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31 October 2020


Westfields 2  Romulus 2  (Westfields win on penalties)
Westfields Football Club went through to the second round of the FA Vase with an exciting penalty shoot-out victory over visiting Romulus from the Midland Football League.  Westfields and their visitors dished up an exciting cup tie with Westfields going through in the shoot-out due to 2 fine penalty saves from Steve Sarkodie in the Westfields goal. 

Earlier in the 90 minutes Westfields had dictated play in the first half but despite some half chances from crosses from Sirdic Grant and Dan Stoneman which were unconverted Westfields had to settle for what looked like a 0-0 half time score line until Romulus scored in one of their rare attacks when just before the interval Kyle Burke turned smartly on the edge of the box to beat Steve Sarkodie with a curling shot from 18yds. 

However, after the break Westfields got back on level terms in the 60th minute when Ben Miller scored with an acrobatic overhead kick to put the 2 sides level. Westfields then introduced substitute striker Richard Greaves and the big striker made an immediate impact when Sirdic Grant put over a perfect cross and Greaves was on the spot to slam home the goal and put Westfields ahead. 

It looked as though Westfields had done enough then to win the game until 2 minutes from time when Romulus seized on a hesitant defence and equalised through Jarrell Hylton.  This put the game then into an agonising penalty shoot-out and after both sides had missed their opening spot-kicks Westfields went on to win 3-2 with goals from the penalty mark by Richard Greaves, Keanu Cooper and skipper Kane Kahaki. Steve Sarkodie in the Westfields goal had previously saves 2 penalty kicks and then the last penalty kick from Romulus was hit wide by their striker.  Westfields now go through to the second round of the Vase

New Milton 1 Clanfield 85 1 (away view)
Clanfield went out of the F A Vase on penalties to New Milton, a team from the same level as the non-league pyramid having finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. It was a frustrating way to go out, but it was a great day out for the Clanfield club who hosted a coach for the day and with several non-playing personnel giving the players their backing, with good post match hospitality allowing them to stay until past 6.30 and continue the good team spirit that has been feature of the club in the last year.

Clanfield took an early lead through Rory Linford-Pill, but just before half time Elliott Eavis hit the post and Tyrrell Sampson followed up to score. The first half was generally fairly even and it has to be said that the pitch which has previously hosted Southern League football in the days of Lymington and New Milton despite the heavy rain in recent days. Alfie Saunders shot just over for Clanfield during the game's first period, while the pace of Zak Oliver was always a threat to the home team's defence. At the other end Chris Long was a threat to the Clanfiield defence.

In the game's second period both goalkeepers made good saves to keep the game's second period goalless with Luke Dennison in the New Milton goal saving from Cameron Pirie and Zak Oliver at the expense of corners, while Luke Haley made a couple of good saves from Long and also saving a penalty from substitute Jake Poynter. There was also some good defensive play with Josh Gibbens making a good block to deny Long and Ashley Booker who was chosen as man of the match looking solid at the back for the home team. Towards the end New Milton's substitute George Richardson received a second yellow card. However despite substitutions being a feature of the game's second period and thus we went to penalties. However Clanfield missed their first and third penalty kicks, and when New Milton converted their fourth penalty it was all over, although Clanfield have had a good run in the competition winning through two rounds and beating a club from a higher level in Tuffley Rovers.

Although Clanfield beat a Hampshire club in the last round all four trips they have made to this county have ended in defeat, but as someone who was on the coach trip to their tie at Fleet over 40 years these long trips can create memories that will remain with people for much longer and the F A Vase provides opportunities to do this.

Both Clanfield and New Milton have previous history in the F A Vase. Clanfield entered the first ever F A Vase competition in 1974/75 and in the first five years of the competition reached the 4th round once and the third round twice, while tin seven years of participation as a joint club Lymington and New Milton produced one quarter final appearance, and one fifth round appearance, and a consistent level of performance in the competition. , Since reverting back to New Milton Town in 2007 they have reached the 3rd round proper once. They have not found things easy in recent seasons and were relegated from i the Premier division of the Sydenham's Wessex League
in 2013, but they are looking to return to their former successes and have a great social club to support them in their endeavours. The son of Clanfield Assistant Martin Staddon briefly represented the club.
George Richardson the sent off player is in fact the son of Taffy Richardson and the godson of Tommy Killick both of whom scored in Wimborne's F A Vase final victory against Guiselley in 1992, with Richardson senior who caaried on his playing career until his 50's lifting the trophy as captain,, while Killick is now the long serving manager of Poole Town.

