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FOOTBALL: Railwaymen seeking track to FA Cup run
8:13pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Local Football
Didcot Town will be looking to upset the odds again when they host Calor League Premier side Burnham in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday, writes Steve Clare.
Last season the Railwa-ymen reached the fourth qualifying round for the first time, beating Conference South side Maidenhead Uni-ted along the way.
Only a narrow 1-0 defeat to Arlesey prevented a money-spinning first-round tie at Coventry City.
This season the FA Cup has been a rare silver lining in an otherwise disappointing campaign.
Saturday’s 4-0 reverse at home against Bishops Cleeve saw the Railwaymen drop to second to bottom of Calor League Division 1 South & West.
But Oxfordshire derby wins in the Cup against Wantage away, and two weeks ago against in-form North Leigh, have at least given the supporters something to shout about.
The good news is both Joel Meade and Pablo Haysham will be available against Burnham despite both seeing red against Cleeve.
Didcot will, however, be without long-term absentees Jamie Heapy, who is due to have a knee operation this week, and Sam Elkins who suffered a bad ankle injury at Godalming Town.
New signing John Mills, who joined Didcot from North Leigh two weeks ago, will also be eligible, having not app-eared in the FA Cup for his previous club this season.
On an afternoon they will want to forget against Bishops Cleeve, the Railwaymen were already heading for defeat before Haysham and Meade were dismissed.
It took just 16 minutes for the visitors to go ahead, Jake Lee thumping the ball home from close range.
Didcot almost levelled when Luke Carnell headed against the bar.
The match was effectively settled when Cleeve scored twice in the space of four minutes after half-time. Haysham conceded a free-kick wide on the right – an incident that also saw him shown a yellow card. From the resulting set-piece, Matt Williams headed in.
Shortly afterwards, Nick Hill scored at the second attempt after initially being denied by Didcot keeper Kieran Beesley.
Things got worse for the ho-me side in the closing stages.
Haysham was sent off after picking up a second yellow card.
He was quickly followed to the changing room by Meade, who also picked up a second yellow, this time for a cynical foul on Joe Hanks.
In stoppage time, Adam Mayo struck home a fourth goal to make it a thoroughly miserable day for Didcot.
Didcot Tn: Beesley, Parish, Janes (Longford 57), Meade, Carnell, Morris, Ferreira (Williams 57), McKirnan (Thorne 57), Joyce, Haysham, Mills.