Archive for FA Vase

FAV 4R; Canterbury City 3-2 Newport Pagnell Town

Canterbury City – 3

Newport Pagnell Town – 2

06.01.2019

Newport Pagnell Town’s FA Vase run was brought to an end on Sunday by Canterbury City in a game where the Milton Keynes side failed to get going until they were two goals down, pulling one back with twenty minutes to go finally kicked them into life and they piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser, they conceded again with seven minutes remaining but a brilliant solo effort moments later from substitute Jake Stronge then set up a thrilling final five minutes where The Swan’s battered the City defence but they held strong to seal the win and progress into the fifth round. Played at Faversham this cup run for the hosts could prove crucial in their fight to remain in existence, as twelve years without their own ground since they re-formed could be resolved later this year as they await planning consent, a healthy crowd turned up on Sunday afternoon to enforce their claim for needing their own home, for Town they now have a league campaign to focus on and have half of their league games left to try and push on up the United Counties League Premier Division table.

A third minute free kick to the away side just inside their own half saw the ball sent long into the City box where Dom Lawless chested towards Josh Winters but from the angle he smashed over the top, at the other end Mobolaji Dawodu connected with a cross from the right but he could only chip into the waiting arms of Pagnell keeper Mark Osborn. Harry Stratton then floated in another set piece where a mass of bodies challenging saw Damon Herbert climb highest and his looping header had home custodian Jack Delo turning over from underneath his crossbar, but from that point the home side had a good spell of possession and won a number of corners in quick succession which saw the visitors under some heavy pressure.

Kyron Lightfoot scores opener

There was some momentary respite on twenty-eight minutes when Adam Moussi fed the ball up to Tom Liversedge inside the Canterbury box, with back to goal and a defender on his shoulder he managed to control and swivel to flash across the box and wide of the back post, within a minute their next attack broke down high up the pitch and seconds later they were behind. Driving forward after regaining possession, a foul in the centre circle was waved play on by the referee allowing the home side to proceed up to the Town box, Dean Grant saw his shot charged down but the ball rolled out to Kyron Lightfoot whose first time effort was heading wide until the merest of touches from a Newport head diverted its flight inside Osborn’s far post.

The onslaught to the Pagnell goal became more intense as the half wore on, anything the visitors slung at their hosts was repelled with some ease by the strong City back line, and just four minutes before the interval the score line was doubled from a simple routine, a free kick out on the left was curled into the box and timing his run perfectly in between the defence Dawodu headed home from six yards out. Newport’s half was summed up in the final minute when they won a corner and it failed to clear the first man who was able to launch downfield away from any danger. H/T: 2-0

Five minutes into the second half saw Lawless try his luck with his back to goal getting on the end of a cross but his overhead kick just looped up into the air allowing Delo to stand his ground and wait for it to fall into his hands, whilst a throw to the hosts found Adam Woollcott to the left but his shot way over the top. Canterbury then had a golden chance when a challenge in the middle of the pitch saw Town centre back Ollie Wilkinson flattened however play was waved on and Grant needed no second invitation to bear down on Osborn’s goal, inside the box his first shot came back off the keeper & straight back to him, he hit it again instinctively but could only steer wide.

Harry Stratton scores from free kick

Newport won a free kick some twenty yards out where Lawless took responsibility and curled around the wall but Delo was behind it all the way, then with twenty-five minutes left Town boss Darren Lynch introduced Stronge to the action and within six minutes they were back in the tie, a free kick awarded just outside the eighteen yard box saw Stratton step up, as the defensive wall jumped, Michael Lyon on the end of the line ducked and the ball flew over him and into the far bottom corner. This transformed Newport and they were lifted into action, Lawless from the flank squared into the box where Stratton got under it to lift over the top, and any chance they got the ball was inside the Canterbury box but again the defence repelled anything thrown at them. Then with eight minutes to go a Town attack broke down and they were hit on the counter, James Turner attacked the right channel and as he neared the penalty area a challenge from behind floored him & the referee awarded a free kick.

Woollcott stepped up and arrowed brilliantly past Osborn into the top corner for what the home support thought was enough to seal the game, however just ninety seconds later Stronge collected some twenty-five yards from goal and set on a diagonal run into the box, evading two or three challenges he tucked past Delo to set up a grandstand finish. The final five minutes saw the away side sling everything they had at their opponents, Stronge down the right fizzed a ball across the box which saw numerous bodies from both sides fling themselves trying to connect without success, from the other side of the pitch it was crossed back in where Delo then flung himself desperately trying to catch and eventually the danger cleared, as much as they tried the final whistle brought ultimate disappointment for the Swans. F/T: 3-2

Attendance: 259

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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Newport manager Darren Lynch: 

For match day photography please click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmyPVoGz

FAV; Swans duo determined to leave Canterbury with their Tails up

Sunday 6th January 2019

Canterbury City v Newport Pagnell Town

FA Vase 4th Round

Salters Lane

K.O. 2.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town travel to Faversham on Sunday to face fellow step five side Canterbury City for a place in the final sixteen of this season’s FA Vase and come up against a side that haven’t lost a game since they progressed in the previous round against Southall, an undefeated December saw them win four in a row beginning with that third round victory and draw their two league games since Christmas. City currently sit bang in middle position of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table, having won nine and drawing three of their nineteen league games to date, and whilst Newport have progressed this far in the competition, their league form hasn’t been what they were hoping since the season began. Two wins and a draw around the Christmas period see’s Darren Lynch’s men travel to Kent with some momentum behind them, and the lure of that fifth round place should lift both squads in to a pulsating cup tie.

Ahead of the game Sports Shots caught up with defender Ollie Wilkinson and front man Harry Stratton and asked the former how long he’d been at the club and how he ended up there:

This is my third season at Newport, I knew Smeaths (Stuart Smeathers), Faze (Fazel Koriya) and Lingy (Greg Ling) from playing with them at Long Buckby where we won the UCL and also at Bedford. I played with Lynchy (Darren Lynch) at Corby as well as knowing a few of the others from playing against them so when I got a phone call about coming over it was all fairly straight forward. It was also a good changing room to get into, I knew we’d be competitive from the off

This is Harry’s second spell at the club:

I joined the club last season before having a short spell away and returning at the beginning of this season, both times I had no problem settling in as the bunch of lads here are great

Harry Stratton

How does Harry feel his season has been so far?

For me this season I’ve felt good, I was only out for a week with a small knock but other than that I’ve been available, performance wise I’ve managed to get a few goals and assists however I believe there’s still much more to come

Ollie looked back at the team’s fortunes:

This season has been a really strange one so far, I feel like we’ve not been playing badly at all but things haven’t gone our way in games and we’ve been punished. We’ve had our fair share of injuries as well which never helps, let’s just hope we’ve got them all out of the way now

Ollie Wilkinson

How good a squad does Ollie feel the club have this season & which players have impressed?

I feel like we’ve got a really good squad and everyone is just about coming back to full fitness so hopefully we’ll see our results picking up. There are plenty of lads that have been around for a few years and everyone knows the quality that they have but we’ve got a few younger lads coming through this year that are impressing. The two Jakes (Stronge & Watkinson) are very lively and have taken to the challenge & physicality in the first team well this year, and I’m sure they’ll be giving defenders headaches for years to come!

