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FA CUP: Past comes back to help Highworth
Highworth Town had a blast from the past to thank as they beat Shortwood United 1-0 to progress in the FA Cup yesterday.
Bradley Clark grabbed the only goal 20 minutes from time which eventually settled the tie, but at the other end returning goalkeeper Elliott Jackson made a number of superb saves as Highworth held on.
Jackson was part of the Highworth side which won the Hellenic Premier title in 2005, but work commitments have meant he is no longer able to play regular football.
But with usual stopper Anthony Betterton out with a broken finger and number two Ryan Griggs unavailable, championship-winning Highworth boss John Fisher drafted in his former player between the sticks.
The move paid off as Jackson looked solid throughout, before coming to his side’s rescue in injury time as he pushed a shot onto the post before the ball was cleared off the line to secure the victory.
Fisher was proud of his team’s performance, and reserved special praise for Jackson.
“With two goalkeepers out we had to register Elliott for the game, and having managed him when we won the league I knew he would do a great job,” he said.
“He played superbly and made a number of really good saves, and the one he tipped onto the post in injury time was absolutely brilliant.
“To get the win was great and to move into the next round of the cup is an achievement for us, especially because they had a few chances at the start of the game.
“But we deserved it on balance, and we are all very pleased with how things went.”
Highworth’s reward for making the first qualifying round is a clash away at local rivals Wootton Bassett , and Fisher is already looking forward to the game.
“It is certainly going to be a difficult game because Bassett are a good side, and normally you end up playing teams in this competition that you don’t really know all that much about.
“But we are looking forward to it because I think the prize money for the match is £3,200, and that is a lot of money for our club which gives us a real incentive to do well.”