Pedlars earn replay against higher-league Stowmarket
FA Vase Third Round
Swaffham Town 0 Stowmarket Town 0
Swaffham Town manager Paul Hunt felt the match officials had a poor game as his brave side earned an FA Vase replay against higher-league Stowmarket.
Hunt was left disappointed by a number of decisions as the Pedlars, who were reduced to ten men in extra-time, gave their all in an entertaining Third Round Proper tie at Shoemakers Lane.
The Pedlars' chief was left particularly baffled that his side weren't awarded a penalty for a foul on Joe Jackson before Danny Tindall was sent-off late in the contest for picking up a second bookable offence.
A disappointed Hunt said: "We feel hard done by after the amount of yellow cards that we received in that game.
"We don't surround the referee or go after him to make decisions but the opposition did. They surrounded him two or three times which led to our players getting booked.
"In the end it led to our centre-half getting a really soft yellow card for something which didn't even look a foul. It turned into another yellow card later in the game and he got sent-off
"Vinnie (Alex Vincent) was straight through and got pulled back but the referee and linesman said that they didn't see it, even though everyone else in the ground did.
"Then Jacko (Joe Jackson) went on a great run, beat the goalkeeper, got up to put into an empty net and then got pulled back down to the floor by the goalkeeper.
"The officials again said they didn't see it. It should have been a penalty and possibly a sending-off as well."
Swaffham, with the slope in their favour, were the better side in the first period.
Nick Castellan directed an Alex Vincent free-kick over the woodwork, Jackson's cross was pushed away by Callum Robinson, who also kept out a Tindall cross into the box.
After the interval, the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division visitors, who had three goals ruled out during the 120 minutes, began to gain a foothold in the game.
The dangerous Remi Garrett headed over before Scott Chaplin's thunderbolt strike came back off the underside of the crossbar before eventually being gratefully claimed by Tommy Rix.
Other than their claims for a penalty, Swaffham's best opening in the second period saw Vincent fire into the side-netting.
Extra-time remained just as exciting as both sides tried to break the deadlock.
Stowmarket substitute Dave Kempson headed over from close range while at the other end Jackson fired inches wide of the target with Robinson beaten.
"It was a real cup tie. There were chances at both ends and there was a really good atmosphere," admitted Hunt after the game.
"I thought we started really well. We went at them from the word go and put them on the back foot.
"We got a head of steam, got more confident and moved the ball really well at times and I felt we were in the ascendancy for long periods of the game.
"In the second half, as people got more tired the game went more end-to-end, we made a couple of great goal-line clearances from positions that they worked.
"Yes they had opportunities as well but in the first half we feel that we had two or three good chances that we missed. On the whole, I thought our boys were absolutely outstanding from the word go."
The replay at Greens Meadow will take place on Tuesday night (7.45pm).