Harry believes the squad are now starting to show signs of putting a run together:

It’s no secret that we haven’t had the greatest of starts to the season for whatever reasons, however with the quality we have in the squad I feel we should be right up there, if I’m honest I think everyone will agree that none of us have been at our best this season. However, over the last month or so everyone has stepped up their game and have been different class, we are now starting to look like the Newport of last season

Where does Harry feel his best position is in the side & formation for the side?

I feel my best position is either out wide or behind the striker. I love to get on the ball to try and create opportunities for my team mates, as well as score a few goals myself. Systems and formations I really don’t mind, that’s up to the gaffer to decide, whatever instructions he gives me I try my best to execute on the pitch

Ollie is more defensive minded:

I don’t mind where I’m playing as long as I’m contributing positively to the side, I can play at centre back or right back but I think Lynchy & Gouldy likes to keep me at right back so they get at least forty-five minutes rest from me!

We asked Ollie how the three games over Christmas were:

The first half against Northampton ON’s and the Eynesbury game were exactly what we’ve been trying to get to all season, we looked dangerous going forward whilst solid at the back, there was a good intensity about us. The second half against ON’s we lacked any real intensity or quality on the ball but managed to dig in and stay organised to defend well and see the game out to the end. The Rothwell game definitely wasn’t a good spectacle for this league, with very little football being played on an awful pitch where it looked like Christmas had caught up with a few, myself very much included!

Harry thought they deserved all the points:

I feel in the last three games we should have really taken all nine points based upon our performances. We’ve been a lot better offensively and defensively producing probably our best performance of the season against Eynesbury

On to Canterbury this week in the FA Vase, what is Harry expecting?

If I’m perfectly honest and no disrespect to our opponents but I don’t know very much about them at all, I’m preparing the same way I do for any other game, to go out there and do my best to win the game, however regardless of how much I know about them it’s going to be a tough game, they wouldn’t be in this position otherwise

Ollie is similarly in the dark on their opponents:

I don’t know anything really about Canterbury other than that is it miles away! We’re training on Thursday so we might get fed a few bits then but I don’t think it will make too much difference to how we approach the game itself. It will be strange having to do it all on a Sunday but as long as we get ourselves at it and with the intensity we know we’ll need, there’s not much more we can do and the result will take care of itself. They’re obviously a decent side to have got this far in the competition, so we’ll have to be wary of them but also know what quality we have

Does Ollie find it hard to concentrate on league matters when this cup run is still ongoing?

I don’t think you can approach any game differently really because they’re all games of football and you never want to lose! Once the game starts anyway, any other game is gone completely from your mind and you just take each part of the current game you’re in as it comes. It’s no good telling yourself that you’re going to play differently in a game because as soon as the adrenaline kicks in it just won’t happen

Harry agrees it is simply one game at a time:

Concentrating on the league with the Vase in sight is not a problem whatsoever for me, I just take each game as it comes, and if I’m honest I haven’t even thought about this competition until after the last game we played

Rounding up we asked Harry how important it is to win on Sunday, will the season be over if Newport lose?

Of course it’s very important for us to progress in this cup, however that would be the same regardless of our league position, no matter what the result on Sunday we will always do our very best to climb up the league table to get as close to the top as possible. I won’t feel as though the season is over, I hate losing and will try to win every game no matter where we are

Ollie looks back at teams from last year to find encouragement:

Obviously we are all really disappointed with our current league position and its something that we all desperately want to improve on this year. The season is never over at Christmas, just look at what Wisbech & Yaxley managed to do after poor starts last season! I don’t think that will happen again any time soon but we’re only halfway through the season now, so even if we do lose on Sunday no one will be sacking off the rest of the campaign and just playing through to get to May. There are too many winners in our dressing room to allow that to happen, that being said we’d all love to win and progress further in the Vase. There are quite a few of us left from the run we had two years ago and we had a few great Saturday’s that year so it would be brilliant to replicate that again. You can’t play football forever, and the memories you make last the longer you can carry on playing. We’ll give it our best and hopefully that will be enough to keep us in the hat come Monday morning. Happy New Year!

Sports Shots would like to thank both Ollie and Harry for their time this week

UCLP; Swans duo hoping to rebuild Bridge over troubled waters

Saturday 1st December 2018

Hullbridge Sports v Newport Pagnell Town

FA Vase 3rd Round

Lower Road

K.O. 3.00pm

Newport Pagnell Town face a trip into Essex on Saturday in the third round of the FA Vase, Hullbridge Sports host the Swans with £1,125 at stake for the winners, in the competition that Darren Lynch’s men reached the quarter final stages of two years ago. A difficult season for the Swans has seen numerous false dawns with just four league wins in a campaign they had hoped to do well in after last year’s success but the FA Vase could yet prove to be instrumental in another good year for the club. A trip into the unknown for this third round tie takes them into Essex to face a side that have lost just once in their last eight games in all competition, and currently sit top of the Essex Senior League; this looks a tricky tie if they are to progress!

To view the Essex Senior League table click here: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/Index.do?divisionseason=413016327&league=2829940

Josh Winters

This week Sports Shots caught up with midfield duo Liam Smyth and Josh Winters, and asked Josh how his season has been so far and what position he prefers to play:

The season has been a bit disappointing so far to be honest, I felt fit off the back of pre-season and was looking forward to going one better than last year but it hasn’t quite worked out that way! During the last pre-season training session I pulled my groin and was out for the first five weeks of the campaign, and since returning in October things have been inconsistent to say the least. I have been playing either in central midfield or out on the right, I don’t really have a preference

Liam has been slightly happier with his form:

My season on a personal note so far hasn’t been that bad but as always it could be better. I play in central midfield and have contributed with a few assists, and have even scored a rare goal already, fitness has been good and I’ve only missed a few games due to a stomach injury

What does Liam think has contributed to the inconsistent start to the season?

It’s difficult to put my finger on it really as we started the season with pretty much the same squad as last year. I think we have just got ourselves into a bit of a rut and when you’re not winning its really hard to break out of, I also feel that we’ve been unlucky with injuries in key areas which also hasn’t helped

Josh agreed with the amount of injuries:

I think there a couple of reasons; our mentality hasn’t been right on a consistent enough basis but you can see from our results that when we do apply ourselves then we are still more than a match for anyone in this league. Secondly, our squad has been depleted with injuries, not just squad member but players that would start games, I think when we played Pinchbeck at home a couple of weeks ago I worked out that we had nine first teamers out which would damage anyone’s chances

Which players have impressed Josh so far this term?

I think the young lads who have come in have been a positive for us so far, Jake Stronge & Jake Watkinson have come up from the reserves & performed really well whilst scoring some really important goals for us at times. Young Harry Stratton has also re-joined us after a spell away & has caught the eye, I think all three players will be very important to Newport Pagnell Town in the future

Liam Smyth

Liam picked a couple of others, and admits they miss those who have left:

We’ve recently added a few new faces and brought some lads in from the reserves, of the new ones Adam Moussi has been a strong addition in midfield. With regards to the squad as a whole I think that Sedge (Tom Liversedge) has been very consistent and one of our better players, in terms of the lads that have left I think in their own way we miss them all but we can’t worry about them now, we need to concentrate on what we have and improving as a team

Two thumping wins were followed by defeat last weekend, how did Liam view the trio of games?

