Southall FC, the only Middlesex FA affiliated club still engaged in the FA Vase, entertained Stansfeld in Round 5 on Saturday last, 12th February and our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) went along.
Stansfeld are based in Chislehurst, Kent and play at Step 6 of the non-league pyramid, in the Southern Counties East League Division 1, where they currently occupy 2nd place. They are 4 points behind the leaders, Sutton Athletic with 3 games in hand, having won 15 and drawn 5 of their 22 matches, with a goal difference of +27. They reached this stage of the FA Vase competition with home victories over Staplehurst Monarchs (3-1), Badshot Lea (2-1) and Frimley Green (3-1), followed by a 2-1 away win against Raynes Park.
Southall had previously beaten CB Hounslow United 5-1 and Erith & Belvedere 3-0, both at home, before winning 3 consecutive penalty shoot outs, against Chatham Town (home), Guildford City (away) and Clevedon Town (home).
Incredibly, Southall extended their consecutive run of FA Vase penalty shoot-out victories to 4. The crowd, in which the visiting supporters heavily outnumbered the Southall contingent, watched a hard-fought struggle for supremacy, which failed to produce any goals. Many of the visitors were very vociferous and used a level of hostile and threatening language and behaviour, which is fortunately rarely heard at this level of the game. This generated a rather unpleasant atmosphere throughout the afternoon.
The conditions were far from ideal, with a blustery wind making control difficult. As a result there were comparatively few fluent moves.
Southall goalkeeper, Berkley Laurencin was once more the hero. He made 2 saves in the penalty shoot-out, taking his total of such saves in the Vase this season to 6.
Stansfeld started brightly and their early pressure produced a corner. Then Lewis Putman made a good run for Southall and finished with a low shot, which didn’t have the power to test Charlie Cottrell in the visitors’ goal.
Stansfeld continued to attack and striker Rob Hughes went down in the Southall box but the claims for a penalty were dismissed by the referee. Ross Morley’s shot was blocked and Ollie Milton’s low cross went across the goalmouth without attracting a touch. Hughes tried a glancing header from a cross but didn’t connect firmly enough.
Despite their pressure, the visitors were not unduly troubling Berkley Laurencin and his defence. Berkley’s handling was, as usual very assured. However, he thwarted one attack by leaving his area to head clear.
Stansfeld came nearest to scoring in the 28th minute, when Carl Pearce headed off of the goal-line after Berkley had punched out a free kick from Aiden Hayes.
As the interval approached, Southall took the initiative and created several opportunities, which they couldn’t not take. Jack Roper’s header from a long ball flew just over the cross bar and then he just failed to get a touch to Luke Heneghan’s well flighted free kick. Frankie Taylor’s shot was charged down and Jack Woods hit the rebound over the bar.
Jack Roper takes on two opponents
Score at half time: Southall 0 Stansfeld 0
Southall resumed the attack. Louis Stead’s low cross/shot was easily held by Charlie Cottrell. Alex Nolan released Luke Heneghan, whose well struck drive curled just wide of the post. At the other end, Ollie Milton fired wide from a good position, following a goalmouth melee.
In the 61st minute Charlie Cottrell did well to keep out Heneghan’s well struck low shot, which was going just inside the post.
Sam Smith’s long range free kick for Stansfeld was caught by the wind and sailed high over the bar. Substitute Tommy Whitnell went down in the penalty area but referee, Joel Mannix was not convinced. Then, with 15 minutes remaining, Macey Malyon won a free kick on the edge of the box. It was taken by Ollie Milton and saved low down by Berkley, at the expense of a corner, which he punched away.
Berkley Laurencin takes a high ball
Darreon Mark joins the action
In the 86th minute, a fierce low shot from Southall substitute, Darreon Mark, was kicked off of the goal line for a corner. Lenny Farhall received the ball from the corner and took it into the goal area, where he went down in a clash with a defender. A confrontation ensued, which resulted in him receiving a red card.
Southall’s 10 men played out the remainder of the 90 minutes and the 3 minutes additional time. In fact, they were the closest to scoring when Darreon Mark broke out of defence and advanced up-field, to be brought down just outside the visitors’ penalty area. The resulting free kick was charged down seconds before the final whistle heralded a penalty shoot-out. It also prompted a mass migration of visiting supporters to the area behind the goal chosen for the kicks, from which they proceeded to unsuccessfully attempt to intimidate the Southall penalty takers and goalkeeper.
Score after 90 minutes: Southall 0 Stansfeld 0
Berkley Laurencin saves Stansfeld's first shot in the penalty shoot out...
Tommy Whitnell took the first kick for Stansfeld but Berkley Laurencin got proceedings off to a great start for Southall with a superb save, diving to his left.
The next 5 kicks were converted by Alex Nolan (Southall), Jack Carthy (Stansfeld), Louis Stead (Southall), Billy Parkinson (Stansfeld) and Luke Heneghan (Southall).
...and their fourth penalty
Berkley then easily saved the 7th kick, taken by Stansfeld’s Greg Summersby, leaving Jack Woods to win the tie. The Southall scorers went in the same order as in the previous round, but with skipper, Ryan Hope’s kick not needed on this occasion.
Jack Woods hits the winning shot
Penalty shoot-out score: Stansfeld 2 Southall 4
Referee, Joel Mannix was excellent, displaying an air of calmness throughout. He was well supported by his Assistant Referees and the 4th Official. They were all subjected to continuous abuse from the side-lines.
SOUTHALL: Berkley Laurencin, Alex Nolan, Frankie Taylor, Louis Stead, Carl Pearce, Jack Roper (Louis Dailey 80 mins), Ryan Hope (capt), James McCluskey (Darreon Mark 76), Jack Woods, Luke Heneghan and Lewis Putman (Lenny Farhall 70).
Unused substitutes: Joe Clifton, Joe Wylie, Adam Louth and Romey Eccles-Meoded.
Manager: Max Howell.
STANSFELD: Charlie Cottrell. Sam Smith, Greg Summersby, Sam Jeal, Billy Parkinson, Casey Killilea (capt), Aiden Hayes (Lou Oborne 70), Macey Malyon, Rob Hughes, Ross Morley (Tommy Whitnell 65) and Ollie Milton (Jack Carthy 82).
Unused substitutes: Alex Foord, Cameron Macmillan, Billy Hook and Monty Eldridge (goalkeeper).
Manager: Jamie Phipps.
Referee: Joel Mannix Assistant Referees: Stephen Hawkes and Daniel Statham Fourth Official: Bartosz Chmieleckl.
Thanks to Chris & Jim for braving the conditions to cover this game for us. As always they have selected their favourite images as shown throughout the report, Chris has also kindly provided a full range of imagery from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full album courtesy of Chris Benn
Southall FC now face an away tie in the Quarter Finals, where they will take a trip to the south coast to play Hamworthy United at their home which they share with our friends at Dorset County FA. We wish them luck as they continue their quest to make the short trip to Wembley.