FA Vase: Haywards Heath beat Eastbourne Town but Little Common and Horsham YMCA are knocked out
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HHTFC 2 Eastbourne Town 2 (3-1 on pens)
The Heath progressed to the next round of the FA Vase via a penalty shootout.
A first-class first-half performance put the Heath 2-0 up at the break. An own goal and Hayden Skerry’s earned a two-goal lead.
Despite the Heath’s continued domination in the second 45, Eastbourne Town found themselves back in the game and drew level late on meaning the game went to penalties.
See Ray Turner’s pictures from HHTFC v ETFC in the slideshow in the video player above.
The Heath converted all three of their penalties while Eastbourne Town scored one, missed two and Alfie Jones saved one.
An exciting game and Heath are into the hat for the next round of the Vase.
Other Sussex sides through include Steyning – who beat Reading City, see a report and match gallery here – Crawley Down Gatwick, who beat Midhurst 1-0, and Newhaven, who overcame Sporting Bengal 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Little Common 2 Tunbridge Wells 3
Little Common saw their FA Vase dreams come to an end with a 3-2 defeat against Tunbridge Wells in the first round proper.
Once again, manager Russell Eldridge was left with a selection headache with unavailability, injuries and a suspension and the Common starting line-up included three 17-year-olds with a further three on the substitutes’ bench.
Common’s afternoon began in a positive fashion and they were given an early lift when the visitors saw their goalkeeper dismissed with just 12 minutes on the clock. However, this seemed work to the advantage of Wells who soon took the lead from the penalty spot following Common keeper Tommy Sceal;s challenge in the area.
The visitors extended their lead just before half time giving Common a mountain to climb in the second half.
A crazy five minutes at the beginning of the second half saw three goals with Common reducing the arrears in the 52nd minute following a miskick from the Wells keeper before equalising a minute later through Jamie Crone following Jacob McArthur’s cutback.
The visitors regained the lead three minutes later following an unfortunate own goal by Adam Smith following a corner. Common produced a late rally with Sam Ellis seeing an effort whistle past the post but couldn’t force a penalty shoot out.
Horsham YMCA1 Eversley & California 1 (3-4 on pens)
by Martin Read
Horsham YMCA’s FA Vase encounter against Eversley & Calfornia was a venture into the unknown – the Hampshire outfit are in a lower tier in the FA pyramid, but, having won their last game 7-4, are clearly capable of scoring goals. It proved to be a closely fought skirmish, with YM being edged out in a penalty shoot out.
The Combined Counties League visitors were awarded six first half corners – and a midway penalty - which flew wide – but, YM defended stoutly, without creating many goalscoring opportunities. The first half seemed destined to end goalless – until Luke Wayborn headed home on the cusp of the break. There was, though, still just time for Eversely to hit the bar, leaving YM slightly relieved to only trail by a single goal at the whistle.
On resumption Tom Tolfrey soon equalised from the spot after Sekou Toure had been felled in the box. Chances came and went at either end, followed by 2 YM corners, with Eversley’s Jordan Goddard sent off. Then, Eversley should have been further reduced - to nine men - but Brad Brown was allowed to remain on the field despite an off-the-ball incident with Hayden Neathey, later rubbing salt in from the spot.
YM pressed hard for a winner, but it went to penalties. Dean Lovegrove, Luke Roberts and Neathey converted for YM, but two attempts failed, compared with only one miss for Eversley, causing heartbreaking elimination by the tightest of margins, manager Dean Carden telling the County Times: “We created second half possibilities, but we needed goals and couldn’t get the ball in the net, and then it came down to the lottery of a penalty shootout.”
After a series of home matches, 13th placed YM take the road to relegation-zoned Bexhill on Saturday