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Rhodes

The Buildbase FA Vase Fifth Round

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Bradford Town manage to pull a goal back a minute into stoppage time at the end of the first half, disappointing news. Trowbridge Road looks fairly basic doesn't it but the pitch seems in quite good condition:

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It's nail biting stuff at Trowbridge Road, or at least it was, as Leighton Town have just made it 3-1 through substitute Archie McClelland as Bradford Town pushed up for an equaliser, they look home and dry now with just minutes remaining, there have been one or two crowd incidents that have held play up slightly but nothing serious, I'm sure there won't be an Eynesbury Rovers type situation:

 

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Leighton Town are home and hosed, an amazing result and also for the SSML where a 'mid table' team beats the league leaders in the ToolStation Western League Premier Division. Congratulations Leighton Town and to their excellent travelling support.

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one or two crowd incidents that have held play up slightly but nothing serious,

 

According to Bradford Town twitter a water bottle was thrown at an assistant referee

So not serious then

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21 hours ago, Karen Browne said:

So not serious then

Karen - The information I got didn't say anything about a water bottle being thrown at an Official and the match report in today's Non Leage paper, as well as Leighton Town's report below, doesn't mention anything untoward happening, I know it was the Bradford Town supporters 'misbehaving' this time and the large Leighton Town following amongst the 463 attendance were as good as gold:

https://www.leightontownfc.co.uk/teams/11587/match-centre/0-4802255/report

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An anorak from another Forum was at this FA Vase Fifth Round tie, Leighton Town probably did well to avoid Consett at home or away in the Sixth Round however may well have played in front of a 1000 plus crowd at their Belle View home which I see has a 3G pitch:

FA Vase Fifth Round - Consett 2 Deal Town 0 - Admission £7 - Programme £1.50 - Attendance 866
Decided on this one when the draw was made and with a 3G pitch, this was always going to go ahead irrespective of the weather. Also decided to split the journey, driving up to Chesterfield and then getting the train to Durham, where I had a wander round the cathedral, and then the X15 bus to Consett.

Always going to be a big crowd here, and Deal brought a decent following with them too, and full credit must go to one of their followers, who I believe sponsors their away shirts, for his support, friendliness to all around him, and most importantly, for turning up wearing shorts on such a bitter afternoon. He is what non league football is all about.

Consett always looked the more likely to score but were denied several times in the first half by blocks with Deal players just getting their bodies in the way of goalbound efforts. 76 minutes came and Consett took the lead - the dangerous Ali Alshabeeb tried to find an opening on the edge of the box before feeding Luke Carr to scoop the ball over the visiting keeper. Five minutes from the end and it was game over when a Carr corner was headed home by Arjun Purewal to the delight of the majority of those watching.

So, the first time that Consett have reached the last eight of the Vase and with Hebburn doing the same, I wouldn’t bet against the two meeting in the final if they can avoid each other in the draws coming up.

Edited by Rhodes

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Another anorak from another Forum was at Corinthian's win over Sporting Khalsa in the Fifth Round so this may be of interest to the Bell Close faithful heading to Gay Dawn Farm on 29 February. Interesting that one side of the ground is out of bounds and that 246 was considered 'a bumper crowd', Leighton Town will take far more than that on Saturday week: 

FA Vase Fifth Round
Corinthian 3-0 Sporting Khalsa
Adm £7, prog £1, burger with cheese & bacon £4, chips £1
A pretty good cup tie with plenty of entertainment and chances. The right winner in the end, but maybe slightly flattered by the margin of victory.

Arriving early through the byways of Kent. wondering where on earth a football ground was going to appear from in the countryside, I was eventually reassured by a grumpy note pinned to a barrier blocking a side road saying "No access to Corinthian FC". Sure enough shortly afterwards I reached the main entrance. A bumpy access road but plenty of parking even for today's (for CFC) bumper crowd of 246. Khalsa and a fair few of their supporters were already there and the bar was woefully understaffed. Even so I was getting a bit suspicious about just how long a burger and chips could take when my name was bellowed by the food server. She fulsomely apologised for the delay saying she'd got mine ready only for it to get knocked on the floor, then hastily assured me that the one she was handing me now was a new one!

A pleasant ground with a small elevated stand on one side between presumably the old dugouts, some seats behind the near goal and some more in front of the dressing room building in the far corner. One side is out of bounds as it is a deadly grass bank - this was where the management of both teams sat.

