The teams enter the arena


Jim Taylor

Southall’s magnificent run in the FA Vase came to a dramatic end at the Quarter Final stage in Dorset on Saturday last, 12th March.   They met Hamworthy United, who comfortably head the Wessex League Premier League table, at the County Ground, Hamworthy near Poole.   Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) went along.

Hamworthy United started this season’s FA Vase competition with 4 successive away ties and were then drawn at home 3 times, including this match.   Their first two matches, against Corsham and Cadbury Heath were both decided on penalties after finishing 1-1.  They then beat Andover New Street (2-1 away), Royal Wootton Bassett (3-1 away), Glebe (3-2 home) and Tunbridge Wells (3-1 home).

Southall had previously beaten CB Hounslow United 5-1 and Erith & Belvedere 3-0, both at home, before winning 4 consecutive penalty shoot outs, against Chatham Town (home), Guildford City (away), Clevedon Town (home) and Stansfeld (home).

The preliminaries

Southall were easily the better team in the first half, they hit the post and had several other good chances.   They had further chances in the second period and took the lead in the 87th minute.   Hamworthy equalised in added time to take the match to a penalty shoot-out, Southall’s 5th consecutive one in this competition.   The home side triumphed 7-6, when their keeper saved Southall’s 8th kick.

Carl Pearce goes up for a corner

Southall were the quicker to settle down but there was very little goalmouth action in the first 20 minutes.   Then, a wide free kick by Louis Stead was headed over the home cross bar by Carl Pearce.   Carl then headed just wide from a corner.  

Anthony O'Connor outjumps the defence

Southall came close to scoring in the 27th minute when James McCluskey’s drive hit the post, after Anthony O’Connor had outjumped the home defence .   Then, Jack Woods just missed with a close-range diving header, from Carl Pearce’s cross following a corner.

James McCluskey (8) hits the Hamworthy post

A defender deflected James McCluskey’s well hit drive for a corner.   This was the first of a succession of Southall corners.

The home side survived the pressure and started to get more into the match as the interval approached.

Score at half time: Hamworthy United 0   Southall 0

Hamworthy started the second half aggressively.   Cameron Munn made a good run and cut in before shooting into the side netting.   Berkley Laurencin made a good save from Jack Lovell’s header, pushing it for a corner.   Berkley then got to a wide free kick, despite considerable pressure from the home forwards.   He wasn’t able to hold onto the ball but was helped out by a defender, who hooked it clear of the danger zone.

Southall had their best chance of the game so far, in the 66th minute.   Anthony O’Connor went through for a one-on-one on goalkeeper, Shane Murphy, who made an excellent close range save.

The visitors had further chances.   A last-ditch tackle on Anthony O’Connor resulted in a corner and then he had another shot blocked.   Then Shane Murphy saved a low drive from Ryan Hope.

Lewis Driver shoots to give Southall the lead...

Substitute Lewis Driver put Southall ahead in the 87th minute, when he broke from half way, kept his cool and slipped the ball past Shane Murphy.

...and he celebrates

Hamworthy forced several corners in their quest for an equaliser.   A punch out by Berkley was volleyed over the bar but he was hurt and had to receive treatment.

Max Wilcock headed the equaliser for Hamworthy, from a Steve Devlin corner, in the 2nd minute of the 7 minutes added time.

Max Wilcock (9) heads Hamworthy's equaliser

Score after 90 minutes: Hamworthy United 1   Southall 1

The kicks in the penalty shoot-out were of a high quality, which probably isn’t that surprising, considering the amount of practice both sets of players have had at taking them this season.   The only save by either keeper was Shane Murphy’s, from the very last kick, which won the tie for Hamworthy.

Hamworthy went first and the first 4 kicks, by Steve Devlin (H), Lewis Driver (S), Max Wilcock (H) and Louis Stead (S) were all converted.

Bailey Rowe (H) took the 5th penalty and smacked the ball against the Southall keeper’s right-hand post and then amazingly, Lenny Farhall (S) hit the same post with the 6th kick.

The next 9 penalties were all converted by the Eddie Hodge (H), Jack Woods (S), Jamie Beasley (H), Ryan Hope (S), Tony Rolls (H), James McCluskey (S), Jack Lovell (H), Anthony O’Connor (S) and Billy Walker (H).

Shane Murphy dives to save Frankie Taylor's penalty

Then Shane Murphy guessed correctly for the 16th kick, taken by Frankie Taylor (S) and saved it, diving to his left.

The celebrations begin

Result of penalty shoot-out:  Hamworthy United 7  Southall 6

So, Southall’s dream of a Wembley final ended in disappointment.   Nevertheless, they should be very proud of their achievements.   The season is certainly not over for them, with a promotion position in the Combined Counties League Premier North in their sights.

Hamworthy United: Shane Murphy, Declan Randell (Tony Rolls 71 mins), Christopher Clarke (Jamie Beasley 82), Steve Devlin, Maxwell Buckler, Billy Walker, Eddie Hodge, Lee Francis (capt), Cameron Munn (Bailey Rowe 68), Max Wilcock and Jack Lovell.

Unused substitutes: Dan Cann, James Filkins and Sam Lanahan.

Manager: Tim Sills.

Southall: Berkley Laurencin, Alex Nolan (Lewis Driver 74 mins), Frankie Taylor, Louis Stead, Carl Pearce, Jack Roper, Ryan Hope (capt), James McCluskey, Anthony O’Connor, Jack Woods, and Darreon Mark (Lenny Farhall 90 +3).

Unused substitutes: Joe Clifton, Louis Dailey, Romey Eccles-Meoded, Joe Wiley and  Nathan Dennis.

Manager: Max Howell.

Referee: Elliott Swallow   Assistant Referees: Colin Hubbard and Ben Williamson   Fourth Official: Ian Parsons.

Attendance: 741

As ever we thank Chris and Jim, who gave up their Saturday to head down to Dorset FAs HQ to cover this match. As usual they have picked out some of their favourite shots from the day, which can be viewed throughout the report. Chris has very kindly shared a full album of photos.

Chris & Jim’s Picks

Full album courtesy of Chris Benn

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