Kidsgrove Athletic 5 Atherstone Town 1

Grove in FA Cup Cruise

Kidsgrove easily progressed to the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with a 5-1 win over Midland Alliance side Atherstone Town. Striker Dave Walker lasted just 28 minutes before having to go off injured, but this was long enough for him to net Kidsgrove's opener - the tenth consecutive game in which he has started and scored.

From the offset, it was the home side that were in the ascendancy with Sam Hall shooting wide after three minutes. Andy Kinsey then rolled the ball to Danny Smith whose cross was cleared from danger. Kinsey was involved on nine minutes when his ball into the area was met with a powerful back-post header from Tom Urwin, but this was well saved low down by the keeper.

On 13 minutes, Hodgson comfortably saved a header in a rare Atherstone venture into Athletic territory, before Danny Griggs broke down the left, feeding Kinsey, but his through ball was a little too strong for Danny Smith.

Kidsgrove took the lead in simple fashion on 19 minutes when corner from Urwin found WALKER unmarked eight yards out, and he netted a relatively rare headed goal.

Falling behind seemed to inspire the visitors somewhat, and two minutes later a fantastic powerful long rage strike was met with an even better diving save from Hodgson, who managed to palm the bar onto the angle of upright and crossbar and away for a corner.

Athletic suffered a blow on 28 minutes when Walker pulled up with a groin injury and had to be replaced by Mark Beeston. By this time, however, Kidsgrove, were looking by far the stronger team with another run by Urwin creating a chance for Craig Dove on the half hour, but his shot was blocked. Two minutes later, Wayne Johnson got up highest to an Urwin corner, only to see his header saved by the keeper.

Grove's young winger was continuing to cause problems for The Adders' defence and with 35 minutes on the clock, he played in Kinsey whose powerful shot was tipped over the bar. The home side then forced a series of corners, and from the third of these, taken by Danny Griggs, Nick WARD headed home off the post, to send Kidsgrove into the break 2-0 to the good.

Kicking downhill in the second half, Athletic had Atherstone on the back foot once again from the off, with Urwin surging past four defenders before the ball was eventually put out for a corner. Andy Taylor then fired a cross virtually along the goal line. On 52 minutes, Grove put together their best move of the game with Taylor, Dove, Griggs and Sam Hall combining to create a chance for Urwin who shot at the goalkeeper.

The pressure continued as a cross from Griggs was nipped off Beeston's head by a defender, but finally told a minute later. Urwin played a corner into the near post and the ball found its way into the net through a combination of BEESTON, a defender and the keeper.

By this point, the match was virtually one-way traffic, and Kidsgrove would have surely added to their score, but were often guilty of trying to take too many touches or walk the ball into the goal. On 78 minutes, Steve Brannan sent a hard, flat cross into the box which Beeston connected with but was denied by a good save from the keeper.

Brannan was again instrumental on 82 minutes as his run into the area was halted by a challenge that saw a penalty awarded after some discussion between the linesman and referee. KINSEY stepped up to slot the ball into the corner for his 50th goal for Kidsgrove.

With four minutes to go, Athletic made it 5-0 with a comical goal: a Griggs cross should have been easily cleared by the defender but he played it straight to KINSEY who completely scuffed his shot, but it rolled into the goal regardless.

There was time for the visitors to score a late consolation as Grove failed to clear a corner and Anthony FALLON swept the ball into the net. With the final action of the match, Kinsey had the chance to grab a late hat-trick, but his header from a Griggs cross sailed over the bar.

Kidsgrove will have to wait to find out their opponents in the next round at The Seddon Stadium on September 17th, as Rugby Town and Gornal Athletic fought out a goalless draw, and must replay this Tuesday.

Team: Hodgson, D Smith (Brannan 57), Taylor, Ward, Johnson, Hall, Urwin, Dove, Walker (Beeston 28), Kinsey, Griggs. Unused sub: R Smith

Last updated: 4th September 2011, 21:44