Lincoln United vs Romford

Lincoln United’s incredible run in the Isuzu FA Vase came to an end in a dramatic penalty shootout with Romford.

The contest was goalless in the 90 minutes at the Sun-Hat Villas & Resorts Stadium, and after a 2-2 draw in the first leg, the tie headed to penalties.

The hosts made wholesale changes to the side that tasted defeat at Newark & Sherwood, with Chris Funnell making eight changes to the side that lost 4-0.

As for Romford, they made four changes to the side that played in the 2-2 draw in the first leg.


The wind proved to be a factor throughout the contest, blowing very hard towards the Allen Crombie End. It was fruitful for Romford in the opening stages. A Callum Foster clearance down the line looped all the way our for a corner which, came to nothing.

Visiting midfielder Charlie Morris had the first effort of the game from the edge of the penalty area, but dragged his left-footed effort wide of Jack Steggles’ post.

Leo Priestley had a volley from distance loop over the top of Romford goalkeeper Jake Anderson’s crossbar.

Elliot Dye had an effort cleared off the line on ten minutes, after Cotton’s cross to the back post was headed down by Mitch Griffiths before the right-footed shot was blocked on the goal line.

Morris had another cross from the left-wing that normally would not trouble the goalkeeper, but such was the windy conditions, Steggles had to claw the ball out of the top corner and make a fine stop to keep the score goalless.

An acrobatic clearance from Elliott Dye on the goal line after 18 minutes from a Romford corner, ensured that is was not one-way traffic in the tie and the United defence needed to keep their wits about them.

Good work from McMenemy on the right found Liversidge who was marked, but got a flicked effort towards goal but it rolled wide on 24 minutes.

At the other end, visiting striker Hassan Nalbant struck the crossbar with a sweetly-timed half volley inside the box, but fortunately for the Whites, the linesman had put his flag up for offside.

Romford thought they had got their noses in front in added time at the end of the opening 45 minutes. They poked the ball home from a corner, but referee Wyatt had spotted a foul on Steggles before the ball creeped into the net at the back post.

Lincoln United vs Romford
More than 1,400 were in attendance at Ashby Avenue.


The best chance of the game came on 48 minutes as Charlie Morris got behind the United defence and into a one-on-one with Jack Steggles but he could not put his effort on target.

Elliott Dye had a wild effort from the left side of the box fly over as the Whites looked to use the wind to their advantage on 54 minutes.

Steggles was forced into diving stop to his left after a ferocious half volley from the edge of the box by Adalberto Pinto on the hour mark.

Cotton had United’s best chance on 63 minutes after Griffiths found Cotton on the right, but his shot is dragged wide after being in a promising position.

Funnell made his first change on 67 minutes as Evan Payne was replaced by Ted Gibbons. Moments later he was forced into his second change as well as Kallum Smith was introduced for Sean Wright, who had to leave the field due to injury.

Steggles produced an outstanding save from Morris, who fired an effort from close range in the penalty area after a long throw. Ashaan Siddik had an effort strongly blocked by Michael Jacklin as the Whites were hanging on with ten minutes to play.

A real defensive effort was shown by the Whites’ defence, especially aerially as Romford looked to come forward and seal their place at Wembley Stadium in the final.

In the six minutes of added time Steggles was forced to work again as he saved yet another shot from Morris, but needed two attempts at collecting the ball with Romford players baring down on him for the rebound.

Penalty Shootout:

Every single player took a penalty in the shootout, and it could not have started worse for the hosts. Both Matt Cotton and Jack McMenemy missed the Whites’ first two penalties, giving the advantage to Romford.

However, two fine saves from Jack Steggles allowed for United to remain in the contest and after eleven penalties each, the score was 9-9.

Cotton stepped up again and put his effort wide of the mark, allowing for Jamie Hursit to smash the ball home from his second penalty and send Romford to Wembley.