Bedfont Sports hosted Hassocks FC from Sussex in the First Round Proper of the Isuzi FA Vase on Saturday last, 21 October and your roving team were there for a match which started in bright sunshine but was subjected to steady rain throughout the second half.
Hassocks, who are currently having a successful season in the Premier Division of the Premier Sports Southern Combination, reached this round with an exciting 5-4 away win in the 2nd Qualifying Round against Sheerwater. Bedfont Sports also won away in that round, by 5-0 at the Middlesex Stadium against Hillingdon Borough.
Sports emerged as 2-0 winners of an enthralling match against a very good Hassocks team, which actually had more of the possession. This excellent result was achieved by an impressive all-round team performance. The Sports defence remained rock solid throughout the game, frustrating the skilful visiting attackers with good positional play, some crucial interceptions and last-ditch tackles. Sports went ahead with a penalty early in the first half and then scored a fine goal, that eventually proved to be the clincher, in the 52nd minute.
Following some initial midfield skirmishes, the first goal threat came from the visitors, when Joe Bull’s lofted ball into the Sports’ penalty area produced a corner. Then a shot on the turn by Jamie Wilks, following a corner, was blocked by home keeper, Henry Poole’s legs.
Bedfont Sports went ahead in the 12th minute from the penalty spot. Aston Greaver was brought down by keeper, Fraser Trigwell and Mark Bitmead emphatically converted the kick.
Aston Greaves is brought down by the keeper...
... and Mark Bitmead converts the penalty
Mike Williamson’s shot from around 25 yards was comfortably held by Henry Poole.
Sports ended a period of Hassocks’ pressure with a breakaway, which climaxed with Jared Myers shooting across goal and just wide of the far post.
Most of the visiting attacks were being initiated on the right, by Harvey Blake and Tom Frankland. They delivered a series of dangerous balls into the Bedfont penalty area. Harvey hit the face of the crossbar from an acute angle during one such attack, in the 24th minute.
Harvey Blake shoots from an acute angle
Henry Poole saved well from Tom Frankland’s freekick. Then at the other end, Jared Myers made ground and cut in to be stopped by a timely tackle and Jack Beadle broke into the box but was dispossessed by Brad Tighe.
Henry Poole saves Tom Frankland's free kick
Half-time score: Bedfont Sports 1 Hassocks 0
Jared Myers set up Jack Beadle but the ball bounced awkwardly and was hit over the crossbar.
Henry Poole saved Joe Bull’s shot from just inside the box and then took Sean Stephenson’s shot high up.
Sports scored an important second goal in the 52nd minute. Josh Eatwell made ground up the middle and released Aston Greaver, who took the ball on and slotted it home.
Josh Eatwell sets up Aston Greaves...
... who puts Sports 2-0 ahead
The advanced Brad Tighe connected with Tom Frankland’s freekick into the Sports’ box but his header flew over the bar.
Brad Tighe (5) heads wide from Tom Frankland's cross
Jared Myers worked into a shooting position but the keeper saved his angled shot. Stefan Langley headed over from Josh Eatwell’s corner.
Fraser Trigwell saves Jared Myers' (13) angled shot
Hassocks didn’t give up and pressed right to the end of the 5 minutes of additional time. Sports continued to defend resolutely to gain a well- earned victory. The last meaningful action saw keeper Harry Poole beat Liam Benson to a long ball into the Sports’ box.
Result: Bedfont Sports 2 Hassocks 0
: Henry Poole, Tommy O’Neill, Josh Eatwell, Max Webb (capt), Scott Weight, Stefen Langley, Mark Bitmead, Jared Myers (Oscar Kruczkiewicz 90+2 min), Aston Greaver (Harrison Livingstone 75), Thomas Kanek and Jack Beadle (Kyle Eakin 78).
: Jordan Ireland, Rylan Myers and Marvin Wood.
: Barry Chapman Assistant Managers: Gavin Bamford and Alfie Chapman Physio: Andy Nolan
: Fraser Trigwell, Harvey Blake, Joe Bull (Sam Smith 86), Mike Williamson, Brad Tighe (Josh Mundy 65), Matt Gunn, Tom Frankland (Pat Harding 65), Jamie Wilks, Liam Benson, Alex Fair and Sean Stephenson.
: Micael Fatela and Alfie Loversidge
: James Westlake Assistants: Tom Hughes and Jordan Wilson Physios: Jay Patel and Ash Cooper.
: Thomas Murray.
5 other Middlesex clubs were engaged in this round of the Isuzu FA Vase. 3 of them successfully moved into Round 2 proper. Wembley won 3-1 away to Fisher, North Greenford United beat Hollands and Blair 3-2 at home and Hilltop beat Knaphill 1-0 also at home. Well done to them.
Our condolences are offered to Rising Ballers Kensington, who lost by a single goal at Farnham Town and Edgware and Kingsbury 2-1 losers at Cobham.
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