The previous games had gone our way and we had played some good football, we took our chances within those games then going into last Saturday at Harborough we looked good up until just before half time, after conceding two sloppy goals we just seemed to capitulate in the second period. It wasn’t good enough from us and we have to learn quickly so it doesn’t happen again

Josh agreed on the second half collapse:

It was one of the most frustrating games I’ve been a part of! We arrived at Harborough with five regular starters missing but our confidence was high coming off the back of two big wins, we started really well and were playing some really good football on the 4g surface. We took the lead on thirty-five minutes through Dommy (Dominic Lawless) and then had another good couple of chances to extend our lead but then they scored two soft goals on our part just before the break. We felt at halftime that we could get back in to the game if we started well, that didn’t happen and we never got going again and Harborough ran away with it, scoring another three soft goals in my opinion. A really disappointing performance and not what we wanted going into the biggest game of our season this Saturday

Josh Winters

We asked Josh to share his thoughts on what Liam Smyth brings to the team:

Liam is a top lad and one of the nicest guys you could meet, very calm on and off the pitch, he likes to get on the ball and make us play. He’s played well for us this season and scored a vital goal away in the first round of the Vase to get us back into that game

And Liam on Josh?

Wints is an important player for us as he gives us energy wherever he plays, lately playing out wide his direct approach has caused teams problems and he has been involved in creating and scoring a lot of goals. He is never one to hide and will put himself about, digs in even when we haven’t been at it

Did Liam start the season with any targets in mind and have they changed?

On a personal note I don’t really set targets, I just wanted to have an enjoyable season after a bit of a stop start one last year. It’s not been the most enjoyable results wise but hopefully we can change that and go on another good FA Vase run

Josh thinks the squad’s targets have changed:

I think the target for a club like Newport at the start of the season has to be either promotion or to win the league, however after the start to the season that we’ve had, I think you have to be realistic. I think now the target has to be to finish as high up the league as we can and to go as far in the FA Vase as we can. Newport had a great run in this competition the year before I joined & I know from the lads’ stories it included some great away trips, fingers crossed we can do something similar this time around

Where does Josh think Town can finish the season, and who is in the frame for the title?

I think it’s a two horse race between Rugby & Daventry for the title, but if we can go on a run then there is no reason we cannot finish somewhere between third and seventh. It’s going to be tough and a huge ask but if you get on a run and start building momentum then that is a powerful thing

Liam also believes his side can challenge at the top end of the division:

The target for the team was promotion especially after narrowly missing out last season, it obviously hasn’t gone to plan so far but there’s a long way to go and we have the players to definitely get into the top five, although I think even a top five finish would still be a disappointment on the whole after last year

Liam Smyth

Finally, we asked Liam for his thoughts on the Vase game this week:

The only thing I know about them is that they are doing quite well in their league, but we can only concentrate on ourselves and I know that on our day we can beat anyone. A couple of seasons back we knocked out some very good sides on our way to that quarter final and if we want to progress again then we have to be on it, focused and cut out the silly mistakes

Josh is looking forward to it:

I don’t really know too much about them in all fairness but you don’t get to the third round of this competition without being a decent side. I’m really looking forward to the game, it will be the biggest game of the season for us and we will be looking to put a few things right after our performance last Saturday. Hopefully we will have a few of our big players back and we can go there trying to get the win

Sports Shots would like to thank both Josh & Liam for their time this week

2018/19 FA Vase Second Round Draw

The FA Vase second round draw was made on Monday and both our remaining clubs face home fixtures.

 

Newport Pagnell Town (step 5) host Thame Rangers (step 6) of the Hellenic League Division One East who are undefeated in their league campaign thus far, and knocked out SSMFL Premier Division side Crawley Green on Saturday.

To follow the Thame Rangers season click here: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=538166572&teamID=733961484

 

If Buckingham Athletic (step 6) can conquer Clacton in their replay this week, they too face a home tie with Kirkley & Pakefield (step 5) of the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

To follow the Kirkley & Pakefield season click here: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=212697694&teamID=378238985

 

The draw in full:

THE BUILDBASE FA VASE  SECOND ROUND PROPER SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2018 WINNING CLUB TO RECEIVE £900 LOSING CLUB TO RECEIVE £300     

1 Hallam v Hebburn Town

2 Vauxhall Motors v Runcorn Town or Guisborough Town

3 Staveley MW or Silsden v Bedlington Terriers

4 Newcastle Benfield v 1874 Northwich

5 Avro v Squires Gate

6 Winterton Rangers v Dunston UTS

7 Irlam v Hemsworth MW

8 Barton Town v Shildon

9 Garstang v Sunderland RCA

10 Thackley v West Auckland Town

11 Stockton Town v Nelson or Ashington

12 Prestwich Heys v Northwich Victoria

13 Westfields v Romulus or Wellington FC

14 Shepshed Dynamo v Blidworth Welfare

15 Worcester City v Desborough Town

16 Cadbury Athletic v Heather St Johns

17 Coventry United v Boldmere St Michaels

18 Sporting Khalsa v Hucknall Town

19 Quorn v Eastwood Community

20 Wolverhampton SC v Ilkeston Town

21 Walsall Wood v Dronfield Town

22 Lye Town v Brocton

23 Stourport Swifts v NKF Burbage

24 Hinckley v Hereford Lads Club

25 Leicester Nirvana v Saffron Dynamo or Bottesford Town

26 Biggleswade v Norwich CBS

27 Cogenhoe United v Leighton Town

28 Buckingham Athletic or FC Clacton v Kirkley & Pakefield

29 Great Yarmouth Town v Godmanchester Rovers

30 Little Oakley or Enfield 1893 v Leverstock Green

31 Redbridge v Sleaford Town or Peterborough Northern Star

32 Hullbridge Sports v Irchester United

33 Wellingborough Town v Tring Athletic

34 May & Baker Eastbrook Community v Swaffham Town

35 Stowmarket Town v Baldock Town

36 Colney Heath or Histon v Woodbridge Town

37 Wantage Town v Deeping Rangers

38 Wodson Park v Holbeach United

39 Newport Pagnell Town v Thame Rangers

40 Chertsey Town v Horndean

41 Sutton Common Rovers v Horley Town

42 Abbey Rangers v Lordswood

43 Chichester City v Windsor

44 Kensington Borough v Erith Town

45 Steyning Town Community v Banstead Athletic

46 AFC Croydon Athletic v AFC Uckfield Town

47 Spelthorne Sports v Sheppey United

48 Badshot Lea v St Panteleimon or Cray Valley (PM)

49 Crowborough Athletic v Eastbourne Town

50 Corinthian v Canterbury City

51 Pagham v Peacehaven & Telscombe

52 Bearsted v Newhaven

53 Southall v Chatham Town

54 Sholing v Malmesbury Victoria

55 Exmouth Town v Cadbury Heath

56 Almondsbury v Hamble Club

57 Bodmin Town v Alresford Town

58 Cheddar v AFC St Austell

59 Newport (IW) v Cribbs

60 Baffins Milton Rovers v Bournemouth

61 Brockenhurst v Bradford Town

62 Willand Rovers v Tavistock

63 Ivybridge Town or Holyport v Saltash United

64 Hamworthy United v Falmouth Town

FA Vase 1st Round Draw details

The FA Vase 1st round draw was made on Monday, and our two local sides left in the competition were given draws against unfamiliar opposition.

