Jack Thomas sent off as Bishop's Stortford lose 2-0 at home to Bowers & Pitsea in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup
Jack Thomas was sent off as Bishop's Stortford lost 2-0 at home to Bowers & Pitsea in the second qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
The substitute received his marching orders with 20 minutes left as goals from Max Cornhill and Michael Ademiluyi ensured it was the visitors who progressed at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium.
Stortford return to Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division action on Saturday (September 25) when they entertain Leatherhead before also hosting Enfield Town next Tuesday (September 28).
The Blues had the better of the opening exchanges, but it was their league rivals who took the lead somewhat against the run of play with their first chance of note. Alexander Bentley crossed to Daniel Trendall who nodded the ball down for Cornhill to fire into the roof of the net on the half-volley.
Stortford responded well to the setback though with Frankie Merrifield having a shot blocked from a tight angle after Jake Cass' through-ball while Archie Jones saw his shot miss the target after the ball had been cleared to the edge of the box following a corner.
At the other end, Jack Giddens denied Bradley Sach with his feet after the striker had beaten the offside trap before Bentley's long-range effort went over the crossbar.
Sach saw another shot saved by Giddens, before Sam Robbins nearly diverted the ball into his own net while trying to clear from the feet of Trendall, but Giddens dived on the loose ball as it rolled towards the goal line.
After the break, Cass had a great chance to equalise but he headed straight at Mitchel Beeney from a right-wing cross.
Giddens denied Ademiluyi with a low save after a Bowers counter-attack while Sach's powerful effort from the edge of the box was also kept out well by the Stortford goalkeeper.
Frankie Merrifield saw his header rebound off the crossbar from Ryan Charles' right-wing cross as the Blues went close to an equaliser
They were then reduced to 10 men as, soon after coming off the bench, Thomas was shown a red card by referee Thomas Kelly for a tackle over the ball and into the shin of a Bowers player.
Stortford manager Steve Smith changed the system, going to a back three, and brought on James Baker as a second striker. The plan nearly worked instantly when Baker got through on goal and cut back onto his right foot, but his shot lacked power and it went straight at Beeney.
With the Blues pushing for an equaliser, Bowers took the chance to double their lead on the counter-attack as Ademiluyi beat Jimmy Wallace to the ball in the right channel and fired low past Giddens.
Merrifield slipped Baker in behind the Bowers defence but Beeney made the save again before Wallace denied the away side a third goal with a brilliant block to deny Danny Norton from Cornhill's cut back.
Blues: Giddens, Edwards (Baker, 74min), Church (booked, 90+1), Robbins, Henshaw, Giles, Cass (Charles, 54), Merrifield, Renee, Jones (Thomas, 66min; sent off, 70), Wallace. Not used: Marlow, Haines, Chandler.
Bowers & Pitsea: Beeney, Bentley, Cornhill (booked, 72min), Leahy, Monville (Ademiluyi, 43), Sach (Albon, 78; booked, 90+4), Thomas, Norton, Dicks (booked, 30), Trendall (Stephen, 82), White. Not used: Millar, Peart, Braney, Fairs.