It was a mixed weekend for our young Bees out on loan as the Emirates FA Cup First Round took centre-stage.
Theo Archibald played the full 90 minutes as Forest Green Rovers drew 0-0 away at Oxford United on Saturday. Against higher-division opposition, it was Rovers who created far the better chances; Theo among those to come close at The Kassam Stadium. Forest Green could have snatched it in the last minute as substitute George Williams struck the post from close range. The two sides will do it all again next Tuesday but, in the meantime, The Green Devils’s focus will return to the League Two promotion race on Saturday when they host Morecambe.
Another Bee facing a First-Round replay is Tom Field after Cheltenham Town played out a goalless draw at National League side Ebbsfleet United. Tom was an unused substitute as The Robins made the trip to Kent with the game producing just one shot on target during the 90 minutes. Town now face four games in three different competitions over the next 12 days, starting with tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy match at home to Coventry City.
Bristol Rovers are also in the hat for the Second Round after they fought back from a man and a goal down to draw 1-1 away at Barnet. Jack Bonham wasn’t given permission to play by The Bees and in his absence The Gas found themselves behind and down to ten men inside 16 minutes. However, a 66th minute Chris Lines penalty evened things up at The Hive as the League One side survived a cup scare.
Two Bees did see their sides crash out in the First-Round as Boreham Wood were beaten 2-0 by National League North Southport while Blackpool proved too strong for Exeter City. Justin Shaibu was a second-half substitute for The Wood, who conceded midway through both halves to lose at Haig Avenue, while three goals in the first 24 minutes set Blackpool on their way to a 3-2 win over The Grecians, from whom Chiedozie Ogbene was absent through injury.
In the Sky Bet Championship, Ryan Woods played the 90 minutes as Stoke City took a point from their trip to Nottingham Forest. Home goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon was lucky to stay on the pitch in the first-half as he appeared to fell Benik Afobe with the Stoke striker clean through. At the other end, Jack Butland made two crucial late saves to preserve his side’s clean sheet.