The Isuzu FA Vase – Second Round Qualifying
Venue: Park Lane
2022-23 Season: Match 17
Sunday 25th September 2022 – 3pm KO
Benfleet: Sky Blue Shirts, Navy Blue Shorts & Navy Blue Socks
Newbury: Navy Blue Shirts, Red Shorts, Red Socks
Good all-round Benfleet display sees them through to First Round
Benfleet 3 – 1 Newbury Forest
Match Report & Photos by Scott W [Twitter: @ScottMHC14]
The FA Vase Second Round Qualifying weekend was extended with a ‘bonus’ match at Park Lane as Benfleet hosted Newbury Forest in this battle of the Eastern Senior League South sides. Benfleet had regular stopper Florent Gislette between the posts, a defence comprised of centre-backs Jack Frost and skipper Cory Rider, with full-backs Martyn Lacey and Billy Carter. Taylor Lawrence and Henry Sims were in central midfield, while the forward line had Deolindo Lima and Ben Foord up too, with Mason Shave and Billy Purdy the chief support to them. Newbury Forest won on spot-kicks at Step 5 side Whitton Utd in the previous round but their league form hasn’t quite got going as yet. Long-time boss Leo Connolly had Harrison Cole as their goalkeeper, with a defence of full-backs Tony Shaw and Matt Connolly , with Ansa Edem & captain Jack Hurley in central defence. Mustafa Kahie and Mohamed Hussein were the centre midfield pair, with Anis Assoweh the creative midfielder supporting forwards Chaka Barnett, Freddie Bose and Ali Abdulkadir.
This match got going at lightning speed as Alex Salmon’s side made the most of a strong start. Barely two minutes into the game, the ball was played into the path of forward Deolindo Lima and he made no mistake tucking away a low finish past the helpless Newbury stopper Harrison Cole to opn the scoring. Newbury’s stuttering start was further exacerbated just four minutes later as tireless forward Ben Foord was brought down in the area, and referee Ka Ho Wong immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Taylor Lawrence stepped up to take the spot-kick and smashed it into the right corner, giving the unfortunate Cole another oppurtunity to pick the ball out of his net. Cole did keep his side in it arguably, as he denied Foord moments later when the striker was in one-on-one.
After that difficult start for Leo Connolly’s side, they gradually got their way into the game, lkept the ball better and with the likes of Freddie Bose, Mohamed Hussein and Chaka Barnett in the side, they soon pushed on to threaten the Benfleet goal as they did somewhat retreat, giving Forest more ball time. Newbury did take full advantage of that change in attitude as they halved the deficit on 16 minutes. From a set-piece, the ball was passed into full-back Matt Connolly’s feet and he let fly a stunning 30-yarder which surprised the home backline and the crowd as it flew into the net.
In some ways, Benfleet had to re-assert their game all over again as the visitors unsurprisingly had more motivation now to get back into the tie. Chances were less frequent for either side, but it’s fair to say Benfleet’s best chance came ten minutes before the break as a searching cross from the right by full-back Billy Carter found Foord at the far post and whilst his header had enough power, it didn’t quite have the accuravy as it fizzed wide of Cole’s near-side post.
Half-Time: Benfleet 2 – 1 Newbury Forest
The atmosphere was getting a little tense early oin the second half as Newbury continued to have a decent amount of possession. Benfleet did get a third goal at a crucial time, on 51 minutes. A free-kick was awarded in a promising position, but Lawrence still curled in a superb flighted effort which sailed high into the net, giving Cole little chance. That was Lawrence’s secoond goal and added to a good performance as well.
To be fair to Forest though, they didn’t really flinch at the scale of the task ahead of them, and Barnett continued to make several enterprising runs down the left channel, testing the calibre of Benfleet right-back Carter. Although they showed some promise on the ball, centre forward Ali Abdulkadir only had a couple of glimpses at goal which didn’t test Gislette unduly.
That being said, as we got into the latter stages, Forest did have a couple of half-chances, with Chaka Barnett firing over after another good darting run down the left flank, and replacement Josh Smith’s low effort had to be cleared off the goal-line. The ‘Fleet responded as Lima made another good surging run, before finding winger Mason Shave in a good position, and Shave’s strike was well-held by Cole.
There was concern at the end for Newbury as skipper Jack Hurley had to be assisted off the pitch with what looked like a bad knee injury, so I’d like to wish him well in his recovery. After a few moments of added time, the referee blew for full-time and Benfleet will be happy with their day’s work and of course, another £725 in prize money won.
Full-Time: Benfleet 3 – 1 Newbury Forest
In summary, Benfleet’s start to the game was crucial and while they backed off a bit after getting their two-goal lead, Newbury could not quite test home stopper Florent Gislette enough to get back into the game. Lawrence’s superb set-piece ultimately made the game safe for Akex Salmon’s side, despite Newbury’s decent approach play which certainly kept the home defence alert.
There were some really good performances in this match. For winners Benfleet, forward Deolindo Lima really put in a hard-working performance and gave the visiting defence a difficult afternoon. Lima also took his goal well early on. Midfielder Taylor Lawrence put in a good all-round shift, making good runs and passes, plus that free-kick was important at the time it came in the game. Ben Foord also did well in attack, running down the channels as well and with two in the forward line, it meant he could drop deep to set off moves, while full-back Martyn Lacey also had a good game down the left side, stretching the visiting defence more and providing good passes too.
For Newbury, winger Chaka Barnett made several good runs down the left side utilising his pace and dribbling abilities, and gave the Benfleet defence some nervous moments, and tested Gislette on a couple of occasions. Forward Ali Abdulkadir was a good presence and had glimpses of goal at times. Mohamed Hussein put in a good display in central midfield, showing good awareness and energy levels while number ten Freddie Bose also covered a lot of ground in defence and attack to assist his team, and also made some neat passes.
Benfleet | Manager: Alex Salmon | Assistants: Dave Saxton & Ray Coker
Starting XI (Subs): 1 Florent Gislette (GK), 2 Billy Carter, 3 Martyn Lacey, 5 Jack Frost, 6 Cory Rider (Capt), 4 Taylor Lawrence, 8 Henry Sims, (15 Billy Shulver 69′), 7 Mason Shave, 10 Billy Purdy (16 Aaron Russell 58′), 9 Deolindo Lima, 11 Ben Foord (17 Jake Frost 83′)
Goal-scorers: Deolindo Lima [2′] , Taylor Lawrence [pen 6′ & 51′]
Booked: Purdy, Lima | Subs Not Used: Scott, Monk
Newbury Forest | Manager: Leo Connolly | Assistant: Bostry Bansende
Starting XI (Subs): 13 Harrison Cole (GK), 2 Tony Shaw, 3 Matt Connolly, 5 Jack Hurley (Capt), 6 Ansa Edem, 4 Mustafa Kahie (12 Josh Smith 46′), 8 Mohamed Hussein, 7 Anis Assoweh, 10 Freddie Bose (18 Joshua Kanu 65′), 9 Ali Abdulkadir, 11 Chaka Barnett
Goal-scorer: Matt Connolly [16′]
Booked: Shaw, Abdulkadir | Subs Not Used: Gates, Anderson
Referee: Ka Ho Wong
Assistants: Daniel Mann & Joe Lannon