Football: Red card for Rusthall captain Butler leads to FA Vase humbling

Pam Mills
THE Rustics crashed out of the FA Vase as a poor run of form saw their losing streak stretch to four games in a row.

Epsom & Ewell, from the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League, arrived at Jockey Farm Stadium without a win from 11 league games and rooted to the bottom of the table.

But inside 15 minutes a nervous-looking home side found themselves 2-0 down, though Steph Harper’s fifth goal of the season did give the home supporters some hope.

On 39 minutes Rusthall keeper Joe Cullip made a superb save diving full length to his right to turn the ball round the post.

But two minutes later disaster struck for the home side when skipper Paul Butler was shown a red card for a seemingly clean tackle.

Rusthall once again started slowly and two goals in the opening 10 minutes of the second half saw them 4-1 down and almost out of contention.

To their credit they worked hard to get back into the game and Harper scored from the penalty spot on 73 minutes after he was brought down by central defender Alex McKay.

Harper’s first spot kick was saved by Conor Young but the linesman flagged to say the keeper was off of his line when the kick was taken, and Harper gave him no chance with the retake.

In the final 10 minutes the 10 men ran out of legs as the visitors added three more goals to give the final scoreline an embarrassing look.

Rusthall must now pick themselves up for the visit of Beckenham Town tonight [October 25, 7.45 kick-off] in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

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