SPALDING UNITED 1 GUERNSEY 3: Ross Allen shattered Spalding United’s FA Vase dreams with a devastating hat-trick on Saturday as Guernsey booked their place in the last eight.
All looked to be going to plan for the Tulips when Gary King smashed home a stunning opener in a first-half that the hosts largely bossed.
But goal-machine Allen bagged a leveller two minutes before half time – then notched twice more in four second-half minutes to dump Pat Rayment’s side out in the fifth round.
The hosts handed debuts to Michael Jacklin and Jamie Thurlbourne in defence, while Lee Beeson was given a home debut on the right wing.
Beeson was very prominent early on, almost getting on the end of a Dan Cotton cross before whipping in a great ball of his own.
But it was another relatively new recruit that bagged the opener for Spalding. Skipper Canoville pumped a ball into Tony Battersby, who expertly nodded down for King to lash a devastating half-volley into the top left corner.
At the other end Guernseycasued few problems, but Lee Drury – playing his last game in goal for Spalding – pulled off a decent near-post stop to deny Allen.
But Spalding continued to make most of the running and crafted two decent chances for Tony Battersby to break his goal-scoring duck at the club. First he saw a decent effort saved by Chris Tardif, before drilling wide from another Beeson cross.
However, the key moment in the game arrived just before the interval, with Allen stealing in unopposed at the back post to level out of almost nothing.
Boosted by their equaliser, the Channel Island outfit emerged a different side in the second period – and simply blew the Tulips away.
Playing with pace and urgency, they went ahead on 56 minutes when Allen somehow turned the ball home from the tightest of angles.
That man Allen then complated his treble with a super solo strike, skinning sub Glenn Fuff before slotting calmly past Drury.
It perhaps should have been more moments later when Matt Loaring raced clear, bit Drury saved well.
Spalding did enjoy the best of the last 15 minutes, with King forcing a top stop from Tardif and Thurlbourne firing a free kick on-target, but they couldn’t ruin Guernsey’s party.
The visitors deservedly left the field to a standing ovation from their brilliant horde of fans – and few would now bet against them going all the way to Wembley.
Tulips: Drury, Canoville (Doherty 46), Thurlbourne, Chamberlain (Fuff 46), Jacklin, Streadman, Beeson (Nightingale 66), Hall, Battersby, King, Cotton. Not used: Kennedy, Smedley.
Guernsey: Tardif, Geall, Alvarez, Cochrane, Dodd, Mahon, Rihoy, Le Prevost, Heaume, Allen, Loaring (Hutton 81). Not used: Bradford, Hamon, Zimmerman.