The game kicked off at the later time of 8pm due to delays on the A12 which had severally delayed the arrival of several Wivenhoe Town players from work. One of the late arrivals was debutant Robbie Asaro, who started at left back.
Robbie Asaro made a promising start, sending in several dangerous crosses into the Harwich box. He was also involved in some good link up play which saw Tom Lakin collect on the edge of the area before crashing a shot off the foot of the post.
Against the early run of play, it was the home side who took the lead. A goal kick travelled the whole length of the pitch, bypassed the Wivenhoe defence and was collected in the Dragons box before being slotted past Ben Gallifant.
Wivenhoe were soon back on level terms, David Lopez was fouled on the edge of the area, picked himself up and hit a fine freekick into the top right corner of the goal. An outstanding equaliser for the Dragons.
The home side were soon in front again, a freekick was sent from right to left into the box and headed back over Ben Gallifant with a looping header.
It was almost three when Wivenhoe failed to deal with another straight ball forward, exposing Ben Gallifant who brought down the attacker as he attempted to prevent a goal. Fortunately, Ben Gallifant was equal to the penalty effort, getting down low to his right to comfortably save the spot kick.
The final chance of the half was a Wivenhoe one, a ball into the area was headed down to Tim Dennis in the six yard box, his shot was saved at point blank range to deny a Dragons equaliser.
Harwich extended their lead early in the second half. The home side broke down the right wing and hit a lobbed shot (or perhaps cross) from a wide position which looped over Ben Gallifant and into the back of the net.
Wivenhoe's almost cut the deficit when Ross James hit a powerful swerving shot from outside the area, it crashed off the underside of the cross bar, bounced close to the goal line and was cleared away. With five minutes of normal time remaining, Wivenhoe did cut the lead. Dean Merrett threaded a ball through to Tom Lakin in the area, Lakin carried the ball further into the area, avoiding challenges of two defenders and calmly finishing off the move.
Harwich were then reduced to ten men when a second yellow was issued to a the third Harwich goal scorer for kicking the ball away in an attempt to waste time after the referee had already blown for a foul. There was still time for Tom Lakin to hit the wood work again when his direct freekick hit the cross bar.
Deep in stoppage time, Lakin challenged in the air for a ball forward. He was met by both Harwich keeper Brad Cook and Harwich central defender Dan Clarke. All three players crashed together and then hit the turf. There was concern for all the players but it was only Tom Lakin that had to be stretchered off. The two Harwich players also had to leave the pitch following the clash of heads, which meant Harwich played out the last thirty seconds of the game with eight players.
Wivenhoe were out of the competition but perhaps more important was the unfortunate bad injury to Tom Lakin, he was treated with 15 stitches and was later diagnosed as suffering with a fractured eye socket and cheek. We hope Tom makes a swift recovery and is back playing again soon. We also wish both Harwich players all the best with their recovery and thank everyone who helped the players on the night.