Clanfield have away games against Malmesbury (Tuesday) and Hereford Pegasus (Saturday) to look forward to, although whether they will actually take place remains in doubt.

Malvern Town 3 Rothwell Corinthians 1

Malvern Town beat Step Five opponents United Counties League  Premeir Division club Rothwell Corinthians to make Buildbase FA Vase first round progress.

There was a bright start by The Hillsiders when an effort within the opening minute saw Lewis Platt denied by a smart tip-over by the ‘keeper. From the resulting corner, Harry Clark headed home at the far post to open the scoring.

The visitors were back on level terms on five minutes when Nat Gosnall-Tyler carved out an opening for Callum Plowright who made no mistake from close range. We were awarded a penalty for handball in the 13th minute as Matt Turner managed to put the ball under the ‘keeper.

It was a full-blooded start to proceedings between two committed teams and some more probing play out wide from Gosnall-Tyler saw his ball into the danger zone well dealt with before a strike from Nathan Bobowicz was straight at the ‘keeper. As the half went on, it was the visitors asking most of the questions as we defended resolutely. A foul on Turner gave us a free-kick which was well-worked and as the ball came back in, Turner’s deft header went wide. We ended the half strongly with Platt denied on a couple of occasions and then Joe Billingham seeing a free-kick well tipped over by the ‘keeper.

The second period started with chances at both ends as Plowright dragged wide for the visitors and then a break from Platt ended with him firing wide from a good position. Quick feet from Dodzi Agbenu just before the hour-mark saw him make room for a strike which curled goalwards and forced a great save. Then moments later, Billingham was brought down on the edge of the area as Joe Bates saw his fierce free-kick pushed away by the ‘keeper. As Bobowicz broke the offside trap, his effort was clawed away by the ‘keeper as the visitors upped the pressure once more in search of a leveller.

There was a crucial moment in the game with quarter-of-an-hour to go when Gosnall-Tyler was denied from a free-kick by a great save and then as we broke sharply at the other end, some great hold-up play by Turner saw Billingham latch onto the ball and fire home to make it 3-1. We were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes when Billingham was given a straight red card but we managed the rest of the game out well to take our place in the next round of this national competition.

THE HILLSIDERS: Blackburn, Smith, Platt, A. Sauntson, Harris, Febery, Billingham, Bullock (Loader 82), Turner (Chowns Higgs 90+3), Bates (Fusco 76), Clark. Sub not used:  Paddock. BOOKING(S): Febery, Harris, A. Sauntson, Smith RED CARD: Billingham GOAL(S): Clark, Turner (pen), Billingham ATTENDANCE: 252


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Moreton Rangers Development 2 Malvern Town Development 2 (away view)
Malvern Town Development shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw at Moreton Rangers Development. In windy conditions and on a sticky pitch, only a good save from James Loader stopped us from going behind within the opening 30 seconds.

After this early scare, we started to get a hold of the game and on 11 minutes, Ben Febery sent Morgan Skidmore on a run and his cross found Ameer Khan who applied the finish from eight yards. We then hit the post and the crossbar from free-kicks as well as having a couple of strong penalty calls waved away. The home team defended resolutely as we looked to add to our lead and Febery in particular was unlucky as the ‘keeper thwarted him on several occasions. Leading 1-0 going into the second half, we continued to look the most likely side, however, our hosts were proving a threat on the break.

With 65 minutes on the clock, the home side won a penalty when Cooke was caught on the wrong side of his man and it allowed them to level matters. Despite being pegged back, we continued to dominate the play only for our hosts to put their bodies on the line to keep us at bay. We were caught out late on when we failed to clear our lines and the home side took full advantage to grab what looked like being the winning goal. That was until stoppage time when an effort from Will Saunders deflected off a defender and into the net to make it 2-2.

“First of all I must give credit to our hosts who never gave up and made life tough for us,” said manager, Peter Daffin. “I was disappointed with the result but at the same time I can’t fault the players as they gave their all in difficult conditions. The pitch didn’t suit our game but that said, Will Saunders and Tom Emblem did well in the middle of the park, whilst Bryan Craven held the ball up well and worked his socks off. There were also hard-working displays from Ben Febery and Elliot Flint, who is making progress with each game and looks a good prospect.”