After a fairly even start, Corinthian began to up the pace and took the lead on about 15. A corner from the slightly elevated right of the clubhouse end was swung in right on to the head of a team mate and buried into the back of the net. Chances came and went at both ends, but it was still 1-0 at the break. I think the Khalsa hair dryer may have got some use at half time as they came out with renewed purpose and had the upper hand for a while. However again after about 15 minutes, Corinthian broke with the ball, shot from distance and this was parried straight to a forward for a simple tap in. Barely 10 minutes later another similar close range finish from a spilt shot made it 3-0. With about ten minutes to go it really should have been 3-1 but the ball hit the inside of the post, bounced almost in slow motion along the line as one or two tried to swing a boot at it but were blocked or too far away. It was hooked out of the goal area by a defender, but against a Khalsa player but cannoned off him on to the outside of the other post and out. The ball went straight down the other end for a similar goal line clearance. Time was played out after that and Corinthian get further than they ever have in the Vase. Not a single card shown in a good game.

 

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An anorak from another Forum was at this Fifth Round tie, again Leighton Town probably did well to avoid Plymouth Parkway at their Devon St Lukes Bowl home although Bradford Town are higher than them in the ToolStation Western League Premier Division:

FA Vase, 5th Round Proper
Plymouth Parkway 2 West Auckland Town 1
Admission £7 Attendance 671

A 450-mile round trip for me, but you can add another 300 or so for West Auckland, whose journey back is presumably still continuing even as I type.

This was an enthralling game watched by an appreciative crowd (bar the one moron who felt the need to throw a yellow flare onto the pitch each time Parkway scored, the second time only missing the West Auckland keeper by a couple of feet) but it's a nondescript unscenic ground with few redeeming features, a stand on each side that must offer a poor view when there's a decent crowd bit today was all about the occasion and the match ebbed and flowed from one end to the other until Parkway used the gusting wind to their advantage as the game wore on and West Auckland ran out of energy.

Early on Parkway had a couple of early chances but it was West Auckland who led on the half hour, Purewal slotting home calmly following a quality passing move - Parkway then equalised at a crucial time, just as the clock hit 3.45, Farkins scrambling the ball over the line after a mini-melee occurred in the box.

Into the second half and within 7 minutes of the restart Parkway had a penalty following a hand ball - Carter ran up as if he was going to blast the net off and then calmly and calculatedly side footed the ball high, wide and into the netting behind the goal, but this didn't slow down the Parkway charge - within 10 minutes Billy Palfrey had swept the ball into the bottom corner from inside the box following a well worked move. It would be nice to say that West Auckland threw everything at the Parkway defence but they didn't really - Parkway looked rather comfortable and held out for the win without too many alarms.

Home via a deserted M5 and M4 for 9.30, twelve hours to the minute after I had left. West Auckland's journey will be much much longer.

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Continuing the 'theme' should Leighton Town progress further in the competition, and to a two legged Semi Final against one of the remaining Club's, an anorak from another Forum was at Atherstone Town who progressed against Worcester City after a replay. Again a good attendance which would see Leighton Town play to well over 1000 in a Semi Final and not a million miles to travel, it appears that Atherstone Town have some 'undesirable' fans though which could pose a problem both at their ground and Bell Close:

The Buildbase FA Vase – Fifth Round Proper
The Mark Webster Community Stadium – Official Attendance: 842
Atherstone Town (1) 1 Worcester City (0) 1 [After Extra Time: 1-1]

Entry: £7
Programme: £1.50 (appropriately priced)

I fancied some Vase action today, and this was probably the most convenient destination for a previously unvisited ground; the A34 and M40 providing the lion’s share of the route.

There was a time when these two would have met in a league fixture, just one level below the football league. That last happened in 1978-79, when Worcester won the Southern League Premier Division and went on to become founder members of the Alliance Premier League. Atherstone finished 16th, but folded before the start of the following season. Their re-emergence as Atherstone United was the first of two subsequent re-incarnations. By my reckoning, these two last met competitively in a Southern League Cup match at Worcester in the 2000-01 season; that was in the Atherstone United era. As for today, now both members of the Midland Football League, this fixture provided a step 6 v step 5 clash.

This was a game played out amidst a generally unpleasant atmosphere – not on the pitch, but on the terraces. There was a lot of pathetic ‘safe in a crowd’ posturing from the intellectually challenged youths in attendance and they certainly managed to get under the skin of some in the ‘away’ dugout – not that the boorish behaviour was limited to the home ‘support’. Given the pre-match discussions between the stewards that I had overheard, I think this was all pretty much as expected.

