Off the pace Romans crash out of Presidents Cup

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FOOTBALL

Midland League, Presidents Cup, Quarter-finals
Alcester Town 0
Fairfield Villa 3 (Smith 10, Dempster 14, 61)
Report by Craig Gibbons

LACKLUSTRE Alcester Town crashed out of the Midland League Presidents Cup at the quarter-final stage at the hands of a slick and efficient Fairfield Villa outfit.

Scott Smith put the visitors ahead after ten minutes when the Romans failed to clear Alfie Bloomer’s corner before debutant Ross Dempster doubled the Swans’s lead four minutes later with an assured finish after racing through on goal.

Dempster then struck again just past the hour mark to secure Fairfield’s place in the semi-finals.

Despite the comfortable scoreline, it was actually Shaun Edwards’s Alcester who started the brighter of the two sides on a cold afternoon at the Stratford Road Ground.

Jamie Corrigan saw a fourth-minute free-kick from the edge of the area sail over and then George Davis fired just wide two minutes later after latching on to Dylan Corrigan’s throughball.

Three minutes later Romans goalkeeper Dan Handley did well to tip Jake Bloomer’s thumping drive behind and it was from the ensuing corner that Fairfield took the lead.

Alfie Bloomer’s deep delivery was not dealt with and after a classic case of pinball in the penalty area, Smith managed to stab the ball through several bodies and into the bottom corner.

Four minutes later the hosts missed a glorious chance to get back on level terms when Corrigan squared to Wade Malley, but his low shot was saved by the feet of Elliott Hart.

That missed proved costly when immediately up the other end the visitors doubled their lead, with Dempster racing clean through on goal and passing the ball past the onrushing Handley and into the far corner.

At this point the Romans were at sixes and sevens in defence and had it not been for wasteful finishing, the visitors could have been well out of sight before the half-time whistle arrived.

Alcester did have a good shout for a penalty refused after Malley was clattered in the box before Karl King headed straight at Hart 13 minutes before the break, their final clear-cut chance of the half.

Fairfield were on top after the restart and they should have been 3-0 up in the 54th minute when Bloomer played Dempster through on goal, but he could only blaze over.

However, it wasn’t long until Dempster registered his second goal of the game.

Once again another long ball over the top from Joey Haywood allowed former Paget Rangers forward Dempster to race clear, round Handley and calmly slot the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Little goalmouth action followed after that third goal, as Alcester huffed and puffed to bag a consolation.

But Smith was solid in defence and was there every time to mop up any loose passes or long balls pumped deep into Fairfield territory, with the visitors running out worthy winners in the end.

ALCESTER: Dan Handley, James Wright, Sam Hawker, Karl King, Toby Checketts, Sean Bent (Kyle Malley 69), Wade Malley (Connor Jones 77), Dylan Corrigan, Jamie Corrigan, Jake Brown, George Davis. Unused sub: Gary Lawlor.

FAIRFIELD: Elliott Hart, Keith Draper, Jake Bloomer, Loz Martin (Aaron Westwood 72), Shaun Smith, CHris Hill, Joey Haywood, Luke Wyatt (Ryan Gittings 67), Ross Dempster (Ethan Hanks 78), Alfie Bloomer, Dan Ludlow. Unused subs: Matt Jackson, Pete Jenvey.

ATTENDANCE: 35 (headcount)