Our second visit to Lees Lane, the home of South Normanton Athletic, our Quest team, was a tense affair. Lincoln United, the host’s opponents in this FA Cup Preliminary Round tie, are two steps higher on the non-league pyramid, so South Normo were the underdogs despite having home advantage.
But, in a cagey first half which saw little goalmouth action, the side from the East Midlands Counties Premier were marginally the better side, and were more then holding their own against higher opposition.
Shiners coach Tommy Leighton had seen his side go unbeaten in all competitions so far this season, and was hoping to claim another scalp over Evo-Stik First Division South side United
But, although a Kyle Johnson strike looked like it would be enough for the Derbyshire side, United’s late pressure paid off, and as the Shiners tired, United levelled to force a replay.
The winners will play Notts side Clipstone away, as the pre-determined draw for the 1st Qualifying Round pitted them against either Clipstone or Cleethorpes Town. But, as we contemplated fish ‘n’ chips, slot machines and beers by the seaside, those away day dreams were dashed as Clipstone were 1-0 victors. I’ve nothing against Clipstone – and we look forward to going there whoever comes through the replay – but there’s no beach as far as I know. Unless you go to nearby Center Parcs, which, ironically, I am the week before that tie. I digress.
Sadly, as the replay falls on a Tuesday, when my other passion (music) gets in the way (a Paul Smith from Maximo Park solo gig at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham for the record), we won’t be making the trip East to Lincoln. But may the best team win, and we’ll see you in Clipstone on September 12.