FA Vase match photo


Jim Taylor

The Isuzu FA Vase fifth round ties were contested last Saturday, 10th February and your Roving Team joined the crowd of 664 at the atmospheric Chadfields Stadium to witness Tilbury entertain North Greenford United.

Regardless of the result of the match, both clubs were already making history with their first ever appearance at this level of the competition.

North Greenford United had a tough task ahead of them as the Dockers were in scintillating form. Apart from their FA Vase victories, they were 8 points ahead of their nearest rivals in the Essex Senior League, with 2 games in hand. They had won their previous 12 league matches and were unbeaten in their last 18.

Tilbury had reached this round by beating FC Clacton (A) on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the 1st qualifying round, Baldock Town 3-0 (H) in the 2nd qualifying round, Sawbridgeworth Town (A) 3-0 in the 1st round proper, Tring Athletic 4-0 (H) in round 2, Saffron Walden Town (H) on penalties after a 0-0 draw in round 3 and Walsham Le Willows 1-0 (A) in round 4.

North Greenford entered the competition in round 1 and beat Hollands and Blair (H) 3-2, Bedfont Sports (A) 3-1, Roffey (A) 2-1 and Brixham (H) on penalties, after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

The Blues went through on penalties, after the match finished goalless, with both goalkeepers excelling. After a cagey start, the Blues were starting to take control as the interval approached and almost went ahead with a shot which hit the Tilbury bar. An evenly contested second half didn’t produce any goals with the home keeper keeping his side in the game with a brilliant save in the dying minutes. The only miss in the penalty shoot-out came when Tilbury’s 3rd shot hit an upright.   

The Dockers made the early running. Sam Carter’s long ball, through the middle, found Harry Donovan but keeper Sam House comfortably held his shot. Then Sam made a good save from Alex Clark’s header, from Macauley Joynes’ cross.

Sam House saves Alex Clarke's (7) header

A neat move by the Blues was finished by Charlie Mitchell, whose shot from an acute angle was too high.

Macaulay Joynes’ freekick for Tilbury skimmed the bar and grazed the top of the Blues’ net.

Macauley Joynes' free-kick...

... skims the Blues' crossbar

Home keeper, Christian North dived to push Ryan Ewhare’s low shot for a corner. Then a good one-two between Ryan and Harvey Killeen finished with Ryan shooting into the side netting.

Callum Coen’s good ball to Harvey was played on to Joe Mills, whose shot produced a corner.

At the other end, Sam Carter released Alex Clark, who cut in but was intercepted at the cost of a corner. Dockers’ defender, Jack McQueen got his head to the cross but Sam House fell on the ball.

The Blues were getting on top. Harvey Killeen made a good break on the left but he was intercepted and was forced to shoot wide. George Harmes was brought down around 30 yards from goal but Joe Mills’ freekick hit the defensive wall.

A move involving Callum Coen, Harvey Killeen and Joe Mills ended with Joe firing wide. Joe’s freekick, after Callum Coen was tripped, was headed away. Joe then released Callum on the right but his low cross was cleared.

Just before the interval, the Blues had the best chance of scoring in the match so far. Harvey Killeen crossed from the left to Ryan Ewhare, who pushed the ball to Joe just inside the penalty box. Joe’s first time shot crashed onto the crossbar and went over for a goal-kick.

Joe Mills shoots...

... and the ball hits the bar and goes over

Half time score: Tilbury 0 North Greenford United 0

The overcast conditions had caused the floodlights to be turned on during the first half and the rain, which had threatened, arrived after the break and steadily intensified.

The Blues continued the attack and good tackles were needed to halt Ryan Ewhare and Charlie Mitchell. Then Ryan beat three defenders but he was thwarted by keeper, Christian North. Then a dangerous high cross from Charlie was well held by Christian.

Sam House saved Jack McQueen’s header, from a corner.

Sam saved well from Oli Spooner’s freekick from just outside the box after he had been brought down. Sam then made an even better save, at close range with his legs, from Harry Donovan.

Sam House saves with his legs from Harry Donovan

Now the Dockers’ keeper Christian North, showed his prowess. He dived at Josh Quadry’s feet and then saved Joe Mills’ freekick, after Callum Coen had been brought down in a central position.

A run by Dockers’ substitute Ben Marlow released Alex Clark, whose cross was met by a timely interception from Josh Quadray. 

With 3 minutes of normal time left, Christian North made a great save with his feet, from Ryan Ewhare’s close range shot. 

Ryan Ewhare (7) shoots...

... and Christian North saves

Christian then saved Joe Mills’ wide free kick.

The 3 minutes of additional time failed to produce a goal, so we went to penalties.

Score after 90 minutes: Tilbury 0 North Greenford United 0

North Greenford went first in the shoot-out. Joe Mills and Roman Campbell both scored with their kicks.

Callum Coen netted for the Blues but the referee ordered a retake, because the Blues keeper was standing in the wrong place. Callum also netted the retake. Harvey Browne netted for Tilbury to keep the scores level.

Tomasz Siemienczuk converted Greenford’s third kick but Tilbury’s Igli Metalia hit his shot against the post.

Igli Metalia's penalty hits the post

Harvey Killeen and Sam Carter both converted their kicks, making the score 4-3 to the Blues after 4 penalties each.

Charlie Mitchell then converted to put his side through to the quarter finals.

Charlie Mitchell's penalty wins the tie for the Blues

Result of Penalty Shoot-out: North Greenford United 5 Tilbury 3


Tilbury: Christian North, Jack McQueen, Jack Hayes, Connor Martin, Macauley Joynes, Sam Carter, Alex Clark, Oli Spooner (capt) (Igli Metalia 85 mins), Harry Donovan (Ben Marlow 74), Dan Trendall (Harvey Browne 70), Roman Campbell.

Unused substitutes: Tommy Baker and Anthony Page.

Manager: Marc Harrison   Assistant Manager: Liam Wallace   Physio: Emma Gray.

North Greenford United: Sam House, Callum Coen, Josh Quadrey, Elliott Byrne, Joe Gritt (capt), Joseph Mills, Ryan Ewhare, Samual Brown, George Harmes (Tomasz Siemienczuk 46), Harvey Killeen and Charlie Mitchell.

Unused substitutes: Anotida Mano, George Brown, Morgan Cooper, Mitchell Dunstall, Sean Giordmania and Othanell Lewis.

Managers: Paul Mills and Gary Brown   Coaches: Dino Pashias and Dominic Cassells  Physio: Aishling O’Byrne.

Referee: Ms E Heaslip   Assistant Referees: D Johnston and D Payne. Fourth Official: J Evans.

Our thanks are given to Tilbury FC for their warm welcome and kind hospitality.

Unfortunately, Hilltop, the other Middlesex team playing in the fifth round, lost their home game, played at Cobham FC, against Romford. They went ahead on 7 minutes, when Caleb Mensah shot from outside the box and Kamaal Nor deflected his effort past the Romford keeper. However, the visitors equalised in first half added time and went on to win 3-1.

Hilltop should be congratulated on their fantastic run in the competition, during which they beat Brook House, Knaphill, Amersham Town, Hamble Club and Erith Town.

North Greenford United have drawn Romford at home in the Quarter Final, which is scheduled for 9th March.

Report: Jim Taylor

Photography: Chris Benn