TROWBRIDGE & DISTRICT LEAGUE A&B CUP: Holders Bradley lose seven-goal thriller

NORTH Bradley saw their dreams of retaining the AM Print & Copy-sponsored A&B Cup end in dramatic fashion as they were beaten in a seven-goal thriller away at fellow first division side Seend United.

A well drilled Seend side lead 4-0 after just 20 minutes against a North Bradley side playing only their second game since mid-November and shorn of many players.

Three close range finishes and a superb header gave the hosts their early advantage, with swift passing, moving & thinking undoing a disorganised Bradley.

With James Eatough scoring twice, Rob Manning and James Worlsey looking to have killed off Bradley before the game had really began.

However, with a change of formation and increased belief the visitors began to pose a threat, particularly through right winger Sam Weston and striker Reuben Spong.

The latter beat two men and a hit a post before another tricky run resulted in his saved effort falling to Mike Johnson, who made the score 4-1 shortly before half time.

After the break, Bradley continued to improve but Seend looked dangerous on the break as both sides coped manfully with poor playing conditions.

Spong's run was halted unfairly and he stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick, and with 20 minutes to go, the impressive Ricky Kerr beat three players on the right and crossed to the far post for Spong to prod home.

The game became a classic cup tie in boggy conditions as Bradley pushed for a leveller - the returning Rob Elliott made a great save and watched as Eatough hit a post for Seend, and Groves saved well from Spong and Weston was unlucky not to earn a second spot kick as both sides tested each other.

Seend were eventually rewarded for their incisive first 20 minute display but Bradley were very disappointed not to take the game further after their gutsy comeback.

Castle Combe 0 The Lamb 4

Richard Stevens' second division high flyers and Wiltshire Junior Cup semi-finalists the Lamb caused a minor upset with a 4-0 victory away at struggling first division side Castle Combe, who played most of the game with ten men.

Sam Stevens was the star-man for the Lamb - he opened the scoring for the Trowbridge-based side and he doubled their advantage before having the chance to score a first half hat-trick, but he saw his penalty saved by Combe keeper.

Stevens atoned for his penalty miss, grabbing his third of the game to put the Lamb within touching distance of the final eight and the victory was confirmed when Tom Blackman netted for a third successive game to complete the 4-0 win.

Semington Magpies 3 The Fleece 1

Third division Fleece FC, who received a walkover to this stage of the competition following the withdrawal of Civil Service Larkhall, saw their cup dreams come to an abrupt end away at First Fivision Semington Magpies, whose reward for their 3-1 triumph is a quarter-final tie at home to Bratton next weekend.

Semington led 1-0 at the interval courtesy of Nigel Hall’s bullet header.

They doubled their advantage early in the second half when Andy Harrison scored from the penalty spot after Dan Rimmer had been brought down and they wrapped up victory when Sam Malone made it 3-0 on 65 minutes with a stunning strike from 25 yards.

Marcus Hogarth pulled a goal back for the Fleece but his effort was little more than a consolation that Dan Cass' side deserved for their efforts in difficult conditions at Littlemarsh.

United FC 3 Melksham Town Reserves 9

Melksham Town Reserves, who tasted cup success in 2011, cruised into the quarter-finals with a 9-3 victory away at third division FC United.

Melksham’s success sets up a mouth-watering tie with local rivals Seend United at the Conigre this coming Saturday.

Steve Burns' visitors to Trowbridge led 3-1 at half time thanks to goals from Leigh Rogers, Lee Fielding and Aaron Wiltshire - Marcin Kaminski pulling a goal back for United when the score was 2-0.

The second half saw Melksham completely boss proceedings as they scored another six goals.

Matt Sharpe and Ashley Caws added two apiece, Ben Macey was also on target and a second of the afternoon from Lee Fielding completed the rout for Melksham.

Mariusz Jackiewic and Krzystof Kopacz were United’s other scorers.

MATCHES OFF: Broughton Gifford v Levi’s, Worton & Cheverell v Westbury Town

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