Takeley’s season ends in heartbreak
A VALIANT second leg fightback was not enough to prevent Takeley from slipping to an agonising semi-final defeat in Tuesday night’s League Cup tie.
Despite overturning a 4-1 deficit from the first leg, Castle’s men were knocked out of the competition in heartbreaking fashion after conceding three goals in extra time.
After a cagey opening thirty minutes, the game sprung into life in the 31st minute when Peter Flack headed home an in-swinging corner from captain Alex Martin.
This goal gave Takeley the impetus to go on and find another before half time, which they duly did.
Within minutes of Burnham having a goal disallowed for offside, Takeley went down the other end and were awarded a penalty after Reece Dobson was fouled in the box.
Scott Traveller stepped up to coolly slot home the penalty and give Takeley a 2-0 lead on the night.
Burnham started off the second half in dominant fashion, with a full length stop from Ronnie Yates preventing Takeley from letting the visitors back into the game.
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This proved a crucial stop, as on the hour mark, Jonathan Addai beat the offside trap before composing himself to finish well and even the game up at 4-4 on aggregate.
But just as Takeley looked like they had the momentum to go on and get a fourth goal, the impressive Burnham winger Charlie Kirby found the back of the net with a stunning strike from 25 yards that left Yates motionless.
To Takeley’s credit, they continued to battle hard, and were rewarded when Dobson headed home a cross from Nick Azzorpardi in the 81st minute, which took the game into extra time.
Having given so much in the first 90 minutes, the hosts began to look tired and a little ragged at the beginning of the extra period. And it was not long before the tie swung back in Burnham’s favour.
A mistake in the Takeley defence led to Brad Hunter beating Yates from close range and hand first blood to the visitors three minutes into extra time.
And moments later the tie was all but over. A lack of concentration saw a simple through ball slipped into the path of Kirby, who calmly finished for his second of the game.
Despite Takeley’s best efforts, they could not create a chance of any real note in extra time and it was left to Kirby to seal their fate as he scored from the penalty spot to complete his hat trick and an 8-5 aggregate victory for the visitors.
Burnham will now face Witham Town in the League Cup Final on May 7.