Newport Pagnell (step 5) face a trip to Essex to face Thurlow Nunn First Division South side Newbury Forest (step 6), to find out more on their season so far follow this link: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=264345034&teamID=150381081

Meanwhile Buckingham Athletic (step 6) have a home tie with FC Clapton (step 5) to look forward to, again from the same league as above but the premier division and in the last round they knocked out former South Midlands Premier side Hoddeston Town, their season details can be found using this link: http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/DisplayTeam.do?divisionseason=212697694&teamID=29290182

Ties to be played weekend of 13th October

1 Hallam v Charnock Richard
2 Northwich Victoria v Cammell Laird 1907
3 Litherland Remyca v Thackley
4 Padiham or Prestwich Heys v Garforth Town
5 Irlam v Handsworth Parramore
6 Staveley MW v Silsden
7 Bedlington Terriers v Whickham
8 Sunderland RCA v Bridlington Town
9 Hebburn Town v City of Liverpool
10 Cheadle Town or Vauxhall Motors v Seaham Red Star
11 Squires Gate v Sandbach United
12 Bishop Auckland v Hemsworth MW
13 Swallownest v Garstang
14 Steeton v Avro
15 Runcorn Town v Guisborough Town
16 Billingham Town v Dunston UTS
17 Winterton Rangers v Lower Breck
18 Nelson v Ashington
19 Shildon v Glasshoughton Welfare
20 Barton Town v Brandon United
21 Shepshed Dynamo v Bewdley Town
22 Cadbury Athletic v Hanley Town
23 Aylestone Park v Blidworth Welfare
24 Lye Town v Chelmsley Town
25 Romulus v Wellington FC
26 Bustleholme v NKF Burbage
27 Coventry United v Wednesfield
28 Loughborough University v Heather St Johns
29 Wellington Amateurs v Leicester Nirvana
30 Belper United v Quorn
31 Brocton v Highgate United
32 Heanor Town v Ilkeston Town
33 Sporting Khalsa v Winsford United
34 Saffron Dynamo v Pinxton or Bottesford Town
35 Barrow Town v Dronfield Town
36 Hereford Lads Club v Paget Rangers
37 Eastwood Community v South Normanton Athletic
38 Boldmere St Michaels v Rugby Town
39 Hucknall Town v Black Country Rangers
40 Worcester City v Long Eaton United
41 Smethwick v Uttoxeter Town or Walsall Wood
42 Baldock Town v Brimsdown
43 Little Oakley v Enfield 1893
44 Newmarket Town v Deeping Rangers
45 Great Yarmouth Town v Wroxham
46 Colney Heath v Histon
47 FC Deportivo Galicia v Irchester United
48 Buckingham Athletic v FC Clacton
49 Newbury Forest v Newport Pagnell Town
50 Biggleswade United v Holbeach United
51 Haverhill Borough v Framlington Town or Swaffham Town
52 Enfield Borough v Kirkley & Pakefield
53 London Colney v Wellingborough Town
54 Southend Manor v Redbridge
55 May & Baker Eastbrook Community v North Greenford United
56 Thame Rangers v Crawley Green
57 West Essex v Godmanchester Rovers
58 Takeley v Wodson Park
59 Codicote v Wantage Town
60 Harefield United v Woodbridge Town
61 Stowmarket Town v Harpenden Town
62 Sleaford Town v Peterborough Northern Star
63 Leverstock Green v Sawbridgeworth Town
64 Sidlesham v Chatham Town
65 Redhill v Peacehaven & Telscombe
66 Sheppey United v East Preston
67 Wick v Lordswood
68 Corinthian v Deal Town
69 Eversley & California v Horndean
70 Southall v Sheerwater
71 Bugbrooke St Michaels v CB Hounslow United or Spelthorne Sports
72 Rayners Lane v Abbey Rangers
73 Bearsted v Beckenham Town
74 Canterbury City v Saltdean United
75 Broadfields United v Banstead Athletic
76 Hanworth Villa v Pagham
77 Sutton Common Rovers v Cobham
78 Chertsey Town v Flackwell Heath
79 AFC Croydon Athletic v Fareham Town
80 Horsham YMCA v Kensington Borough
81 St Panteleimon v Cray Valley (PM)
82 Bedfont & Feltham v Erith Town
83 Newhaven v Rusthall
84 Tunbridge Wells or Bridon Ropes v AFC Uckfield Town
85 Steyning Town Community v Walton & Hersham
86 Bashley v Baffins Milton Rovers
87 Saltash United v Westbury United
88 Brimscombe & Thrupp v Cribbs
89 Longwell Green Sports v Brockenhurst
90 Ivybridge Town v Holyport
91 Torpoint Athletic v Sholing
92 Exmouth Town v Elburton Villa
93 Cheddar v Totton & Eling
94 Roman Glass St George v Malmesbury Victoria
95 Andover Town v Badshot Lea
96 Odd Down v Willand Rovers
97 Verwood Town or Alresford Town v Abingdon United
98 Bridport v Falmouth Town
99 Camelford or Bodmin Town v AFC Stoneham
100 Bournemouth v Newquay
101 Longlevens or Tuffley Rovers v Tavistock
102 Cadbury Heath v Sidmouth Town
103 AFC St Austell v Plymouth Parkway
104 Almondsbury v Bitton
105 Shaftesbury v Hamworthy United

BREAKING … DRAW – The BUILDBASE FA Vase 1st Round Qualifying (+ Next round draw)

THE BUILDBASE FA VASE
FIRST ROUND QUALIFYING
SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2018
WINNING CLUB TO RECEIVE £550
LOSING CLUB TO RECEIVE £175

