Gallant Droylsden’s FA Cup dream ends in classic

By Mike Brunt


Heroic Droylsden FC are out of the FA Cup after losing an incredible second round replay away to League one side Leyton Orient.

The Blue Square Bet North side were just seconds away from a memorable giant-killing when Orient substitute Jonathan Tehoue forced the tie into extra time.

A deflated Droylsden eventually lost 8-2 in a match that saw both teams finish with nine men and Droylsden manager Dave Pace also sent off.

The Bloods had reached the second round after victory at Havant and Waterlooville, and were hoping for a fairytale cup run.

They were cruelly denied their place in the third round proper two years ago for fielding an ineligible player so hopes were high for a win and a potential money-spinning tie against a Premiership side.  

Less than 70 Droylsden fans made the long journey to Orient’s Brisbane Road ground, but the dedicated few were treated to the kind of game that makes the FA Cup so famous all over the world.

Droylsden Club Secretary Alan Slater said: “We’re obviously disappointed but I think we did remarkably well.

“The manager Dave Pace had talked the team through their game plan. The preparation was excellent. Until the last 10 minutes it really worked.

“For 80 minutes it was complete domination and the Orient fans were really on their team’s back.”

Droylsden led through Ciaran Kilheeney’s sixth minute strike and their prospects improved when Orient’s Terrell Forbes was sent off for a poor challenge on Jody Banim.

A second Droylsden goal after the break by Alex Brown looked to have put them into the third round for the first time in their history.

However, a 77th minute Ben Chorley penalty gave Orient hope, and after Droylsden’s Nathaniel Kerr was red-carded, Tehoue struck at the death to break the visitor’s resistance.

Droylsden regained a man advantage leading into extra time when Chorley was shown red just before the final whistle.

However, it was nine-man Orient who drew first blood in extra time when Paul Jose M’Poku struck to give Orient a 3-2 lead.

Lee Roche picked up a second booking for Droylsden to even the numbers, and after Scott McGleish added a fourth for Orient, the visitors capitulated.

Tehoue bagged his second to make it 5-2, and completed his hat-trick nine minutes later.

McGleish added two further goals to complete his own hat-trick and condemn Droylsden to an emphatic scoreline which didn’t reflect their effort or performance.

Despite the four red cards and Pace getting sent to the stands, Mr Slater said he didn’t think anyone could point the blame at the referee.

He said: “To be honest, when you look back, the sending offs were probably the right decisions.

“We had a goal disallowed which could have changed the game, but I don’t think you can really blame the officiating,”

The Bloods had previously held Orient to a 1-1 draw at their Butchers Arms ground last Monday, with a late McGleish goal taking the match to a replay.

Mr Slater said he was proud of the team and praised the attitude of the Droylsden players.

He said: “I think we did remarkably well over both games. It was the same in the first game when they got a late equaliser.

“I think it was down to fitness in the end as Orient’s players are all full-time. We had our chances but it didn’t work out for us.”

Bloods’ supporter Tony Burrows added: Obviously it hurts, and our quest to reach the third round goes on but you have to take the positives.

“We battled for 90 minutes against a team 60 places above us who are full-time, and their fitness showed. Once a blood, always a blood.”

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