Shortwood United 3-2 Hallen
September 24, 2011 - Carlsberg F.A. Challenge Vase 2nd.Qual.Round
BATTLE WEARY HALLEN DRAGGED THROUGH EXTRA TIME AGAIN
After a hard FA Cup game three days ago, Hallen now had to patch and pick themselves up for an FA Vase encounter against a team lying in second place in the Premier Division of the Hellenic League where they have won seven of their eight games. The game was contested in a beautiful setting and on an excellent playing surface but our lads fell at the final hurdle having failed to produce much of the fluent football that has brought them success this season.
After just five minutes, Greening had to continue where he left off on Wednesday and put his body on the line to block an overhead attempt from Shortwood. The home team then peppered the Hallen defence with good crosses that were dealt with by the central defenders until the eighteenth minute when a centre from the right was deftly glanced across the keeper and into the corner of the net. We then saw the Hallen keeper seek attention that was a scene that disturbed me for two reasons – 1) was the condition of his ankle now so bad that he couldn’t continue? and 2) from a crowded dug-out, why was it the job of the manager to sort him out? Still, bravery prevailed and Yeo was back on his feet again. Willshire was now beginning to find himself in oceans of space as he pushed up on the right but his colleagues failed to use him properly and exploit the situation, but Hallen equalised on thirty minutes when they had several shots blocked only for the ball to come back to King whose shot was deflected by a defender leaving the keeper flat footed as the ball entered the net. We then had a Hallen defender clear the ball off of the line before, with half-time approaching, Collett received a cross from Willshire but ran out of space to score after taking the ball around the keeper, and Bennett should have shot rather than opting to play the ball to Collett.
The start of the second half saw scrappy play as both sides struggled to put two passes together, but Shortwood did take the ball around Yeo only to be denied by heroics being performed by Davis. The Hallen manager was then seen on the pitch again as he entered to provide treatment for an injured Lippiatt, but when play recommenced, Collett was denied by the keeper after he had wriggled into a tap-in position. On seventy-five minutes we saw a horrendous mistake from Nelmes and Davis that enabled the striker to progress and fire the ball high and wide of the advancing Yeo to restore the lead. But Hallen then equalised when Bennett received the ball and, moving to the right, slid the ball past the keeper via the space that his movement had created. Hallen then started to believe in themselves during a spell that saw a good shot from Bright cannon off of the inside of the far post, and the keeper make good saves from Bennett and Snook. Normal time then finished with a glorious low-down save from Yeo and Shortwood hitting the underside of the bar with the ball coming down on the line and being cleared.
For extra time, a hamstring injury saw Greening pushed up front and Bennett play in the middle of defence and Shortwood scored the decisive goal as a result of our Captain Marvel taking it on his shoulders to try and do everything and being caught up-field thus creating the space for a striker to shoot across Yeo and into the top corner. Sadly, the second period of extra time saw several unacceptable incidents that the referee failed to deal with adequately thus allowing the home side to finish with a full complement of players on the pitch at the end.
Goals: Hallen – King 30 mins; Bennett 82 mins / Shortwood – 18mins; 75 mins; 102 mins
Hallen Cautions: Bennett 115 mins; Nelmes 115 mins
Lippiatt (Cook 65 mins);
De Rosa (Bright 70 mins);
King (Snook 80 mins)
30 min - Ryan King (5/10)
82 min - Ashley Bennett (5/10)