BEMERTON Heath Harlequins earned themselves a deserved home FA Cup replay on Tuesday, September 4, after they held Southern League side Thatcham Town to 0-0 draw in their Preliminary Round tie on Saturday.

In a fairly even opening 20 minutes, both sides found it difficult to break through the oppositions defence to create any worthwhile chances.

Thatcham should have broken the deadlock in the 25th minute, Shane Cooper-Clark firing over when well placed before Jamie Smith found himself in a similar position following a Bemerton corner from the right, however he could not keep his shot down.

Bemerton's extra man in midfield was causing Thatcham problems down the right, Danny Field and Charles Young combining well to deliver some excellent crosses which unfortunately could not be converted.

With Jake Burgess and Callum Kitcher occupying the Thatcham midfield pair, Smith was able to begin to dictate the game with his tenacious tackling and range of passing.

The second half began with Thatcham looking to raise the tempo of the game, playing more direct to Cooper-Clark, who found it difficult to beat Winman in an aerial battle all afternoon.

Another deep cross from Field was met by Jack Slade, but his header was palmed away by Chris Reckley and minutes later the home goalkeeper was called into action again, this time tipping Smith's long range effort around the post.

Thatcham's main threat was beginning to come down their right with Lewis Coyle cutting inside onto his favoured left foot, but he could not trouble Matthew Fredericks in the away goal, with a couple of attempts from outside the box.

As the referee signalled four minutes of injury time, a couple of needless fouls enabled Thatcham to deliver high testing balls into the Bemerton area, which resulted in the ball finding its way to Angell, but he, blazed over.

This evening Bemerton are in League Cup action against visiting AFC Stoneham.