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Wednesday 05 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 14:56
Southam United 0 Long Eaton United 1
MANAGER Lee Knibbs returned to the ground he knows so well when the FA Carlsberg Vase home tie against Long Eaton United was switched from Banbury Road to Sphinx Drive, Coventry but it was no happy homecoming as Saints were sunk by a goal from Elliott King seconds before half-time.
Simeon Smith had an early effort ruled out for offside and was then denied by a great save from keeper Scott Miles who pushed his header round the post.
A 13th minute long range shot from the visitors flew well over the bar before Smith beat the offside trap only to see his lob over Miles go wide.
With goalmouth incidents at a premium, the nearest that Saints came to scoring again was a Jamie Coleman free-kick two minutes before the interval that was blocked by the defensive wall.
But the breakthrough came on the stroke of half time as Saints failed to deal with a long ball into the penalty area and King pounced.
Smith again went close early in the second half with a header that was blocked after Brad Rees had made a good run and then, in the 64th minute, he nodded on a long kick from Ollie Manuel to set up George Curry whose lob beat Miles but cleared the bar.
Jim Graham replaced Josh Cole, who was feeling the effects of an injury, as Saints increased their firepower and Robbie Stephans went close with a shot that was just too high.
With four minutes remaining, Kelvin Mushambi rapped the Saints crossbar and then Graham had a shot blocked as they battled in vain to force extra time.
Saints had returned to action on Saturday after a three-week break and, despite trailing at half-time, ran out 3-1 winners over Littleton in a Les James Memorial Challenge Cup third round tie.
On top for the opening 25 minutes, they fell behind when Littleton were awarded a penalty in their first real attack. Former Saint Ollie Manoochehri struck the bar with his spot kick but Scott Walsh reacted quickest to convert the rebound.
Saints equalised after 50 minutes when Casey Gaggini’s free kick rattled the bar and Simeon Smith was on hand to score.
The industrious Gaggini got his reward in the 72nd minute by finishing off a move involving Brad Rees and Smith with a shot into the top corner.
Gaggini was replaced by Pawel Tomczak seven minutes from time and the Saints substitute completed the scoring after good work by Smith.
Saints entertain Brinklow in the Coventry Charity Cup this Saturday (1.45pm).
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