The FA Vase – Second Round Proper
2020-21 Season: Match 19
Saturday 5th December 2020 – 3pm KO
Ilford: Blue & White Hooped Shirts, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Colney H: Black & White Hooped Shirts, Black Shorts, Black Socks
Ilford 2 – 4 Colney Heath
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The first match after the enforced month-long break in November saw me travel to Cricklefield for this intriguing FA Vase Second Round tie between Essex Senor side Ilford and unbeaten Spartan South Midlands side Colney Heath. Ilford were missing a few of their squad for this one including both the Djotzi brothers and the likes of full-backs Bailey Pryce and Sean Ekila but lynchpin skipper Steve Sylvester was in the back four, alongside Ronnie Bullen and full-backs Charlie Hannam and Naseer Ishanzadeh. The potent front three of Dion Lewis-Kirwan, Yemi Adelani and Mo Kargbo all started with forwards Larry Akanbi and Fred Agyemang along with Ian Vangu and Caleb Steele on the substitute’s bench. Colney Heath are second in the Spartan South Midlands Premier Division at present and they would start as favourites here. Matt Evans was the glovesman, with a front three of returning skipper Spencer Clarke-Mardel joined by Jack Woods and league top-scorer George Devine. Options from the sidelines included Marcus Mealing, Danny Fitzgerald, Bailey Stevenson and Aaron Jewell.
The early stages of this contest were a bit subdued as both teams looked to set their stall out to gain the early advantage. Colney forwards Jack Woods and Spencer Clarke-Mardel looked to drive down the flanks to arrow in crosses to test youthful Ilford goalkeeper Josh Blackburn. The first real chance came on the quarter-hour for the visitors as a fine right-wing centre found forward George Devine those his header lacked the power to bypass Blackburn. No matter though as the Magpies did break the deadlock with twenty minutes played as forward Jack Woods made no mistake with a calm, low finish after breaching the Foxes backline. As it turned out, Adam Peek’s side were only behind for four minutes before a deep cross from creative forward Dimitri Christou superbly picked out the run of rapid forward Dion Lewis-Kirwan who rose to fire in an equally superb header right into the top corner with visiting custodian Matt Evans understandably beaten. It was a terrific goal.
Much to their credit, Colney Heath were looking as solid and organised as you would expect given their exploits this season so far, and their persistence of firing crosses into the Ilford eighteen-yard area continued, with Foxes full-back Charlie Hannam fortunate to slice a clearance beyond his near post, it could have gone anywhere. Both sides were also conceding free-kicks with alarming regularity. On thirty-six minutes, one such free-kick for the Magpies ended up falling to central midfielder Harry Shepherd and he confidently blasted low into the net to once again give Ryan Thompson’s side the lead. It could have been worse for the hosts as Heath had a goal chalked off for as Woods was deemed to have fouled stopper Blackburn who couldn’t prevent the ball going into the net, three minutes before the interval.
Ilford did importantly get back level a minute before the break as Christou was banking the assists again, with his left-sided corner finding full-back Naseer Ishanzadeh who powerfully headed past the Colney defence.
Half-Time: Ilford 2 – 2 Colney Heath
Ilford showed a lot of grit and spirit to keep themselves in this tie, and immediately after the break it was the hosts who got at their opponents with pace and strength going forward. Five minutes in to the half, Mo Kargbo did well to release forward Yemi Adelani but unfortunately he could only find the side-netting with only Evans to beat. Ishanzadeh had another chance to add to his side’s tally as a corner was well recycled in the Colney eighteen-yard box but his effort was skewed wide. Those chances would prove to be telling as just past the hour, Jack Woods was at well-placed again at the back-post to nab a tap-in from mere yards out as the Magpies led for a third time. The visitors were gradually getting their way back into the driving seat in terms of play moments before that goal. With twenty minutes remaining, substitute Ian Vangu’s goal-saving clearance earned him the plaudits of his goalkeeper.
Blackburn was to be in the action again with fifteen minutes remaining as a firm strike from Colney substitute Marcus Mealing needed the Foxes stopper to claw it away. Unfortunately for the Foxes, Colney did rubber-stamp their progression to Round Three of the Vase as Martin Standen’s late goal vanquished any chance of a comeback with four minutes left.
Full-Time: Ilford 2 – 4 Colney Heath
To be fair to Ilford, they showed a lot of industry and pace going forward but they also have a knack of conceding goals and that is what ultimately cost them here. All in all, Colney Heath did deserve to go through and forward Jack Woods has to lead the honourable mentions for me, given his work-rate down the right channel and two goals helps a bit too. Full-back Dominic Knaggs and midfielder Harry Shepherd also did well for Ryan Thompson’s side.
For the Foxes, Dion Lewis-Kirwan was again a tough prospect to deal with his his pace, movement and passing. Fellow forward Yemi Adelani also gave the Colney defence problems and full-back Charlie Hannam did a solid job in lessening the threat of the visiting forward line. All that’s left for me to do is wish Colney Heath well for the rest of the season & in the Vase and thank Ilford for their welcome today.
Ilford | Manager: Adam Peek
1 Joshua Blackburn (GK), 2 Charlie Hannam, 18 Naseer Ishanzadeh (12 Larry Akanbi 65′), 4 Jerold Cobblah, 5 Steve Sylvester (Capt), 6 Ronnie Bullen, 7 Dion Lewis-Kirwan, 8 Alfie Walker (15 Ian Vangu 13′ replaced by 14 Fred Agyemang 79′), 9 Yemi Adelani, 10 Dimitri Christou, 11 Mo Kargbo
Goal-scorers: Dion Lewis-Kirwan [24’’], Naseer Ishanzadeh [44’]
Booked: Adelani, Bullen | Subs Not Used: Sarr, Steele
Colney Heath | Manager: Ryan Thompson
1 Matt Evans (GK), 2 Dominic Knaggs, 3 Max Jessop, 4 Jay Lovell, 5 Yasin Boodhoo, 6 Martin Standen, 7 Chris Griffin, 8 Harry Shepherd (14 Marcus Mealing 46′), 9 Jack Woods, 10 George Devine (15 Aaron Jewell 62′), 11 Spencer Clarke-Mardel (Capt) (16 Danny Fitzgerald 46’)
Goal-scorers: Jack Woods [20′, 64′], Harry Shepherd [36′], Martin Standen [86′]
Booked: Clarke-Mardel | Subs Not Used: Stevenson, Walsh
Referee: Ivan Gelov