How Broadbridge Heath, Bexhill United and Little Common made FA Vase progress

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Broadbridge Heath, Bexhill United and Little Common are among Sussex sides into the second round of the FA Vase – and below is the full story on how they got there.

Joining the pair in the next round are Eastbourne Town, Peacehaven, Crowborough and Montpelier Villa – see how the second round draw panned out for all seven sides here. Now here are the reports from Broadbridge Heath, Bexhill United and Little Common.

Whitchurch United v Broadbridge Heath

Broadbridge Heath continued their good form by progressing to the 2nd round of the FA Vase for the second time in their history after a comprehensive 5-0 win over a battling Whitchurch United from the Wessex Football League.

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Bexhill United players celebrate their superb win at Hordnean | Picture: Joe KnightBexhill United players celebrate their superb win at Hordnean | Picture: Joe Knight
Bexhill United players celebrate their superb win at Hordnean | Picture: Joe Knight

It was an early start for manager Chris Simmons as he arrived at the club to ensure everything was in place for what was set to be a memorable away day. With all the equipment sorted and players and coaching staff beginning to arrive, there was just two things missing…. the minibuses. After a number of phone calls to the hire company (and just as many unhelpful comments from captain Ryan Brackpool!) the buses arrived and the Bears were on their way to Hampshire.

On arrival in Whitchurch, the players appeared very focused on the task ahead which showed throughout the warm-up. With pre-match preparation now complete the both sets of players took to the pitch with their eyes on a place in the hat for the next round of the competition.

United came out of the blocks the quickest in front of a large home crowd having a couple of early chances before Liam Matthews in the Heath goal saw the ball fly over his head and crash into the crossbar before bouncing down and spinning back out into his hands.

The Broadbridge Heath players soon realised they needed to step up their game if they were going to get the win and went on a few attacks of their own through Sam Lemon and Alex Barbary but were unable to break the deadlock.

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In the 31st minute the Bears made the breakthrough as Louis Evans brought the ball forward from the right hand side before releasing Barbary through on goal. His shot was saved well before rebounding back into his path. A 1:2 with Lemon the saw Barbary hit the return pass first time into the United net for 1-0.

Heath continued pushing and two minutes later found themselves 2-0 ahead after Evans was released down the right-hand side. His deep cross was met on the back post by Barbary who fired past the keeper for his second of the game.

Looking to complete the job before half-time, Heath kept their assault on the home goal with a number of chances saved well by the United keeper.

In the 44th minute, a long ball over the top from Charlie Weller saw Lewis Croal pick the ball up just outside the United box and drive inside before hitting the back of the net to score his 14th goal of the season and put Broadbridge Heath 3-0 up at the break.

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Heath continued to push in the second half with chances for Evans, Lemon and Barbary but to no avail. Manager Simmons decided freshen things up in the 72nd minute introducing Charlie Parmiter replacing Alex Barbary.

In the 78th minute, Lemon picked up the ball and released Evans who knocked the ball inside and found himself some space before hitting a thunderbolt into the top corner for 4-0. Heath weren’t quite done yet and two minutes later, Lemon added his name to the score sheet adding a 5th goal for heath with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Late substitutions saw Andrew Waddingham and Ben Cooksley replace Brackpool and Evans in the closing stages of what was an enjoyable afternoon for Heath and their travelling support.

MoM: Louis Evans & Charlie Weller

Heath face a home tie against Ascot United FC on November 12.

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Boss Simmons said afterwards: “After all the hassle with the travel plans, we eventually settled and went on to put in a another very good performance away from home, we played some great football and scored a couple of great goals, big thank you to the travelling supporters that made the long journey as well.”

Broadbridge Heath – Matthews, Frankland, Chesworth, Sim, Brackpool (Waddingham 81), Weller, Penfold, Evans (Cooksley 82), Barbary (Parmiter 72), Croal, Lemon.

