Ashby Ivanhoe hit top form at home again to seal FA Vase victory in re-arranged tie

By Josh Kay

25th Oct 2023 | Local Sport

Ashby Ivanhoe eased past Belper to book their place in the next round. Photo: Josh Kay
Ashby Ivanhoe eased past Belper to book their place in the next round. Photo: Josh Kay

Ashby Ivanhoe 4 Belper United 0

Despite recent patchy form, Ivanhoe continued to make the NFU Sports Ground a fortress as a new look Belper United were swept aside in the FA Vase.

Facing a new coaching staff and a changed squad from their visit to Belper in August, Ivanhoe started strongly and were close to taking the lead after seven minutes when Joel Carta saw his shot turned past the near post by Alfie Roberts.

They soon took the lead, albeit in fortuitous circumstances as a Belper defender headed over his goalkeeper's head, with Sam Grouse first to pounce, bundling the ball home.

The only blemish of the evening was that Grouse would be forced off following a collision with the post in the process of scoring.

''We're hoping he's not damaged his ribs but he's sore at the moment, we'll keep our fingers crossed and find out sooner rather than later," said manager Andy Gray on the incident.

The standout performance of the match came from Chris Acott, after being denied earlier in the half by an excellent save he doubled the lead on the stroke of half time.

Picking the ball up on the right, Acott danced between multiple defenders before calmly slotting into the far corner for what will surely be a contender for goal of the season.

Ivanhoe goalkeeper Sam Taylor had a quiet evening between the sticks and that continued after the break as Belper posed little threat.

The returning Ash Garner, Joe Neal and Sam Preston all making a significant contribution at the back.

At the other end, the hosts continued to probe and found another just after the hour mark as Tolani Omotola ghosted into the box to meet Acott's cross and deftly flicked his header past Roberts.

Omotola's goal was his third in the last two games with the striker appearing to hit a purple patch at the right time if Grouse is forced to miss any matches through injury.

With fog building and the pitch breaking up, Ivanhoe rarely left third gear in the second half, but still played some fantastic football in the later stages of the match.

They put the game beyond any doubt with three minutes to play as Acott once again swung in an inch perfect cross to find Carta, his header nestling into the far corner.

With a run of home games coming up for Ivanhoe, Gray will be hoping his side can continue their excellent form at the NFU and continue to fight on three fronts with the League, FA Vase and League Cup still up for grabs.

They face a tough test on Saturday however as they welcome unbeaten Sherwood Colliery who come into the match in scintillating form.


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