In the opening stages of play, the visitors looked a little sharper than their lower-level hosts, but as the first half wore on, Atherstone began to find feet and started playing some decent football. And it was they who drew first blood late in the half. Their #11 found himself in a decent scoring position, but delayed getting his shot away. However, after a bit of twisting and turning he managed to loop a shot – possibly with the help of a deflection – beyond the Worcester ‘keepers reach. In the opening 15 minutes of the second period, the visitors were pressing for an equaliser. There was one incident which had the away supporters calling for a red card; the Atherstone ‘keeper handling well outside his area when charging out to deal with a Worcester attack. The referee, rightly in my opinion, saw fit to issue only a yellow. As it turned out, those supporters may not have been so upset with the decision, when a few minutes later, the ‘keeper gifted their side the equaliser; in making a fairly routine save, he only managed to drop the ball down at the feet of the visitors’ #10, who gratefully accepted the gift. The hosts were unable to rediscover the fluency that had given them the advantage in the first half as the game drifted towards extra-time. Worcester were to play the extra period with only ten men; their #6 having been sent off inside the final ten minutes of normal time, following an incident that I didn’t have a view of – a dangerous challenge I presume. Nothing much of note occurred in the extra 30 minutes, and so they are due to have another go on Wednesday.

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I don't think ToolStation Western League Premier Division Bitton would pose a huge problem for Leighton Town in a Semi Final however they are away to Wroxham in the Quarter Final on 29 February so not much chance of them meeting, an anorak from another Forum was at their Fifth Round tie with Sutton Common Rovers:

FA Vase Bitton 2 Sutton Common Rovers 1 att: 209

A well-contested match in front of what looked like a larger crowd than the official figure. Bitton played their usual 'lie deep, hit them on the break' tactics relying on the pace of the front two and had showed very little until they were awarded a free-kick about 30 yards out that Josh Egan curled into the top corner. 1-0 at HT. The second half progressed in much the same vein, albeit with Bitton showing a bit more sustained threat. Josh Egan's second, this time a simple tap-in after good work down the left side, seemed to have put the game to bed, only for the referee to intervene with an absolutely baffling decision to award a penalty to the visitors on the stroke of 90 minutes. The SCR centre forward hammered it against the crossbar, the ball went straight up in the air, coming down in the 6-yard box and only the away players reacted and were able to poke the ball home. A nervy 6 minutes of added time passed before the final whistle.

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Anoraks from another Forum were also at the two other Fifth Round ties and posted shorter reports, not sure why Stowmarket Town were classed as favourites for the FA Vase, the two North East Club's, Hebburn and Consett, are clearly a threat to Leighton Town:

FA VASE 5TH RD LONGRIDGE 0 HEBBURN 1 AET . ATT 692
MY FIRST VISIT LOVELY SETTING .
GOALKEEPING HEROICS FROM THE HOST KEEPER KEPT LONGRIDGE IN THIS GAME SEVERAL TIMES.
LATE WINNER DESERVED HEBBURN WILL TAKE SOME BEATING.
GOOD LUCK TO LONGRIDGE IN THEIR QUEST FOR PROMOTION IT'S A CLUB ON THE MOVE.

Wroxham 2-0 Stowmarket Town
FA Vase 5th rd
adm £8/4
att 1041
Tried and failed twice, must be the weather. So short version. Wroxham fully deserved to knock out the favourites. 

I was there too.
The attendance was 1041.
Programme £1.50 (I think?), very good quality, all colour, 24 pages - looked like a special Vase edition.
Stowmarket very disappointing in the first half, never got going, just one shot on target. Wroxham not much better to be honest. Highlight of the first half: a very overweight looking Grant Holt losing his balance and falling over near the main stand, to the cheers of the crowd.
A seemingly undeserved yellow card was shown to a Stowmarket defender in the first half (the Wroxham player appeared to stumble on the sloping and very bumpy pitch, rather than being fouled). After the break, the same defender received a second yellow card for a foul in the box and Wroxham made it 1:0 from the resulting penalty - scored by none other than Grant Holt, who thus managed to get himself on the score sheet yet again.
10-man Stowmarket finally applied some good pressure but proved luckless, hitting the same goalpost twice in a row and also having a late 'goal' ruled out. They also conceded again at the death when their desperate push for an equaliser left them exposed at the back. Final score, Wroxham 2 Stowmarket Town 0.

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