1 Alnwick Town v Charnock Richard
2 Stokesley SC v Guisborough Town
3 Holker Old Boys v Prestwich Heys
4 Goole v Barnoldswick Town
5 Whickham v Jarrow
6 West Allotment Celtic v Yorkshire Amateur
7 Darlington Railway Athletic v Bedlington Terriers
8 Chester-Le-Street Town v Sunderland Ryhope CW
9 Esh Winning v Whitley Bay
10 Bishop Auckland v Newton Aycliffe
11 North Shields v Consett
12` Daisy Hill v Whitehaven
13 Harrogate Railway Athletic v Silsden
14 Thackley v Thornaby
15 Dunston UTS v Heaton Stannington
16 Team Northumbria v Garforth Town
17 Billingham Town v Campion
18 Blyth v Crook Town
19 Billingham Synthonia v Knaresborough Town
20 Durham City v Seaham Red Star
21 Eccleshill United v Hebburn Town
22 Northallerton Town v Willington
23 Lower Breck v West Didsbury & Chorlton
24 Longridge Town v Vauxhall Motors
25 Worksop Town v Grimsby Borough
26 Burscough v Alsager Town
27 Wythenshawe Town v Rylands
28 Winsford United v Liversedge
29 Maltby Main v Ashton Athletic
30 Ashton Town v St Helens Town
31 Barton Town v AFC Liverpool
32 AFC Blackpool v Nostell MW
33 Sandbach United v Athersley Recreation
34 Shelley v Penistone Church
35 AFC Emley v Litherland Remyca
36 Swallownest v Abbey Hey
37 Cammell Laird 1907 v Harworth Colliery
38 Armthorpe Welfare v Worsbrough Bridge Athletic
39 Parkgate v Chadderton
40 Congleton Town v Bootle
41 Selby Town v Stavely MW
42 Kirby Muxloe v Brocton
43 Nuneaton Griff v Coton Green
44 Littleton v Lichfield City
45 Coventry Sphinx v Sporting Khalsa
46 FC Stratford v Bewdley Town
47 Abbey Hulton United v Whitchurch Alport
48 AFC Bridgnorth v Wolverhampton Casuals
49 Ellesmere Rangers v Birstall United Social
50 Rugby Borough v Malvern Town
51 Stafford Town v Wednesfield
52 Droitwich Spa v Coventry United
53 Boldmere St Michaels v GNP Sports
54 Heather St Johns v Rocester
55 Rugby Town v Team Dudley
(walkover for Rugby Town – Team Dudley not accepted into Competition)
56 Racing Club Warwick v Pegasus Juniors
57 Melton Town v Ingles
58 Lutterworth Athletic v Cradley Town
59 Wellington FC v St Martins
60 Dudley Sports v Shawbury United
61 Coventry Copsewood v Eccleshall
62 NKF Burbage v Lutterworth Town
63 Gornal Athletic v Stone Old Alleynians
64 Wellington Amateurs v Ellistown
(walkover for Wellington Amateurs – Ellistown not accepted into Competition)
65 Heath Hayes v Shifnal Town
66 Dudley Town v Bardon Hill
67 Pershore Town v Hanley Town
68 Ashby Ivanhoe v Friar Lane & Epworth
69 Bolehall Swifts v Tipton Town
70 Haughmond v Saffron Dynamo
71 Gedling MW v Ilkeston Town
72 Rainworth MW v Teversal
73 Newark Flowserve v Harrowby United
74 Leicester Road v Bottesford Town
75 Loughborough University v West Bridgford
76 Ollerton Town v New Mills
77 Skegness Town v Clay Cross Town
78 Anstey Nomads v Eastwood Community
79 Borrowash Victoria v Hucknall Town
80 Clifton All Whites v Belper United
81 Blidworth Welfare v Blaby & Whetstone Athletic
82 Clipstone v Aylestone Park
83 South Normanton Athletic v St Andrews
84 Oadby Town v Sherwood Colliery
85 Dunkirk v Stapenhill
86 Quorn v Retford United
87 Holwell Sports v Pinxton
88 Lincoln Moorlands Railway v Kimberley Miners Welfare
89 Radford v Selston
90 Framlingham Town v Wisbech St Mary
91 Deeping Rangers v Blackstones
92 Woodbridge Town v Eynesbury Rovers
93 Gorleston v Boston Town
94 Peterborough Northern Star v Fakenham Town
95 Walsham Le Willows v Diss Town
96 Newmarket Town v Downham Town
97 Bourne Town v March Town United
98 Huntingdon Town v Wroxham
99 Ely City v Norwich United
100 Stotfold v Wadham Lodge
101 St Margaretsbury v Hadleigh United
102 Newbury Forest v Wivenhoe Town
103 Wormley Rovers v Biggleswade United
104 Enfield Borough v Halstead Town
105 Clapton v Woodford Town 2017
106 May & Baker Eastbrook Community v Burnham Ramblers
107 Stanway Rovers v White Ensign
108 Baldock Town v Long Melford
109 Haverhill Rovers v Ilford
110 Holland v Cornard United
111 Walthamstow v Takeley
112 Langford v Tower Hamlets
113 Southend Manor v Ipswich Wanderers
114 Stansted v Brantham Athletic
115 London Colney v Cockfosters
116 Whitton United v Hatfield Town
117 British Airways v Harefield United
118 Rothwell Corinthians v CB Hounslow United
119 Spelthorne Sports v Northampton On Chenecks
120 FC Deportivo Galicia v London Tigers
121 Sandhurst Town v Kensington Borough
122 Wellingborough Whitworth v Bugbrooke St Michaels
123 Hanworth Villa v Bedford
124 Ampthill Town v Edgware Town
125 Broadfields United v Daventry Town
126 AFC Hayes v Wembley
127 Rushden & Higham United v Winslow United
128 Raunds Town v Cranfield United
129 Bicester Town v AFC Spelthorne Sports Club
130 Southall v Reading City
131 Leverstock Green v Unite MK
132 Cricklewood Wanderers v Risborough Rangers
133 Burnham v Hillingdon
(walkover for Burnham – Hillingdon not accepted into Competition)
134 St Panteleimon v Holmer Green
135 Shrivenham v Tytherington Rocks
136 Bashley v AFC Portchester
137 Binfield v Frimley Green
138 Tadley Calleva v Ascot United
139 Milton United v Clanfield 85
140 Chertsey Town v Woodley United
141 Brimscombe & Thrupp v Ash United
142 Wallingford Town v Abingdon United
143 Penn & Tylers Green v AFC Stoneham
144 Lydney Town v Abbey Rangers
145 Cove v Fleet Spurs
146 Royal Wootton Bassett Town v Oxford City Nomads
(walkover for Royal Wootton Bassett Town – Oxford City Nomads withdrawn)
147 Ardley United v Holyport
148 Fairford Town v Baffins Milton Rovers
149 Colliers Wood United v Stansfeld
150 Bagshot v Sidlesham
151 Raynes Park Vale v Sutton Common Rovers
152 Lingfield v Epsom & Ewell
153 Croydon v Little Common
154 Sutton Athletic v Cray Valley (PM)
155 Hassocks v K Sports
156 St Francis Rangers v FC Elmstead
157 Knaphill v AFC Varndeanians
158 Wick v Godalming Town
159 Mile Oak v Selsey
160 Billingshurst v Tunbridge Wells
161 Lordswood v Fire United Christian
162 Sheerwater v Lancing
163 Meridian VP v Southwick
164 Chessington & Hook United v Oakwood
165 Erith Town v Arundel
166 Lewisham Borough (Community) v Broadbridge Heath
167 Kent Football United v Steyning Town Community
168 Sporting Club Thamesmead v Midhurst & Easebourne United
169 Westside v AC London
170 AFC Croydon Athletic v Worthing United
171 AFC Uckfield Town v Hollands & Blair
172 Glebe v Loxwood
173 Seaford Town v Tooting Bec
174 Lydd Town v Punjab United
175 Snodland Town v Newhaven
176 Erith & Belvedere v Rusthall
177 Fisher v Corinthian
178 East Preston v Eastbourne United
179 Bearsted v Bexhill United
180 Sheppey United v Balham
181 Langney Wanderers v Canterbury City
182 Saltdean United v Crawley Down Gatwick
183 Redhill v Holmesdale
184 Guildford City v Rochester United
185 Whitchurch United v Almondsbury
186 Devizes Town v Warminster Town
187 Calne Town v Fawley
188 Christchurch v Folland Sports
189 Cowes Sports v Westbury United
190 Chippenham Park v Bitton
191 Lymington Town v Portland United
192 Oldland Abbotonians v Totton & Eling
193 Hamworthy United v Amesbury Town
194 Romsey Town v Bridport
195 Ringwood Town v Alresford Town
196 Stockbridge v Roman Glass St George
197 Hallen v Fareham Town
198 East Cowes Victoria Athletic v Pewsey Vale
199 Team Solent v Longwell Green Sports
200 Eversley & California v Downton
201 Bournemouth v Bristol Telephones
202 Hythe & Dibden v Bemerton Heath Harlequins
203 Corsham Town v Laverstock & Ford
204 Exmouth Town v Callington Town
205 Plymouth Parkway v Brislington
206 Tavistock v Helston Athletic
207 Keynsham Town v Sidmouth Town
208 Bishops Lydeard v Bishop Sutton
209 Godolphin Atlantic v Portishead Town
210 Hengrove Athletic v Newquay
211 Wellington AFC v Saltash United
212 Liskeard Athletic v Bovey Tracey
213 Crediton United v Clevedon Town
214 AFC St Austell v Ilfracombe Town
215 Wincanton Town v Radstock Town
216 Witheridge v Wells City
217 Odd Down v Shepton Mallet
218 Elburton Villa v Launceston
MATCH DATES
All ties must be played on Saturday 1 September 2018, kick-off 3.00pm with replays on or before Thursday 6
September 2018, kick-off 7.45pm. Clubs may mutually agree to penalties being taken after extra time to
determine the winner of a first match without having a replay and this must be confirmed on the
Match Arrangement Form, in accordance with FA Vase Rule 11(a).

