Rai-sing to the occasion
Rai Simons struck his second goal for Chesterfield in their FA Cup first round tie against FC United of Manchester at Broadhurst Park last night.
The 19-year-old replaced Sylan Ebanks-Blake early in the second half and made an immediate impact on the left of midfield, scoring his side’s third goal in the 68th minute.
Simons raced on to a sublime through ball from Sam Morsy but took a heavy first touch as he closed in on goal, allowing David Carnell, the United goalkeeper, to close the gap.
The Bermudian had to lengthen his stride to reach the ball first and dinked a deft chip with the outside of his right boot over Carnell’s outstretched arm and into the net.
FC United, of the Vanarama National League North, never looked like bridging the 78-place gap separating the two clubs, conceding twice in the opening 12 minutes.
Gboly Ariyibi side-footed the Sky Bet League One side ahead after a run and deflected cross by striker Ebanks-Blake. Lee Novak then converted Daniel Jones’s cross to double the lead.
Simons then extended Chesterfield’s lead before Ollie Banks added a fourth in the 87th minute.
Luke Ashworth scored a late consolation goal for FC United, who were set up by fans angry at the Glazers’ takeover of nearby Manchester United in 2005.
Chesterfield will meet League One leaders Walsall in the FA Cup second round to be played on the weekend of December 4 to 7.
Meanwhile, a glaring miss from Reggie Lambe prevented Mansfield Town, of League Two, from upsetting League One outfit Oldham Athletic in the first round on Saturday.
Lambe volleyed over from five yards, while Cameron Dumingan, the Oldham defender, made two goal-line clearances to earn his side a replay after a goalless draw.
Adam Murray, the Mansfield manager, said Lambe should have done far better with his opportunity but was delighted with his team’s dominant display.
“It should have been in. Reggie should have scored and nine times out of ten he does,” Murray told the Mansfield Chad.
“We’ve been working all week on our final third play, and today again we’ve seen a lot of crosses going into the box and into the final third, but we just need something to go in off someone’s backside at the minute.”
• Freddy Hall will take a well-deserved break from football before weighing-up his options after Limerick’s relegation from the SSE Airtricity League.
Limerick were beaten 2-0 away to Finn Harps in the second leg of a promotion-relegation play-off tie last Friday to lose 2-1 on aggregate.
Hall, who also suffered relegation to the National League North with Telford United last season, will return to Bermuda for some rest and recuperation after 16 months of constant first-team football.
Limerick were eight points adrift at the bottom of table, having failed to win any of their 18 league matches, when the Bermuda goalkeeper joined them in July.
Hall’s presence in goal sparked a significant upturn in results with Limerick winning eight and drawing three of their remaining 17 matches. It was the type of form that would have secured them a place in the second round of qualifying for the Champions League.
It is understood Hall’s eye-catching performances have attracted the interest of several clubs keen to tempt the 30-year-old to remain in Ireland for another season.
The former Northampton Town goalkeeper, however, has made no secret of his desire to return to English football and will likely make a decision on his future next month prior to the January transfer window.
• Jonté Smith, the Bermuda striker, continued his impressive scoring form by netting in Gloucester City’s 2-2 draw away to Tamworth in the National League North at the weekend.
Gloucester came back from two goals down to claim a valuable point, with Smith converting a penalty early in the second half before teeing up Joshua Cooke to equalise. Dan Preston and Danny Racchi scored first-half goals for Tamworth.