, Fox. Booked: Hannant, Bammant, Sutherland-Gray.
Referee: I. Fissenden.
• A gallery of Ian Burt's pictures from tonight's game will be added to this report soon.