THE BUILDBASE FA VASE
ROUND DATES
SEASON 2018-2019
First Round Qualifying Saturday 1 September 2018
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 15 September 2018
First Round Proper Saturday 13 October 2018
Second Round Proper Saturday 3 November 2018
Third Round Proper Saturday 1 December 2018
Fourth Round Proper Saturday 5 January 2019
Fifth Round Proper Saturday 2 February 2019
Sixth Round Proper Saturday 23 February 2019
Semi Final 1 Saturday 16 March 2019
Semi Final 2 Saturday 23 March 2019
Final Sunday 19 May 2019

FAVQF; Leighton FA Vase run comes to an end

Leighton Town – 0

1874 Northwich – 1

A cold & crisp day at Bell Close

The superb Leighton Town FA Vase run is over after 1874 Northwich came to Bell Close on Saturday and claimed a single goal victory from the penalty spot, and that was all that could separate the two sides. In all fairness, the match did not live up to the expectations or hopes of the huge crowd squeezed inside the ground; there was plenty of noise, colour and ceremony but the football did not match the enthusiasm of both sets of supporters. Whether nerves or the occasion got to the players, it wasn’t one to remember, and once Northwich got their noses in front they were happy to defend anything their hosts could throw at them. With the cup frenzy now over, concentration turns to finishing as high in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division as they can in their pursuit of promotion back to the Southern League.

Leighton made the better start to the game, Lea Coulter in the first minute used the outside of his boot trying to curl one inside the back post from the right hand side of the box, but the ball did not bend in enough as it sailed harmlessly wide. Dom Marsala had a better chance moments later when he collected the ball in midfield, he laid off to Coulter who attacked the right wing before squaring back to Marsala who had made ground inside the area but he mis-hit his shot and pulled wide.

Northwich had to wait ten minutes before the first chance, when Matt Russell crossed from their left and right in front of Tom Wyant in the Town goal Samuel Hind somehow scooped the ball up and over the crossbar. The visitors almost gave their hosts a gift shortly after when a routine ball into their half saw Jack Pritchard turn and go to pass the ball back to his keeper Greg Hall but he sliced his pass and for a second or two it looked as though the ball was going to roll into the net, but Hall recovered to save his team mates blushes.

Tom Guiney has ball taken off his head

From the corner the ball was swung in perfectly towards the head of Town skipper Tom Guiney who looked odds on to connect and thump at goal, but Hall was off his line and pushed the ball away in the nick of time, almost off the head of the centre half. On twenty-one minutes Hall was again denying the home side from taking the lead, Alex O’Brien tried his luck from thirty yards out with a dipping drive that had the keeper back peddling before leaping to push over the bar with both hands.

Four minutes later saw the deciding moment of the game. Northwich were on the attack with Jake Parker to the left of the area, as he looked for space a tackle from Marsala saw him felled and the referee who was right behind the action blew and pointed to the spot. Although Wyant went the right way, he couldn’t prevent Scott McGowan from drilling into the bottom corner to give the away side the lead.

Up until that moment Leighton had been the better side, but the goal changed the whole complexion of the match. 1874 came into the game lifted by their lead and started asking their own questions of the Leighton back line. Taylor Kennerley attacked down the left channel and his cross cum shot almost crept inside the back post but was eventually cleared. James Hatch then had a chance when played in down the Leighton left, shoulder to shoulder with a defender he took the shot on early from just inside the box but Hall was comfortable falling to his left to gather. H/T: 0-1

Tom Wyant goes close to saving penalty

Seven minutes into the second period almost saw Northwich extend their lead when a loose ball in the Leighton box was allowed to bounce and Hind nipped in between the reds defence but could only side foot straight into Wyant’s gloves. Some intricate passing on the edge of the Northwich box between O’Brien and Marsala then saw Hatch presented with the opportunity to shoot from twelve yards but his shot was straight at Hill.

As the half wore on the away side managed the game to their benefit, mopping up anything Leighton tried, forcing manager Scott Reynolds into freshening up the front line by introducing Lorrell Smith for Lea Coulter. Almost immediately Smith had a run at the 1874 defence but again they dealt with the threat without too much discomfort.

George Boland was also introduced to the action and a free kick into the box found him twelve-yards out creeping in behind the defence, however he didn’t connect and could only screw the ball away from goal where it was cleared away. Lewis McBride crossed from the left and a defender blocked to kill the ball dead, running in Carl Tappin sent the ball back into the danger area but with no one in red anywhere near it was again launched to safety.

With five minutes left Smith robbed Ryan Mitchell out on the left and headed for goal, on reaching the eighteen-yard line he snatched at the chance but simply curled straight into Hill’s gloves. Northwich then saw out the remainder to book their place in the two-legged semi-finals, and leave Leighton heart broken. F/T: 0-1

Attendance: 1,109

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the game Sports Shots spoke with Leighton manager Scott Reynolds: 

For full match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7vLtsq

 

FAVQF; Quarter-Final preview with Reds defensive duo

Saturday 24th February 2018

Leighton Town v 1874 Northwich

FA Vase Quarter-Final

Bell Close

K.O. 3.00pm

Leighton Town

Since September last year, over five-hundred non-league clubs have entered the 2017/18 FA Vase. This Saturday the final eight teams left in the competition take to the field to battle it out for a place in the semi-finals and be just two games from playing at the home of English football, Wembley Stadium. There aren’t many managers, staff, players, supporters & committee’s that get to watch their side play on the hallowed turf at this level; back in September when the first qualifying round of matches took place not many were thinking ahead to Sunday 20th May 2018 and the FA Vase Final. Fast forward seven rounds, we are now down to the quarter-final stage, and everyone is thinking about the final.

