The FA Vase – Second Round Proper
Venue: Barking Rugby Club
2018-19 Season – Match 31
Sunday 4th November 2018 – 3pm KO
May & Baker EC: Red & Black Striped Shirts, Black Shorts, Red Socks
Swaffham Town: Black & White Striped Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Swaffham progress with a injury-time winner in a real battle at Barking Rugby Club
Report by Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14) with Photos by Peter D (Twitter: @ped1980)
The FA Vase Second Round weekend ended here with this battle of Eastern Senior League South v Eastern Senior League North at Barking Rugby Club where May & Baker Eastbrook Community (to give it it’s full title) welcomed Swaffham Town. The hosts have already beaten Saffron Walden Town and North Greenford Utd in their Vase run and named a front two of Dan Gilchrist and Besmir Hoxhaj, both players who have been scoring well for the club in all competitions this season. Swaffham, who are among the leaders in their division, named Tommy Rix between the sticks with Nick Castellan and Joe Jackson on the flanks with diminutive skipper Alex Vincent partnering Kyle Plumb in attack.
It must be said that after a rugby match was played on the pitch the previous day, it may have had an effect, as it was a tad bobbly to say the least. Still, it was the hosts who had the opening sighters of goal as midfielder Sam Dickins blasted over the bar in the opening five minutes. Both sides did rather struggle to settle and adapt to the conditions during the first half though during the midway point of the first 45, Swaffham had their best period of the match thus far as forward Alex Vincent was showing his skill to trick his way past the home defence on a coupl of occasions.
As the half was teetering towards its conclusion, Swaffham winger Joe Jackson was well denied a one-on-one oppurtunity with home ‘keeper Micheal Gooch by a last-ditch challenge by defender Joe Maskell, who shortly after required treatment for a head injury (Cue the ‘Terry Butcher bandaged head’ look from the World Cup in Italy in 1990). M & B winger Kiel Chandler had a good strike well-saved by visiting stopper Tommy Rix three minutes before the break though it was scoreless at the interval, with the tension rising.
Half-Time: May & Baker EC 0 – 0 Swaffham Town
The visitors began the second-half with a fair bit of the ball though neither side really had a stranglehold on the game. On the hour, the hosts were denied by good save by Rix as midfielder Conor Okus made a surging run into the box before driving a good strike which needed the intervention of the Swaffham ‘keeper. Only a moment later, Okus headed wide from the resulting corner.
The hosts kept the pressure on in the next passage of the game though star striker Dan Gilchrist didn’t really have the type of chances he thrives on as the Swaffham defence soaked up the pressure from defending a number of set-pieces. As we entered an increasingly nervy latter part of the match, the visitors kept going and after a good run by Vincent, Jackson was one-on-one with Gooch though contrived to skew his strike wide of the far post in what was a huge let-off for M & B.
That let-off was a sign as it turned out as in the first minute of added time, substitute Luke Reed was played in well and buried a low shot past Gooch into the corner to send Micky Wetherall’s side out in heart-breaking circumstances. Some may argue they didn’t create enough chances though in fairness, there was little to seperate the sides here for the majority of the contest. Swaffham advance though to the next round and they await their opponents in the draw to come early next week.
Full-Time: May & Baker EC 0 – 1 Swaffham Town
May & Baker EC | Manager: Micky Wetherall
Michael Gooch (GK), Craig Hall, Joe Maskell, Dean Hall (Capt), Henry Osei, Sam Dickins, Conor Okus, Kiel Chandler (Reece Tranter 69′), Tom Harvey, Besmir Hoxhaj (James Barlow 60′), Daniel Gilchrist
Booked: D Hall | Subs Not Used: Warren, Oxby, Martin (GK)
Swaffham Town | Manager: Paul Hunt
Tommy Rix (GK), Danny Tindall, Louis Duarte (David Weaver-Pope 68′), Dean Miller, Matthew Gilchrist, Ryan Pearson, Nick Castellan, Tommy Hunt (Luke Reed 79′), Kyle Plumb (Sam Carter 73′), Alex Vincent (Capt), Joe Jackson
Goal-scorers: Luke Reed [90’+1]
Booked: None | Subs Not Used: Conner, Watson (GK)