Broadbridge Heath, Pagham and Little Common celebrate FA Vase success

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Broadbridge Heath, Pagham and Little Common were among Sussex sides to reach the first round proper of the FA Vase – and we have the full details of how they did it. Here are the match reports from the successful trio...

Broadbridge Heath 3 Erith & Belvedere 1 – report from Chris Simmons

Heath returned to FA Vase action with the aim to continue their impressive undefeated home run against Erith & Belvedere FC from the Southern Counties East League. With Erith & Belvedere currently sitting top of their division and Heath sitting in second place on goal difference with a game in hand, this had everything it needed to be a top-class FA Vase match.

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The match started with both sides looking to keep possession and ease themselves into the game. 9 minutes in Heath had the opportunity to take advantage. E&B’s goalkeeper sent the ball long after some good pressure from striker Ben Cooksley, Matt Penfold picked up the loose ball and linked up well with fellow midfielder Charlie Weller before finding Jamie Chesworth. Chesworth’s excellent ball over the top released Mason Doughty through one on one with the keeper, there were shouts and hands in the air from the defence but the assistant referee’s flag stayed down and Doughty calmly rounded the keeper before slotting home to open the scoring. 1-0

Broadbridge Heath players come out with their mascots to face Erith and BelvedereBroadbridge Heath players come out with their mascots to face Erith and Belvedere
Broadbridge Heath players come out with their mascots to face Erith and Belvedere

E&B came straight back after some sloppy play in the middle saw the away team break wide before cutting back inside and firing past the unsighted Liam Matthews returning to the Heath starting line up for the first time this season to make it 1-1.

Heath continued to push forward and regain the advantage from their visitors and got themselves back in front soon after on the 17th minute when Penfold sent Cooksley away who left the defender chasing his shadow. As the keeper advanced Cooksley flicked the ball past and despite the best efforts of the covering defender, the ball trickled into the bottom corner to give Heath a 2-1 lead.

In the 33rd minute Heath saw Doughty go through one on one with the keeper again. This time the keeper made a good block as Doughty tried his luck on goal and ending up in a heap on the floor. Doughty, clearing in some discomfort following the collision, was withdrawn and replaced by the returning Charlie Parmiter.

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Heath sat back slightly and saw the game through to half time taking in a 2-1 lead.

Pagham celebrate one of the goals that defeated Eastbourne United | Picture: Roger SmithPagham celebrate one of the goals that defeated Eastbourne United | Picture: Roger Smith
Pagham celebrate one of the goals that defeated Eastbourne United | Picture: Roger Smith

Heath came out for the second half knowing that they were 45 minutes away from seeing their name in the hat for the first round proper for the first time in 5 years. E&B pushed for an equaliser which had Heath battling to hold on to their lead. A very strong and commanding performance the Heath back line kept them at bay for the majority of the second half.

In the 90th minute E&B drew a foul from Penfold in the corner giving them one last chance to mount a final attack on the Heath goal. E&B filled the box and put the ball right into the middle of the 6-yard box. As the ball bounced around it was hit back across and was missed by everyone in the middle before falling to the feet of one of Erith and Belvedere player who saw his shot cleared off the line by Sean Terry. The second ball was again hit in the direction of the Heath goal which ended up in the safe hands of Matthews who was kicked as he hit the ground seeing the referee blow for a foul allowing Heath to slow the game down in its final stages.

E&B continued to throw balls forward but to no avail. In the 93rd minute, Matthews sends the ball long on the pitch which was brought down excellently by Lewis Croal who had the option to play the ball wide to Parmiter to run the clock down in the corner. Fortunately, this is not in Croal’s nature who knocked the ball past 2 tiring defenders before running on to it and slotting past the advancing keeper to seal Heath’s place in the next round of the FA Vase and cue wild celebrations which saw Croal booked for removing his shirt. Not quite the same as prime Cristiano Ronaldo but at this point, no one cared as the final whistle went soon after and Heath sealed a 3-1 win.

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Awarding a man of the match award was extremely difficult following a number of impressive performances but in the end it was shared between Liam Matthews who didn’t look like he had only played 45 minutes in the last 6 weeks and Jamie Chesworth who put in a faultless shift on the left side of the defence.

Following the injury to Mason Doughty and a trip to A&E, x-rays showed that Doughty had broken his collarbone which will see him side-lined for a few weeks, everyone at BBHFC wish Mason a speedy recovery.

Simmo said afterwards: It was a great day all round for the Club, an excellent crowd, Mascots from our Junior sides and a great performance by the Team, it was probably our hardest working & most disciplined performance since I have been in charge here!

Heath: Matthews, Terry, Zydonik, Brackpool, Chesworth, Weller, Mark (Blake), Penfold, Doughty (Parmiter), Cooksley (Evans), Croal. Not used: Alfie Jones, Mitch Clark Tyler Symonds.

Sussex sides discover FA Vase draw.

Pagham 2 Eastbourne Utd 0 – report by Steve Bone

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Boss Del Chester was delighted as Pagham saw off SCFL premier side Eastbourne United to make Vase progress.

t was a convincing performance against a strong side who have started extremely well in the league. Junior Kamara and Stan Bridgman were the scorers, one in each half.

Chester said: “We retained the ball very well in the early stages and it was clear we were causing their back-line problems with our attacking play.

"Scoring towards the end of both halves, it was a dominant performance that we were always in control of.

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“Eastbourne were limited to a couple of chances which they’ll probably feel they should have done better with but our back-line remained solid all game and were rewarded with a first clean sheet of the season.

“We’re now looking forward to another home tie against Sporting Bengle Utd in the next round which will be another good test for us.

"Confidence is building in this squad and we are tightening up the performances with each game.

“It would be lovely to go on a decent run in this competition and we need to look no further than Littlehampton last season to see anything is possible. But we’re not getting too ahead of ourselves and are simply focusing on each game.”

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The tie came after a break of nearly three weeks since a Wessex premier visit to Horndean, where the Lions lost 4-0.

Chester said of that loss: “On paper the result looked damaging but the game didn’t really reflect the end scoreline for me.

“They were the best side we have faced so far.

"We’re now looking forward to the visit of Moneyfields on Saturday and have again strengthened the squad with the additions of Jordan Layton and George Britton.

"We knew this process would take time with a new squad but we couldn’t be happier with the players we have around us, the efforts they’re giving and the direction we’re heading.”

Little Common 3 Molesey 0 – report from Little Common FC

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Little Common progressed into the first round proper of the FA Vase for the first time in the club’s history following a comfortable 3-0 win over Molesey on Saturday.

Player manager Russell Eldridge returned to the starting line-up and there was a first start of the season for Sam Cruttwell following his return from a long-term injury.

It was the Commoners who began the stronger and almost took the lead within the opening five minutes when Lewis Hole’s effort was parried by the visiting keeper. The same player saw a header cleared off the line before a Lewis Parson’s header saw the same outcome. Freddie Warren had a low drive turned round the post but the Commoners could not find a break through.

At the other end Matt Cruttwell was rarely troubled although the visitors did see two efforts clear the crossbar. The deadlock was finally broken twenty minutes into the second period when an Eldridge free-kick was fumbled by the Molesey keeper and Jamie Bunn was on hand to smash in the loose ball.

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One soon became two four minutes later when Parsons rose highest to meet a Cruttwell corner to send the ball back across the goal and into the far corner. Common ensured their passage into the next round ten minutes from time when Hole prodded home from close range.

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