The FA Vase – Second Round Qualifying
Venue: Park Lane , Canvey
2021-22 Season: Match 26
Sunday 26 September 2021 – 2pm KO
Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts, Sky Blue Socks
Holland: Orange Shirts, Orange Shorts, Orange Socks
Terrific performance sees Benfleet power past ten-man Holland at Park Lane
Benfleet 6 – 1 Holland
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
This weekend’s second match saw a return to Canvey’s Park Lane for a fascinating all-Eastern Senior League South tie as Benfleet welcomed Holland. The ‘Fleet were looking to advance again after knocking out Essex Senior side St Margaretsbury in the previous round. Florent Gislette was once again the goalkeeper here for the hosts, with a defensive four of Ryan Willsmer, Martyn Lacey plus centre-backs Lee Scott and Cameron Harris. The forward line was once again comprised of Billy Bonham-Dare, Ben Foord and Luc Harpon. Holland named Finlay Shorten between the posts, with a defensive unit of Tom Ayton, Rueben Cowler, Steve Downes and stalwart Joe Martin. Scott Sloots led the line here, with support from Ryan Mahon and Josh Rutter.
There were many quirks in this match. The first of them arrived barely two minutes into the contest, as an goalkeeping error by Benfleet custodian Florent Gislette allowed the advancing Scott Sloots to slot home into the left corner, much to the silent surprise of the home suppport. However, the hosts were not behind for long as little over five minutes after that, they levelled things up as a good break down the right side of the penalty box by Billy Carter ended with his pass finding forward Billy Bonham-Dare who struck home confidently past Holland stopper Finlay Shorten. At this point in proceedings, things were pretty even, with a looping header by Holland midfielder Keelan Sorrell on the edge of the 18-yard box being gathered by Gislette.
To be fair to the home side, Holland glovesman Shorten had been the busier keeper making two good saves to deny another promising performance by the Benfleet forward line, at this point. At the other end, Holland forward Sloots was a threat in the air. However, it was Benfleet who took the advantage for the first time on 28 minutes, as Carter again found the space to put in a telling pass, this time finding tireless forward Ben Foord who displayed fine technique to get the ball under control before firing home well into the right corner, giving Shorten little chance.
The Seasiders were feeling frustrated as they were limited to strikes from long-range, with Sorrell having a decent effort which sailed wide of Gislette’s left-sided post. Six minutes before the break, the visitors suffered a setback when Sloots was dismissed for adjudged to have lashed out at a home defender. Referee Samuel Everitt didn’t hesitate for a second as Sloots walked off. Things got rather worse for them before the break as moments after ‘Fleet skipper Taylor Lawrence couldn’t test Shorten when in a great position to score, the hosts did extend their lead.
Lawrence did rather make amends for that miss a few moments previously though as from a free-kick, he powered home a fine strike into the right corner past Shorten to make it three-one to the hosts. It got even better two minutes later as the Seasiders’ resolve took another hit. Bonham-Dare was adjudged to have been fouled inthe area by Shorten, with Lawrence stepping up to convert the resulting spot-kick, sending a low effort into the right corner again. Those last ten minutes of the half really upscaled the size of the visitors’ task but you have to credit the ruthlessness of Rob Polkinghorn’s side, who certainly made the most of it to put themselves in a commanding position at the interval.
Half-Time: Benfleet 4 – 1 Holland
To their credit, the Holland unit kept going admirably, despite being reduced to ten men. Centre-back Joe Martin typified their resolve and they did enough to prevent Bonham-Dare’s header finding the net after being well found by Foord, soon after the resumption. Foord did get a second goal with 54 minutes on the stopwatch. Another good ball in found him before Foord sent a superb low finish past Shorten at his near post. Paul Phelan’s did keep their intent going but found telling counter-attacks hard to come by, with a good run by Rueben Cowler down the left flank ending with his scuffing his effort on goal wide of Gislette’s far post.
Benfleet completed the scoring on what was a memorable afternoon for them on 72 minutes with another smart forward press, involving Foord and replacement Mason Shave before being finished well by full-back Martyn Lacey who neatly tapped home from close range. By this point, Holland knew it wasn’t going to be their day though a set-piece did spin away from the path of Ryan Mahon late on. Foord still had time to create another decent chance, sending a curling effort narrowly wide of Shorten’s far post.
All in all though, it was a very strong result and performance by ‘Fleet as they continued their good form in League & Vase this term.
Full-Time: Benfleet 6 – 1 Holland
To summarise, Benfleet’s superb performance made this a more one-sided game than many had expected. Granted that Holland’s red card did dampen the chances of them coming back into the game but they struggled to create the chances they needed after they fell behind and they found the home defence in good form as well.
There were a number of influential performances here, with two-goal Ben Foord standing out for Benfleet with his goals being good clinical finishing, as well as displaying good movement and work rate. Fellow forward Billy Bonham-Dare was also a constant presence in attack and could’ve got a second goal today. Midfielder Billy Carter delivered an energetic display as well and contributed well to his side’s forward moves, while centre-back Cameron Harris also had a fine match making several important tackles. For Holland, Midfielders Ben Dixon and Kieran Michaels showed good intent and passing as they looked to build counter-attacks, while Keelan Sorrell had a good game in anchor midfield, assisting his defence well and centre-back Joe Martin also restricted the strong Benfleet forward line as he made several telling interceptions.
Best wishes to both teams for the rest of the campaign.
Benfleet | Manager: Robert Polkinghorn | Assistant: Rob Rook
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Ryan Willsmer, 3 Martyn Lacey, 5 Cameron Harris, 6 Lee Scott, 7 Billy Carter (12 Mason Shave 60′), 8 Joe Hunter (14 Charlie Sullivan 78′), 9 Billy bonham-Dare, 10 Ben Foord, 11 Luc Harpon (15 Ashley Blackburn 60′)
Goal-scorers: Billy Bonham-Dare [8′], Ben Foord [28′ & 54′], Taylor Lawrence [42′ & 44′ (pen)], Martyn Lacey [72′]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: None
Holland | Manager: Paul Phelan | Assistant: Rob Barnett
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Finlay Shorten (GK), 2 Tom Ayton (12 Cameron Dolphin 46′), 3 Rueben Cowler, 5 Joe Martin, 6 Steve Downes, 7 Ben Dixon, 8 Kieran Michaels (Capt), 9 Scott Sloots, 10 Ryan Mahon, 11 Josh Rutter (14 Jamey Williams 46′)
Goal-scorer: Scott Sloots [2′]
Sent Off: Sloots [39′] | Subs Not Used: Finch, Watts, Fowler (GK)
Referee: Samuel Everitt