Leighton Town were no different to most clubs, just hoping for a good run to swell the financial coffers, but on Saturday they host 1874 Northwich with the opportunity to reach the last four. Scott Reynolds men are on an eleven-game winning sequence, but once again come up against unknown opposition from another league, and another part of the country, a part of the country where teams are notorious for doing well in FA Vase competition!

Ahead of the fixture, Sports Shots caught up with defenders James Towell & Dave Murphy, and asked Dave just what it means as a player to be this far into an FA competition:

It’s a huge game & a massive achievement to get through to the quarter finals in such a prestigious competition. To know that we are in the last eight after winning seven previous games makes it even more special. For so many teams at this level, it’s a dream to have a good run in it and we are going to do all that we can on Saturday to make sure we are in the hat for the semi-final draw on Monday

James agreed that it’s been a dream run so far:

It’s getting very real now, a cup final at Wembley is at arm’s length; the sort of occasion you dream of being involved in as a kid. We have done very well to get this far, however there is still work to be done so we shouldn’t get too carried away just yet. But of course, it’s a great feeling to still be in the cup

James Towell

We asked James what the highlight of the cup run has been so far:

I’d have to say that beating Norwich CBS has been the highlight for me, being so close to exiting the competition to get back into the game so late on, and going on to win so convincingly in extra-time, we showed tremendous character in that game, that will long live in the memory

Where does this run rank in Dave Murphy’s career:

This is actually the second time I’ve played in a Vase quarter-final, unfortunately in 2014 I was at Ampthill and on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline and our dream ended there. To miss out on the opportunity to play in a two-legged semi-final was crushing. At that point to be so close, and even if you were up against one of the top northern teams, the fact is playing over two legs always gives you a chance to get to the final. So for me, this game on Saturday is right up there, I don’t want that losing experience again and I will do everything I can to stop that from happening again

We asked Dave if there was any secret to the Leighton run?

I honestly believe that we‘ve kept the games as low key as possible. We know that we have a lot of quality in our squad and on our day,  we can match any team at this level. We’ve tried to take our consistency and good form from our league campaign and replicate it in the Vase, and up to this point it has been an expectation that if we perform well & play to our strengths then we have every chance of winning. That hasn’t always happened, and we have had two very tough ties against Norwich and Wolves but our poor performance during stages of those games has been as much a factor of making those ties difficult as the quality of the opposition. But our attitude to games is that we do not know when we are beaten, we have a great group of players who will fight for each other until the end

We questioned James whether it was difficult to concentrate on league games with the Vase in the background?

It’s not that difficult if I’m honest. They both seem to give us a break from each other of late, the league is obviously our priority and we must gain promotion this season. But we give it our all in all the competitions we’ve been in this season, and I’d hate for anything to slip through our fingers now

We looked at what players James thinks will make an impact for Leighton on Saturday:

I actually think myself and Matt Hall will have a big part to play, keeping our opposing players quiet, stopping crosses & shots, and winning our own individual battles, I think the pace of Lorrell (Smith) up top causes every team we’ve played problems, he could really make the difference for us going forward

Dave is expecting a tough battle on the pitch:

I would expect them to be a very good side, you can’t get to this stage of the competition through luck alone. They will be organised, disciplined and no doubt have quality all over the pitch. But we need to make sure that we focus on our strengths and what we can do, if we can do that & play to our potential that we know we can at Bell Close, then we have a great chance of making it through to the semi-finals, and that’s when you really start getting excited

Dave Murphy

Rounding up, we asked Dave how he feels his own personal season has been:

It’s been good, we are in a good position in the league table, and obviously this huge game this week-end. We are only really in that position due to the incredible run we find ourselves on at this time, eleven wins in a row and a momentum we need to keep going on Saturday. Personally, I have managed to keep injury free and had a good run of games which is always nice, but it really has all been about the effort the squad is putting in. But it all comes down to Saturday, and then some huge league games over the next few weeks, that’s when we can really then look at what an incredible season it has been for Leighton Town FC

And what will James do to relax on Friday evening:

I usually get to my local gym for a yoga class on Friday evenings, I go to two classes a week, one on Monday and the other on the Friday. It’s only a beginner’s class on the Friday so it’s nice & light but I find it just gets me in a clear frame of mind ready for the game the next day. However, this Friday a couple of the squad and I are having a get together at Lewis McBride’s, so it’ll be nice to just get a few of us together and have some food, play the Nintendo Wii and just chill ahead of the match

Sports Shots would like to thank both James & Dave for their time this week.

FAV5R; Leighton send Wolves packing to reach ¼ final

Wolverhampton Sporting Community – 3

Leighton Town – 4

The Leighton Town FA Vase run of 2017/18 is certainly going to go down in supporter’s memories for a very long time to come. After the first couple of rounds were negotiated, they went on to record to narrow single goal victories, one at home, the other in Essex, and single goal leads are never comfortable. From there they went to Norfolk and surrendered a two goal lead before winning through; they then hosted a Norfolk side and were going out of the competition with two minutes of the ninety left. A late equaliser sent the game into extra time, and they won in the extra thirty minutes, this sent them to Staffordshire to face Wolverhampton Sporting CFC. Surely the Town supporters couldn’t have their nerves shredded any further?

Upon arrival at the home of ‘Wolves’, you are welcomed to Pride Park. Healthy numbers of Leighton support had travelled up from Bedfordshire, despite the 10.00am pitch inspection leaving most in limbo not knowing where they were heading for a 3.00pm football feast. As the crowd swelled the talk was of the condition of the pitch. The home committee had been working all day Friday and Saturday morning desperately trying to get it pitch perfect. Some heavy forking, buckets of sands, and some plastic sheets resulted in game on.

Centre spot

The first half will live in memory for a long time. Poor defending or great attacking, pace, mud, set pieces, strange decisions for both sides, this was a proper cup tie. Leighton scored from a corner to settle the nerves, that didn’t last long! Their hosts equalised and looked extremely dangerous every time they came forward. Leighton then went and scored two more, the first again from a corner, the second from a sublime free kick routine. 1-3, game over? No chance!

Sporting were level by the break, one a dubious penalty even ridiculed by the home supporters as a corner all day long. Full credit must be given to the home side, technically a level below their guests, it never really showed for long periods, an all-out attacking flare side that fully demonstrated why they have scored over one hundred goals this season, and are surely destined for higher level football. The second half could never match the first, Leighton got their noses in front again with yet another awkward penalty decision, Alex O’Brien despatched the spot kick into the bottom corner and Leighton then managed the remainder to set up a mouth-watering home quarter-final tie with 1874 Northwich in two weeks’ time.

Manager Scott Reynolds was again forced to reshuffle his pack from their last game, with Lewis McBride still missing with an ongoing arm injury, Dom Marsala serving the last of his three match suspension, & Bruno Brito on holiday, back came Lorrell Smith and Matt Hall, with Smith & James Hatch up front, Hall slotting into his familiar left back role alongside Tom Guiney, Dave Murphy & James Towell at right back. A strong combative midfield showed Alex O’Brien and Carl Tappin in the middle with Tom Silford patrolling the left and Lea Coulter in his now familiar right sided position.

