SOUTHALL GAIN A DRAMATIC FA VASE VICTORY
Southall FC were one of the 4 Middlesex FA member clubs engaged in the Second Round of the FA Vase on Saturday last 20th November and our roving team of Chris Benn (County photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) decided to visit their tie at the Robert Parker Stadium, against Chatham Town FC. This promised to be a very tight match, as Chatham Town are enjoying a very successful season and are currently sitting in third place in the Southern Counties East Premier Division table.
This is exactly what happened. An entertaining and highly competitive game ensued with both teams playing fluid attacking football and with neither of them dominating play for any significantly lengthy period. Referee Dani Mansour controlled the match very well and he received excellent support from his Assistant Referees. They had to contend with some extreme vocal hostility from some of the Chatham Town contingent.
Both sides created early openings. Southall’s Anthony O’Connor got his head to Luke Henneghan’s free kick but visiting keeper, Andy Walker saved low down. Then Chatham skipper, Jack Evans just cleared the home bar with his free kick.
Lewis Putman gave Southall the lead in the 12th minute, after Andy Walker had parried James McCluskey’s drive.
After 14 minutes play, the referee consigned two Chatham players, Ryan Hayes and Jack Evans, to the sin bin for 10 minutes for showing dissent. Despite Southall’s efforts to capitalize on their temporary numerical advantage, Chatham’s massed defence held firm until the two players were allowed to resume.
The visitors did most of the attacking in the 15 minutes leading up to the interval but couldn’t produce an equaliser. Home custodian, Berkley Laurencin, punched Andy Pugh’s shot away. Ryan Hayes expertly took a long cross-field pass on his chest but then fired wide. A neat free kick set piece involving Ryan Hayes and Ike Orji only produced a corner, which was cleared.
Score at half time: Southall 1 Chatham Town 0
Play was evenly contested for the opening 11 minutes of the second period before 3 goals arrived in 4 minutes. First, Southall skipper Ryan Hope put his team 2-0 up with a magnificent strike from around 25 yards. He understandably disappeared under a pile of congratulatory team mates.
The Southall players had barely disentangled themselves before Reece Butler headed home from close range for Chatham. Then Dan Bradshaw’s low drive had put them level at 2-2.
An invigorated Chatham kept up the pressure and Jordi Robins fired just wide of the post.
Southall got back into the match and Carl Pearce went upfield for a Southall corner and headed narrowly wide. Then Chatham’s Dan Bradshaw fired over from close range.
The referee had cause to remove the Chatham manager from the dugout in the 83rd minute, for using foul and abusive language to the match officials.
The last scoring opportunity fell to Chatham’s Jack Palmby in added time, when he shot too high from substitute Jack Richards’ pass.
Score after 90 minutes: Southall 2 Chatham Town 2
Chatham Town Captain Jack Evans took the first penalty kick, which Berkley Laurencin saved, diving to his right. Alex Nolan scored for Southall. Chatham Town 0 Southall 1.
Berkley also anticipated the direction of the second Chatham kick and he held Dan Bradshaw’s shot, diving to his left Louis Stead wrong footed the keeper with his kick for Southall. Chatham Town 0 Southall 2.
Jack Richards cleared the cross bar with the third Chatham shot and then Chatham keeper, Andy Walker, pushed Anthony O’Connor’s kick for Southall onto his cross bar. Still Chatham Town 0 Southall 2 (after 3 kicks each).
Fikayo Ajayi’s fourth kick for Chatham was the first to beat Berkley Laurencin. Then Lewis Putman won the tie for Southall by squeezing his shot under the diving Andy Walker..
Penalty shoot-out score: Southall 3 Chatham Town 1
SOUTHALL: Berkley Laurencin, Alex Nolan, Darreon Mark, Louis Stead, Carl Pearce, Louis Dailey, Ryan Hope (capt), James McCluskey (Nathan Dennis 82 mins) , Anthony O’Connor, Luke Henneghan (Lenny Farhall 69) and Lewis Putman
Unused substitutes: Adam Louth, Joe Clifton, Joe Wylie, Daniel Clifton and Rourke Pickford (GK)
Manager: Max Howell
CHATHAM TOWN: Andy Walker, Ike Orji, George Sheminant (Matt Bodkin 72), Jordi Robins, Reece Butler, Fikayo Ajayi, Ryan Hayes, Jack Evans (capt), Dan Bradshaw, Jack Palmby and Andy Pugh (Jack Richards 78).
Unused substitutes: Mikey Dalton, Christian Lawal and Ryan McCourt (GK).
Managers: Carl Laraman and Kevin Hake.
Referee: Dani Mansour Assistant Referees: Aiden Farrelly and Steven Hart.
Unfortunately, all of the other three Middlesex clubs involved in this round suffered narrow defeats.
Hanworth Villa, away to Glebe, fought back to equalise at 1-1, in the 96th minute, through Elliot Simpson but lost the penalty shoot-out 5-3.
North Greenford United were defeated at Wallingford Town, by a solitary goal, scored in the 31st minute. They hit the post from 14 yards in the 87th minute.
Harefield United, at home to Berks County, took an early lead through Tash Jordan but then conceded three goals before Harry McCorkell made it 2-3.
As ever we thank Chris and Jim for their trips around the County, capturing all the action from what was a thrilling match, as ever their top 10 picks and a full album can be found below.