Ruben Wiggins-Thomas scores twice as Kidsgrove progress in the FA Cup

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A brace from Ruben Wiggins-Thomas saw Kidsgrove Athletic come from 1-0 down to beat 10 men Cleethorpes Town 2-1 in the Emirates FA Cup.

Wiggins-Thomas scored either side of the half-time break as the Grove progressed to the 2nd Qualifying round of the competition.

It was the visitors who got an early foothold in the game with Scott Vernon getting into the area. However, his touch was a bit heavy and ran out for a goal kick.

However, he was able to break the deadlock on 19 minutes when he got between James Butler and Keiran Harrison to head the ball home for the opening goal of the game.

The Owls could have made it 2-0. However, Keiran Harrison made to make two great saves from Brody Robertson and Brandon Buckley to keep it at 1-0.

However, as the game approached the interval, the game turned on its head completely. Grove captain Anthony Malbon burst into the area, only for Jack Fixter to drag him down. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot before sending Fixter off. Up stepped Wiggins-Thomas who rolled the ball down the middle of the goal to pull Kidsgrove level.

It was the forward’s first goal for the Grove and what a time to score it as the two teams went into the interval level. However, the Grove did have a man advantage.

Wiggins-Thomas got his second of the game just five minutes into the second half when Malbon kept Lewis Bergin’s deep cross in play. It set up the former Belper Town forward to head the ball home for the most straightforward goal of his career.

Despite having the lead and a man advantage the Grove still had to work hard to ensure they didn’t let Cleethorpes back into the tie. Wiggins-Thomas had to clear a corner off the line to ensure they kept their lead intact. While Harrison was in command of his area to stop Vernon and Robertson getting a sniff at goal.

Malbon could have given Kidsgrove a 3-1 lead on 72 minutes when he headed a chance wide of the goal. Had that gone in then it would have made the game safe.

The result means Kidsgrove progress to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Emirates FA Cup for the fourth consecutive season.

Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Thompson, Morris, Hall (Rhodes, 80), Duffy, Butler, Adu-Gyamfi, Blake, Wiggins-Thomas, Malbon (C) and Bergin (O’Neill, 85)
Unused subs: Jennings, Savage and Murphy.

Cleethorpes Town: T.Richardson, Lowe (Millson, 46), Oglesby, Davies (J.Richardson, 61), Fixter, Donald, Collins, Fleet (C), Vernon, Robertson (Taylor, 73) and Buckley.
Unused sub: Bloomer.

Attendance: 193