An early shot from the hosts was comfortable for Tom Wyant in the Leighton goal, before at the opposite end a Smith cross was inches away from Coulter in the middle. Hatch then had an effort which was deflected away for a corner on nine minutes.

From the corner Leighton took the lead, swung into the near post Hatch out jumped his marker and headed the ball at goal, Wolves keeper Dale Reaney & centre half Jak Barnes fell over each other trying to clear, the ball fell to the floor and a melee ensued which resulted in Reaney falling on the ball, but the assistant on the far side waved his flag furiously to indicate the ball had crossed the line.

The lead lasted just ninety seconds when a corner saw a header from close range stopped by Hall inside the six-yard box, but quickest to react was Wolves skipper Mitch Clarke who stabbed home. Moments after their equaliser the hosts had another chance when another cross from the left found Wes Grey in front of goal but he could only lift over the top.

Despite the home side pressing after their goal, it was the away side that scored again on seventeen minutes when Hatch got on the end of another corner at the near post and headed over everyone and in. Seven minutes later saw Leighton in dream land, a two-footed challenge on Smith saw a free kick awarded just outside the Wolves box. Alex O’Brien planted into the bottom corner after a clever routine involving Coulter and Hall.

Alex O’Brien scores from free kick

Before Leighton had any time to calm down, Wolves pulled a goal back through Jon Letford, a cross into the box & effort at goal saw Wyant save, but the rebound was pounced on by the Wolves midfielder who knocked past the stranded Town keeper giving him no chance. Game on again!

The red and white shirts were now defending wave after wave of attacks, Tom Hill headed over after a superb cross found the striker on the corner of the six-yard box, then nine minutes before the break the scores were level again. A long ball knocked for a Wolves player to chase down saw Silford give chase, on the edge of the eighteen yard area the challenge was made and the ball rolled out of play. As the assistant waved for a corner, the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Alex Moore absolutely rifled home the penalty into the top corner, and the sides went into half-time all square, with spectators barely able to comprehend what they had witnessed in the first forty-five minutes. H/T: 3-3

Of course the second half couldn’t mirror the first, but it started as if it would with the home side taking the game to their guests. A full five minutes of pressure without little end product saw the Town back line under pressure but deal with everything thrown at them. A brief respite saw Smith released away on goal from one clearance and he ran thirty yards before blazing over the crossbar from distance.

Back came Wolves, a cross into the area saw Barnes first to the ball but he could only hook wide, then on fifty-six minutes came another suspicious penalty decision, this time in Leightons favour. Coulter threaded a ball through for Smith to chase, Wolves left back Kyle Delaney gave chase and slid in to challenge winning the ball but again the official pointed to the spot.

Alex O’Brien scores winning penalty

O’Brien despatched into the bottom corner to once again give his side the lead in the tie. The goal seemed to calm the game down from that point, Wolves attacked but Leighton were comfortable and managed the game brilliantly. A series of niggly tackles, substitutions and weary legs meant the game never really threatened like it had for the first hour or so. On sixty-nine minutes the home side got down their left wing, and fizzed the ball across the goal face but no orange shirts were anywhere near forward enough to get a touch, and the ball rolled harmlessly out for a throw in.

As the tempo slowed it took until the last five minutes for Wolves to realise they only needed a goal for extra time. A ball played up to Letford saw him back to goal work some space before turning and shooting, but he dragged his effort wide of Wyant’s right hand post. Smith had a late chance for Leighton but he cleared the clubhouse as well as the crossbar, and Wolves knew it was over when in the dying seconds a ball into the Town box saw defender Phil McKerdy twist his entire body in mid-air to get his head to it, but his effort was two yards wide of the post and moments later the whistle sounded to end a truly remarkable cup tie. F/T: 3-4

Attendance: 188

Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit sportsshots.org.uk

After the game Sports Shots spoke with Town manager Scott Reynolds: 
And also with Saturday’s skipper Tom Guiney: 

For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmaNfv2U

FA Vase, 3R: Match Preview Gorleston v Leighton Town

Saturday 2nd December 2017

FA Vase 3rd Round

Gorleston (Step 5) v Leighton Town (Step 5)

Emerald Park

K.O. 3.00pm

Gorleston FC

Leighton Town travel to Norfolk on Saturday hoping to continue their run in the FA Vase and pocket over one thousand pounds in prize money, but face another team they will know very little about in Gorleston FC. The Greens play in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, the same level as their guests and are in good form ahead of the game having won three and drawing one of their last four matches. However, Leighton will travel with confidence high with just one defeat in their last twelve games in all competitions.

Matt Hall

Lewis McBride

Ahead of the contest Sports Shots caught up with Leighton players Matt Hall and Lewis McBride, and asked Lewis what the squad knew about their hosts:

All we know is they play in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division and currently sit somewhere mid table, but at this stage of this competition we know anyone we play now will be a tough test

Matt explained how the squad have been preparing for the game after the thumping win at Stotfold on Tuesday night:

It was a comfortable win on Tuesday; we came in Thursday night for a light session to keep the legs ticking over, nothing too tough though with the long journey to Yarmouth in mind

Lewis has suffered from injury this season but is determined to help Leighton achieve their goals:

It’s been a mixed season for me so far, I missed all of pre-season after I broke my arm, and since being back in the squad I’ve picked up a few niggling injuries along the way. I think I’ve played about twelve games so far and my aim is to remain as injury free from now as I can, keep my head down, play well and help the team stay in and around the top places in the league

Matt is very happy with the way the season has gone so far:

I think we have started this season far better than most expected, I joined under the premise that we were going to battle for promotion back to the Southern League and win a cup or two along the way! To still be in four out of six cup competitions and sit seventh with up to five games in hand on those around us at this stage is a position a lot of clubs would love to be in. Yes of course it could have been even better, and we’ve dropped points against teams we should have beaten but that is football and we leave those games behind us. With the squad we now have, and the morale amongst us there is no reason we cannot achieve what we set out to do

Matt has become a versatile defender for manager Scott Reynolds this term, but he has a favourite position:

Whilst I’m happy to play anywhere and happy to help the team where I can, I am most at home at left back. I love the contest against a tricky winger but also like to try and get forward when I can to try and create something from out wide

Both players discussed the current playing squad at Leighton, with Lewis explaining how some of the players who don’t play every week are still working hard to impress:

I feel we have a great squad here, even the lads who don’t get as much game time as they’d like have shown they want to be here, and have performed exceptionally well when coming off the bench. Our team spirit is spot on and we all get on, which for me personally is massive when playing for a football club

Matt agreed:

Our current squad is very strong, with a great mix of experience and youth. There are no ego’s which is giving us the success we’ve had so far, we have no stand out players individually as every player has played their part in our season

Lewis feels a trophy isn’t beyond reach:

I think winning a trophy would really show how far we’ve progressed as a club, and finishing in the top three would really round off a very successful season and this is possible as long as we remain focused and consistent

Finally, we asked both for memories in the Vase, but Lewis hasn’t played in the competition until this season:

I’ve only competed in the Trophy and the FA Cup before this year, and I had a really good run with Rugby Town where we just missed out on the first-round proper

Matt however has a clear memory:

My favourite memory has to be scoring the winning goal direct from a corner in the eighty-fifth minute against London Lions in the previous round!