The kick off at 12.30 pm was by Taddy standards a little surreal but the SoTrak Stadium was buzzing with three times the average attendance this season. The forecast rain hardly materialised and nothing could dampen the carnival atmosphere as Tadcaster faced up to Chester, a club three leagues higher. It was the first match for keeper Chris Elliott and the first start this season for Mike Morris.
Chester threatened the Albion defence with a corner straight from the kick off, the clearance finding Olly Norman with a trade mark charge down the left flank. The Blues retaliated with the first of many dangerous crosses from the left - Murray had a good chance from the second corner on just three minutes but his shot cleared the main stand.
Sam Kay had the first opportunity for the home side on ten minutes after good work from Norman and Joe Crosby but was crowded out on the edge of the box. Norman dribbled down the byline but it was cleared before he could drill the ball across the six-yard area.
Conor Qualter was quite majestic in defence but picked up a yellow for dissent on seventeen minutes. Chester striker Charlie Caton seized on a dangerous cross on nineteen minutes but headed wide.
Chester were just about edging play but went behind on 22 minutes when Crosby scythed through their defence before laying on an inch perfect pass for Kieran Greenway who despatched the ball into the far corner giving keeper Stanway no chance. 1 – 0.
The “pinch me” moment was short lived as the Blues fought back but Murray again cleared the bar from just outside the six-yard line. Chris Elliot, looking composed in his first outing , did well to stop a low cross whilst Charlie Owen was penalised for kicking the ball away.
Just beyond the half hour Tad could have been in trouble when Sam Kitchen missed a clearance in the box but the subsequent shot was blocked by Qualter.
With 10 minutes remaining before the interval Elliott was well placed for three crosses into the box whilst as Albion broke, Kitchen’s free kick was headed down by Elliot Holmes in the six-yard area but there was nobody there for the tap in. On 43 minutes Chester has another chance as the ball bobbled in the box but the shot was wide.
The last action before the break saw Crosby on a chase but as he closed in, keeper Stanway was first to the ball.
A terrific performance saw the Brewers take their slender lead into the second half.
The visitors wasted little time in bouncing back following the restart; on 49 minutes Murray chested down an awkward pass from Sparrow, cut inside and thundered the ball beyond Elliott.1 – 1.
With Chester now turning up the wick, Caton screwed the ball wide whilst Qualter cleared Burke’s effort. Tadcaster had a real chance on 65 minutes when Norman, flanked by defenders on either side, brought out a good save from Stanway.
Manager O’Connell swapped Norman for Stephens and minutes later Greenway made way for Ibrahimi. On 77 minutes Qualter was clattered by Whitehouse who was duly yellow carded.
The Brewers were exerting pressure as they searched for another goal but it was the Seals who turned the screw with six minutes left when Burke’s close range bullet header from Murray’s corner gave Elliott no chance. 1 - 2
Striker Luke Stewart came on for Kay with five minutes to go but it was the visitors who has the last of the action; Caton, who had been a threat all afternoon, took advantage of a poor clearance and clinically put the ball into the back of the net.1 - 3.
A terrific FA Cup match saw the Taddy team applauded off the pitch by the faithful – they had given their illustrious opposition from the National North league a fright but now have to regroup ready for next weeks FA Vase match against Blyth Town kick off 3.00pm at the SoTrak Stadium
Joint Men of the Match Joe Crosby and Mike Morris
Elliott, Owen, McDaid ©, Qualter, Holmes, Morris, Kitchen, Crosby, Greenway (Ibrahimi), Norman (Stephens), Kay (Stewart). Subs Not Used Roper, Slater, Hardcastle, Hines
Report from John Clothier – Photos Courtesy of Craig Dinsdale and Keith Handley