The Isuzu FA Vase commenced last weekend and a number of Middlesex clubs were engaged in the First Qualifying Round. Your roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and myself chose to visit Harefield United v London Colney at the picturesque and well-appointed Preston Park ground and were rewarded with an entertaining game. The Hares were in charge for most of the match and fully deserved their 4-1 win.
Harefield had the better of the opening exchanges but were unable to take any of the chances which they created. Ollie Wontner headed a cross from the right just over the crossbar. Visiting keeper, Harvey Simson comfortably took a header from Louie Lobjoit and then saved at close range from Trey Pender-Brown. Apart from taking a couple of his sides’ free kicks, home keeper Jacob Ballheimer wasn’t called into action in the first 15 minutes.
Harvey Simson saves at close range from Trey Pender-Brown
In the 23rd minute, a dangerous low cross by Harefield’s Callum Neal, from Ollie Wontner’s pass, was cut out by London Colney’s Bobby Webb. Then a shot from Callum was charged down.
The Hares eventually took the lead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute. Eli Ibrahim was adjudged to have handled a cross and Richard Pacquette emphatically converted the kick.
Richard Pacquette puts Harefield ahead from the penalty spot
London Colney now came more into the game. Oscar Evans broke through into the home penalty area but was unable to deliver a shot. Then Eli Ibrahim unleased a blistering drive which Jacob Ballheimer did well to turn over his crossbar.
Jacob Ballheimer turns a drive from Eli Ibrahim over the crossbar
The visitors equalised from the resulting corner with a well-executed goal. An accurately placed corner was met by a bullet header, following a finely judged run, by Bobby Webb. The Harefield lead had lasted for less than 5 minutes.
Bobby Webb (half hidden on right) heads London Colney's equaliser
London Colney now continued to create scoring chances. Jacob Ballheimer turned a 30 yard free kick, taken by Curtis Pollard Griffiths, over his crossbar. Then Ricardas Milasius headed just wide from a corner.
Harefield hit back. Callum Neal put Harry Bishop through on goal but keeper, Harvey Simson’s outstretched right foot kept the scores level. Harry Bishop then tested the keeper again, with a high shot.
London Colney had further scoring chances as the interval approached. A header by Bobby Webb from a long free kick went close and then a well- placed Pijus Montvydas fired wide.
Half time score: Harefield United 1 London Colney 1
Both sides had opportunities to go ahead before the Hares took the lead rather fortuitously in the 53rd minute. Trey Pender-Brown’s drive was deflected wide of the visitors’ goal. Then Landry Gogoa put Ricardas Milasius clear through on goal, after a break out from defence but Jacob Ballheimer parried the visiting striker’s shot.
Jacob Ballheimer parries a shot from Ricardas Milasius
United’s second goal came when defender Curtis Pollard Griffiths deflected Ollie Wontner’s cross into his own net.
Curtis Pollard-Griffiths deflects Ollie Wontner's cross into his own net for the second Harefield goal
This goal proved to be a crucial turning point in the match and the Hares exerted almost complete control thereafter.
Trey Pender-Brown made the score 3-1 with a well struck drive 4 minutes later.
Trey Pender-Brown hits Harefield's third goal
The 4th Harefield goal was scored in the 63rd minute by Richard Pacquette who netted following Ano Mano’s fine through ball.
Richard Pacquette scores Harefield's fourth goal
Although subsequent Harefield attacks could have produced goals, they appeared to be quite happy to sit on their lead. An attack was halted when Trey Pender-Brown was felled just outside the visitors’ penalty area. Trey took the free kick himself and brought a good save from keeper Harvey Simson.
Substitute Victor Montes set up Trey, who worked his way through the defence but shot wide. Then Victor cut in and released a cross shot which was well taken by the goalkeeper.
Final Score: Harefield United 4 London Colney 1
Harefield United have been drawn to play Windsor (away) in the 2nd qualifying round , scheduled for 24th September.
Referee Tom Healy established his authority early and enjoyed an excellent match. He was well supported by his assistant referees.
Harefield United: Jacob Ballheimer, Romario Warburton Rowe (Ano Mano 48 min), Harry Bishop, Paul Underwood, Scott Bonner, Sean Mangan (capt), Lowe Lobjoit, Ollie Wontner, Richard Pacquette (Victor Montes 65), Callum Neal and Trey Pender-Brown (Manuel Kingsley Nyinah (81).
Unused substitutes: Tommy Pidgeon, Greg Wright, Luke Baldwin and Tom Clark (GK).
Manager: Jason Shaw Assistant Manager: Michael Myloko Coach: Dominic Cassells.
London Colney: Harvey Simson, Curtis Pollard Griffiths, Jake Clarke, Pijus Monvydas, Ashton Henry (capt), Bobby Webb, Eli Ibrahim (Ryan Wele 58), Alfie Johnson, Ricardas Milasius (Julius Lioris 67), Landry Gogoa and Oscar Evans (Patrick Akwasi-Bronyon 58).
Unused substitutes: Saeed Yusuf, Jamie Clarke Samuel and Norbert Kesse-Adu.
Manager: Stuart Crawford Assistant Manager: Eddie Lester Coach: Andy Murry Physio/GK Coach: Alan Webb.
Referee: Thomas Healy Assistant Referees: Andy Mirza and Craig Griffiths.
Other Middlesex sides successful in this round of the FA Vase were Edgware & Kingsbury (5-4 winners of a penalty shoot out after a 2-2 draw v Leverstock Green), London Samurai Rovers (6-4 at Burnham), Hilltop (4-0 v Amersham Town), North Greenford United (4-1 at Ardley United), Broadfields United (2-0 v Desborough Town) and FC Deportivo Galicia (3-1 v Wellingborough Whitworth).
Thank you to Chris & Jim who have picked up where they left off 2021/22 and are back to a flying start. As ever, they have selected their favourite shots from the game, which can be seen throughout this report. Chris has also kindly supplied a complete range of his photos from the match.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album courtesy of Chris Benn