Carlos Edwards bags a hat-trick as the Woodpeckers win FA Vase replay at Rovers

PUBLISHED: 21:36 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:10 03 December 2019

Woodbridge Town keeper, Alfie Stronge, prepares to defend a Stanway Rovers free-kick during the FA Vase third round tie at The Hawthorns. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Woodbridge Town keeper, Alfie Stronge, prepares to defend a Stanway Rovers free-kick during the FA Vase third round tie at The Hawthorns. Picture: CARL MARSTON

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Stanway Rovers 0 Woodbridge Town 4

Woodbridge Town centre-half Liam Scopes (No. 6), who impressed in the heart of defence, takes a breather during the FA Vase tie at Stanway Rovers. Picture: CARL MARSTONWoodbridge Town centre-half Liam Scopes (No. 6), who impressed in the heart of defence, takes a breather during the FA Vase tie at Stanway Rovers. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Player-manager Carlos Edwards bagged a hat-trick as Woodbridge Town produced one of their best performances of the season to reach the last 32 of the FA Vase, at the expense of hosts Stanway Rovers tonight.

The two Thurlow Nunn Premier sides had drawn 1-1 at Notcutts Park on Saturday, but the Woodpeckers completely bossed the replay at The Hawthorns.

Two-up at half-time, thanks to a 22nd minute penalty by Edwards, and a clinical finish by Kelsey Trotter on 34 minutes, the visitors added two more through Edwards in the second half.

The ex-Ipswich Town stalwart converted his second penalty in the 57th minute, before completing his hat-trick with a cheeky long-range effort on 71 minutes.

Woodbridge will be at home to Plymouth Parkway in the fourth round, on January 11.

Rovers danger-man Tyler Kemp drilled a 20-yarder straight at Alfie Stronge, who saved with ease in the 12th minute, and Jack Baker was not far adrift with a curling long-range effort.

But otherwise it was the Woodpeckers who were in the box seat and they grabbed the lead midway through the half.

Rovers were drawn into a foul, inside the box, and Edwards made no mistake from the spot, sending keeper Dan Wheeler the wrong way with his super-cool penalty.

The visitors doubled their lead in the 34th minute. It all stemmed from a flowing move, started by centre-half Liam Scopes. Rovers defenders stood off as Trotter was able to turn inside the box before beating Wheeler with a clinical low finish inside the near upright.

Rovers had one chance to halve the deficit before the break, only for Alfie Stronge to pull off a superb save, keeping out Baker's ferocious shot with a strong hand, on 43 minutes.

Woodbridge went 3-0 up in the 57th minute, after Rovers substitute keeper, Luke Skinner (on at half-time), was harshly adjudged to have fouled Callum Sinclair. Skinner appeared to have claimed the ball legally.

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Edwards again showed his precision from the spot, lifting the penalty high into the roof of the net. To rub salt into the wounds, Woodbridge added a fourth when Edwards, spotting keeper Skinner out of position, guided home a low shot from distance on 71 minutes.

To complete Stanway's misery, striker Tom Holdstock was sent off in the last minute, for a second bookable offence.

Squads

STANWAY ROVERS: Wheeler (sub Skinner, 46), O'Reilly, Seone-Barber, Grimes, Carver (sub Lewis, 68), Sherlock, Kemp, Baker (sub Gray, 68), Holdstock, Garrett, Andrews. Unused subs: Nydam, Gilbert.

WOODBRIDGE TOWN: Stronge, Rea, Murrell, Churchyard (sub Bowman, 76), Southgate, Scopes, Sinclair, Edwards (sub Leech, 88), Trotter (sub Haste, 83), Rudge, Keeble. Unused subs: Read, Oxborrow.

- LEISTON defended superbly to pick up a welcome point away at Royston Town in a Southern League Premier Central clash at Garden Walk.

Glen Driver's men, so unlucky not to pick up all three points when conceding a late equaliser in a 1-1 home draw against Nuneaton on Saturday, were good value for another draw.

And this result, and a first clean-sheet of the season, has enabled Leiston to clamber off the foot of the table for the first time since August.

Leiston have moved above Redditch United, inching one point clear, although they have played three more games than their Worcestershire rivals.

Ironically, the bottom two play each other this Saturday, with Leiston on the road at Redditch.

- Meanwhile, NEEDHAM MARKET reached the quarter-finals of the Southern League Challenge Cup, thanks to a fine 2-1 win at Rushden & Diamonds. Trailing 1-0 at the break, goals from Joe Marsden (67) and Sam Squire (90) saw them through.

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