Tadley Calleva 2 Newport (IOW) 2 aet
JAMES TENNANT hit a second-half double – but Tadley had FA Vase glory snatched from them at the death on Saturday.
Tennant curled home a low free kick to equalise for Tadley in the 67th minute and then saw his near-post effort creep over the line with just 12 minutes left to put his side in sight of the fourth round proper.
But Tadley’s dreams were dashed when Tom McInnes fired home an 89th-minute equaliser to set up a replay on the Isle of Wight.
That replay, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed, leaving Tadley and Newport with the prospect of a home fourth-round tie against Southern Counties East side Ashford United.
Manager Danny Dolan’s men had to negotiate their way through extra time with only 10 men after striker Scott Kinge was forced to go off with delayed concussion.
He had taken a knock to the head in the first half, but just five minutes into the extra period, he slumped to the floor and was led off before being taken to hospital for a check-up.
Dolan was delighted with his side’s display against higher-ranking opponents.
He said: “I couldn’t have asked any more from my players – I am very proud of them.
“We tried to play football with our 4-5-1 formation and the way we battled with only 10 men in extra time showed real character.
“It was just a bit disappointing that we couldn’t hold on in normal time.”
Tadley had already surpassed expectations by reaching the third round of the Vase for the first time in their history.
And they were underdogs against a Newport side lying ninth in the Wessex League Premier Division – one step up from Tadley.
They had to do without the services of leading scorer Brett Denham, who was on his way back from Australia.
To make matters worse, they had to play against a howling wind in the first half.
But Dolan’s young side – with only skipper Mario Nurse over the age of 30 – more than held their own.
They played the better football, keeping the ball on the deck to negate the wind, while centre back Spencer Barlow was outstanding at the back.
It was the home side who carved out the first chance in the 10th minute when Ashley Ledger crossed for Kinge to head wide, then Ledger’s saw an effort blocked.
But Newport should have gone ahead in the 19th minute.
Liam Triggs did well down the left and sent over a perfect cross, only for McInnes to miss his kick completely with the goal gaping.
The visitors did take the lead – against the run of play – five minutes before the break when Triggs was on hand to fire home from a goalmouth scramble.
Newport had the better of the early second-half exchanges, and Tadley keeper Tom Hindmarsh saved well from Joe Butcher before tipping a superb Triggs free kick over the bar.
Hindmarsh again did well to keep out Liam Bennett’s low shot, but Tadley drew level on 67 minutes.
They were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out and Tennant fired home, with the help of a nasty bounce that deceived Newport keeper Cameron Farley.
Kinge needed treatment after a clattering challenge from Will Quigley.
But Tadley were celebrating again in the 78th minute.
Tennant cut in from the left and drilled in a low shot that Farley couldn’t hold, and the ball trickled over the line before Triggs could clear it.
Tadley looked to have done enough, but with time running out Daz Powell headed down a cross and McInnes took a touch before firing past Hindmarsh.
And Newport could have won it in injury time as Connor Kelly’s free-kick crashed against the bar.
Tadley were always up against when Kinge went off and it was Newport who looked most likely to snatch a winner.
Powell had an effort ruled out as the ball had already gone out of play, while McInnes hit the outside of a post with a shot from a tight angle.
Hindmarsh kept out another Kelly free kick in the 108th minute, before James Milford fired Tadley’s last chance wide from 20 yards.
Tadley Calleva: Hindmarsh, J Kingston, Nurse, A Charsley, Barlow, Rush, Milford, Tennant, Kinge, Powell, Ledger. Subs: N Kingston, Smith, Morgan, Sotonye, D Charsley.
Newport (IOW): Farley, Quigley, Oatley, Pearce, McDonough, Bennett, Powell, Triggs, McInnes, Butcher, Kelly. Subs: Burton, Crane, Newbold, Novak.