Wadebridge defender Metherell suffers bad injury
Saltash United produced a stirring second half display to see off spirited Wadebridge Town 5-1 in an FA Carlsberg Vase tie disrupted by a serious injury to Bridgers left back Dan Metherell.
Sam Hughes completed a hat-trick with two goals in the last three minutes, while Ross Saint got the other two Saltash goals. Dan Jennings replied.
Metherell suffered a badly gashed left shin after a 30th minute challenge with Saltash goalkeeper Tom Blackler and the game was held up for 45 minutes while the defender received treatment.
He was eventually taken by ambulance to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.
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When the 50-50 challenge between Metherell and Blackler happened, Saltash led 1-0 thanks to a harshly awarded 14th minute penalty which Ashes substitute Ross Saint converted.
What nobody realised for some time as Metherell lay being treated was that Plymouth referee Lee Dudman, who had a poor match, had decided the collision was in fact a foul by Blackler and he told the players he had awarded a penalty to Wadebridge.
Bizarrely, Blackler, who had also been injured in the challenge, was shown a yellow card with the ambulance still parked on the Kimberley Stadium pitch and it was a full 45 minutes before the tie resumed and Jennings equalised from the spot kick.
That’s the way it stayed until half-time, when both managers decided, somewhat surprisingly, to take the full 15 minute break after the referee had suggested a shorter break might be a good idea in the circumstances.
But the two teams served up an entertaining second half, with Wadebridge the first to go close to taking the lead in the 52nd minute with a Mike Rowles-Jane header which flew inches wide.
But as the half wore on, Saltash became the dominant force and it took excellent saves from Ben Hurst to deny Kelvin Fyneboy and man of the match Rob Carey before the hour.
The Ashes did eventually go 2-1 up after 62 minutes thanks to great work along the right by full back Sam Farrant, whose inch perfect cross left Saint to head in from close range.
It was 3-1 eight minutes later when Fyneboy beat the offside trap to race clear along the right flank and the unselfish striker slid a pass square to Hughes, who scored at the second attempt after another fine save by Hurst.
Wadebridge continued to threaten and Liam Ames went close with a superb volley which Blackler did well to block on his line.
But the Ashes finished strongly, scoring twice in the last three minutes, and both goals owed everything to the superb Carey.
His 89th minute left foot curling shot smashed against the post to leave Hughes with a tap-in for 4-1, and with almost the last move of the match, Carey thundered a 20-yarder against the underside of the bar.
And yes, that man Hughes was on hand to finish off from six yards.
Saltash: Blackler, Farrant, Sargison, T Clark, Russell, Trott, Carey, A Cusack (Saint 8), Hughes, Fyneboy (Hoyles 75), Kanaki (S Clark 84). Sub not used: Battle.
Wadebridge: B Hurst, N HUrst, Metherell (Brown 30), Rowles-Jane, Cook, Ames, Jennings, Dowling, Lucassi, Reynolds (Wheatman 87), Menhinick. Subs not used: Barnes, Richardson.
Referee: Lee Dudman.