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Tower Hamlets finally secured their place in the Preliminary Round after a late goal from Curtis Pond was enough to separate the two sides. Up until then the game had been one of very few chances and was looking destined to be heading for extra time. Pond, who came off the subs bench in the 68th minute had other ideas however, bagging the goal that settled the tie in the 88th minute.

Hamlets were perhaps the better of the two teams but there was no end product to their attacking play. Antonio Montiero and Wale Odedoyin both had early chances fly over the cross bar, with a glancing header from Alhousman Ndure, then later on a towering header from Odedoyin both going close. Lee McKnight had to tip away a Jamie Brandon header, but other than that the rest of the half was devoid of much goalmouth action although Aliu Ibrahim wasn’t too far away with a long-range shot in the 38th minute and then just on the stroke of half-time Ndure whipped in a free kick that the Broxbourne keeper had to dive low to keep out.

The second half was played in much the same vein, as Tower Hamlets huffed and puffed, their opponents looked to try and catch them on the counter and almost scored midway through the half
after Corey Stewart was able to outmuscle Jerome Anthony off the ball and centre for Richard Oluwatoyin to head just over. The introduction of Hasan Mostafa and Curtis Pond livened up the Hamlets attack and one crafted move split the Broxbourne defence, however the final ball sped away from Kane Wilson.

As full time approached Mostafa suddenly darted down the far touchline, sailed past two defenders and crossed to Pond, who headed the winning goal past Walsh, starting massive celebrations from the Tower Hamlets bench.

There was just enough time for Dylan Bolister to be given his marching orders for a shocking tackle on Mostafa and then in the final seconds of stoppage time Pond weaved his way into the Broxbourne box and hit a low shot that Walsh tipped away.

It didn’t take Basildon United long to open their account against Walsham le Willows on Tuesday. Tommy Barton fired the Bees into the lead in the 2nd minute. Marcus Bowers extended the league in the 17th minute and Barton added his second five minutes later. A crowd of 184.

Wadham Lodge’s opening FA Cup campaign came to an end on Wednesday when Framlingham Town won the replay 3-1. Simon Poacher bagged a brace, opening the scoring in the 6th minute, extended the lead in the 56th minute, before Jake Taylor notched Framlingham’s third in the 66th. Caleb Roberts was able to pull one back for Wadham Lodge in the 88th minute.

Report by Scott Lanza @lanzasport