Crusaders march on in cup

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Division two Tempest Crusaders advanced to the next round of the Len Day Cup thanks to an excellent second-half showing in a 4-2 win over division one side AFC Ventora.

Ventora had an early sight of goal, Steve Fitzpatrick rising to meet Max Mouncher’s cross but his header went straight at keeper Craig Jenkins.

Jenkins was called into action soon after, tipping over a Paul Johnson effort from long range.

A defensive errror gifted the ball to Fitzpatrick after 15 minutes but Jenkins was out quickly to beat away his shot.

After Ventora’s Steve Horsley had bounced a corner off the crossbar, James Crawley had Tempest’s first effort on target after 25 minutes. Ventora keeper Mark Cammerer going full length to push the effort away.

Only a goalline clearance prevented Jason Jeal from breaking the deadlock for Ventora from his firm headed effort.

But it was Tempest who got the opener on 35 minutes. Sean Brooker chased a ball over the top, side-stepped the last defender and placed his shot inside the far post.

The lead lasted only two minutes, though. A mix-up at the back between Jenkins and defender Jason White ended with the centre-back heading the ball into his own net.

The second half started quietly but on the hour Tempest went close to taking the lead.

Gary Armstrong’s first-time effort bounced off Cammerer’s legs and went clear.

Tempest were back ahead on the hour thanks to a fine finish from Carl White. He took a cross-field pass from Jack Rickard in his stride and lashed an unstoppable drive in off the underside of the crossbar.

Tempest strengthened their hold on the tie with a third goal on 70 minutes. They broke quickly and, although Brooker was tackled as he bore down on goal, the ball broke to Armstrong who made no mistake from 10 yards.

After creating so many chances in the first half, Ventora had yet to threaten the Tempest goal in the second period.

And James Crawley should have put the tie beyond doubt but fired wildly over when well placed.

Tempest’s progression was assured in the last five minutes with a fourth goal. Steve Bain crossed from the right and Brooker had time to steady himself and beat Cammerer from close range.

There was still time for Ventora to grab a late consolation. Mouncher shrugged off his marker and rolled the ball past the advancing Jenkins.

Len Day Cup

TEMPEST CRUSADERS 4 (Brooker 2, Carl White, Armstrong)

AFC VENTORA 2 (og, Mouncher

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