Ripley Town end Ambergate’s cup run

Ambergate suffered their heaviest defeat of the season and went out the MRA Challenge Cup 3-0 at the fourth round stage against Ripley Town on Saturday.

A slow start by the side cost them dear as Ripley dominated the majority of the first half. The opening goal came after ten minutes with Ripley heading in a free-kick from the left, unmarked from six yards out.

A second goal came just over five minutes later. A long ball was poorly dealt with by the Ambergate defence and Ripley’s Jay Harrison coolly went around Adam Bannister in the Ambergate goal and doubled the lead.

After 25 minutes, Ripley made it 3-0 and the tie was all but over for Ambergate. Ripley’s left winger ran into the box and was brought down by Matt Magill for a penalty. Jay Harrison stepped up to smash the ball home for his second of the game.

Ambergate’s first real effort of the first half came with five minutes left as Richard Tomlinson struck a long range effort inches passed the post.

The second half started with Ambergate looking more in the game. Within a couple of minutes of the restart, Richard Clark had already tested the ‘keeper at his near post and gone close with another effort.

The energetic Josh Squires was also causing problems with his pace, constantly getting in behind Ripley and supplying chances for Clark and Shaun Bestwick.

Ambergate carried on dominating the half but could not seem to get the breaks. This was evident again when Clark rounded the Ripley ‘keeper but lost his footing in the final moment, allowing a defender to stop his shot on the line.

The final chance of the game again fell to Clark. A cross from the right was won well in the air but struck the post and went wide.

Ambergate will be disappointed with the cup exit and first half performance but a lot of pride can be taken from the reaction and fight shown in the second half with a number of crucial games coming up over the next few weeks including the DCFA Junior Cup quarter final this Saturday against Ilkeston Rutland, a 1.15pm kick off at (provisionally) Kilburn Miners Welfare.