SLIDESHOW: Hassocks reach second round of FA Vase

Hassocks are into the second round of the FA Vase for just the fourth time after they defeated Southern Counties East League outfit Corinthian 3-1 at the Beacon.

Hassocks (red) v Corinthians. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140111-194254001
Hassocks (red) v Corinthians. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140111-194254001

That means this Robins side have the chance to become the first in the clubs 112 year history to make it to the third round of the national cup competition when they host another Kent team, high flying Ashford United on November 22nd.

They left it late to get their name into the hat for that draw, goals in the 89th and 93rd minutes from strikers Phil Johnson and Nathan Miles respectively doing the damage.

While winning the game so late suggests it was a battle to the end, in truth Hassocks were more than worthy victors in a tie that sparked into life in the second half.

Hassocks (red) v Corinthians. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140111-194254001

As is so often the case when two unfamiliar teams from different leagues come across each other, the first half was one of few chances as both sides attempted to suss each other out.

A decent free kick from Mohamed Eisa forced Jack Simpson into a full stretch save low down to his left on 22 minutes while his opposite number Sam I’anson showed suspect handling when he spilled a Jake Booth effort from distance with Johnson just failing to mop up the afters.

Corinthian took the lead within minutes of the restart, Ian Simpson’s loose back pass allowing Nad Nwita in to slip the visitors ahead.

It took Hassocks until midway through the second period to make their possession count, Kieran O’Callaghan winning a trademark header down which Johnson turned on and finished with aplomb.

With extra time and the prospect of a long Tuesday night trip to Hartley in a replay looming, I’anson had a moment to forget, this time failing to hold Booths low left wing cross allowing Johnson to react in predatory fashion to finish with aplomb.

That was Booth’s finally contribution of the afternoon as he was replaced by Jamie Hillwood who made an immediate impact of his own on his first appearance since September when he set Miles away one-on-one, the striker picking his spot and making no mistake to finish off a sweeping counter attacking move and the tie.

Hassocks: J Simpson; Stokes, Marsh, I Simpson, Jacques; Price, Bant, O’Callaghan, Booth; Johnson, Miles.

Subs: Hillwood (Booth 89), Collins (Bant 93), Pitcher, S Brown, P Wickwar (unused).