Horndean 1 Bexhill 2

The Pirates’ players, management and supporters travelled home from Hampshire on Saturday evening in buoyant mood after a late winner saw thems progress to the next round of this years FA Vase at the expense of Wessex league Premier Division high flyers Horndean FC.

The home side started brightly as expected from a side who have been in red hot form so far this season but marshalled by captain Tom Vickers the Bexhill defence were more than a match for the Horndean attack.

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Despite Horndean enjoying the lion’s share of possession in the opening half an hour it was in fact Bexhill who fashioned the best chance, when James Stone beat his man down the right and whipped his cross into the near post area where the arriving Aaron Cook could only head over the crossbar when well placed.

Finally the deadlock was broken and it was the home side on 42 minutes who attacked down the left and a good cut-in and finish sent Horndean into the break with a one-goal lead.

The second half kicked off and it was all change in terms of possession and tempo for the Pirates as Bexhill United looked to have gone up a few gears at the break and were now on the front foot and throwing caution to the wind attacking up the heavy slope.

Playing against the meanest defence in non-league football, who had only conceded three league goals all season, it seemed to be a tough ask of the Bexhill players to turn the score line around, but this they did!

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The pressure applied throughout the half finally paid dividends in the 80th minute when Stone was brought down in the box and Tom Vickers stepped forward to slam the ball home to bring the scoreline level.

With just a few minutes remaining it was now a rip-roaring cup tie swinging from end to end with Dan Hull having to clear a Hondean effort off the goal line – before Stone got past his man on the Bexhill left and drove a low cross into the box which was met by the foot of Jack Shonk. His attempt at goal then took a wicked deflection off of an unfortunate Horndean defender which took the ball past the diving goal keeper to spark wild celebrations both on the pitch and in the stands.

The whistle blew shortly after and the Pirates had recorded a big win on the road against much fancied opposition.

Manager Ryan Light said: “We had done our homework on Horndean and knew what to expect. They were an excellent side, and defensively they are are very strong so we were mindful to not give ourselves an impossible task going into the latter stages of the game.

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"I thought in the second half we were fantastic. Fit, strong, intelligent and everything I expect from this group. To turn the score line round in the manner we did showed huge character and perseverance.

"We have been drawn at home to Eastbourne Town in the next round and they are in really good form themselves so I expect it to be a really exciting afternoon at The Polegrove as we attempt to progress to the last 64.”

Little Common 3 Milton United 1

A superb second half performance saw Little Common overturn a half-time deficit to clinch a 3-1 win against Milton United and progress into the second round of the FA Vase.

The Commoners welcomed back JJ Walker and Ollie Weeks to the starting line-up in what was a fairly even opening quarter of the match. Common went on to enjoy a good spell of pressure and saw a succession of corners cleared to safety before the visitors look the lead in the 31st minute.

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A swift break saw Common unable to clear a delivery into the box and when Kieron Cooper picked up the ball on the edge of the area he made no mistake guiding an effort into the far corner of the net. Common almost equalised immediately when Freddie Warren cut in from the right but his initial effort and follow up was saved by the United keeper.

Whatever manager Russell Eldridge said to his side during the half time interval certainly had the desired effect as the Commoners began the second period in fine fashion – the equaliser arrived two minutes into the half when Lewis Hole diverted a Sam Ellis delivery into the net. And it was Ellis who fired Common in front nine minutes later when Hole turned provider and Ellis raced towards goal before firing an effort beyond the keeper and into the top corner of the goal.

Five minutes later, the Commoners extended their lead when Hole intercepted an attempted back pass before producing a superb left footed finish to all but seal the tie. The visitors tried to find a way back into the match but Matt Cruttwell was rarely troubled in the Common goal.

The hosts could have extended their lead but Jamie Bunn headed over from a corner and substitute Jamie Crone saw an effort just clear the crossbar. The Commoners will now travel to Wallingford and Crowmarsh in the second round on November 12.