Tower Hamlets 10 Little Oakley 1 (Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round)
Report/Photo by Pete Dudley @ped1980
My Buildbase FA Vase campaign continued with another trip to Mile End to see Essex Senior League side Tower Hamlets host Thurlow Nunn One side Little Oakley in a Second Qualifying Round tie. The hosts were flying having won their last six games whilst the visitors had shocked Thurlow Nunn Premier side Haverhill Rovers in a league cup tie in midweek so both would of come into this one full of confidence and I was expecting a home win although I also thought the visitors were not to be underestimated.
Well just seconds into the contest the hosts set the tone for the afternoon by taking the lead when Curtis Pond tapped home a Hasan Mustafa cross to the back post and then in the fourth minute it was two when Pond got in down the right and fired into the far corner for an incredible opening to this game. Oakley almost responded in the seventh minute when they saw a decent effort brilliantly tipped over by Hamlets keeper Lee McKnight and on ten minutes Pond pounced on poor visiting defending to get in but saw his poke at goal go straight at visitors’ keeper Luke Tylan. But only a minute later Hamlets had a third when an appalling header back towards goal by the visitors saw Luke With in on goal and he slotted home and Hamlets lead was increased further still.
Oakley attacked in the 17th minute but after getting into a decent position were wasteful as their effort was skied over the bar, but just before half time they pulled a goal back when a poor defensive header from the hosts allowed Stephen Colley to nip in and drive home and give the visitors hope.
And moments later they almost found a second when they saw a whipped effort go just wide of the far post and Hamlets knew they needed to raise their performance again otherwise they could let their opponents back into the contest. Well with ten minutes to go in the first half Hamlets did just that and restored their three goal cushion when With laid in Pond who strolled in and slotted into the far corner for a first half hat-trick and five minutes later Hamlets grabbed a fifth as a With header smacked against the bar, hit keeper Tylan on the back of the head, and went into the net, kind of summing up the visitors day so far. Oakley fired over the hosts’ crossbar two minutes before the break but Hamlets managed to find a sixth before the break when more atrocious defending saw Pond allowed in to grab his fourth of the half and see the hosts with an emphatic 6-1 half time lead.
Oakley’s task was now to not be totally embarrassed and they had the first effort of the second period when eight minutes into it saw a Colley volley fly a foot over the hosts bar in a rather quiet period in the game. But twenty minutes into the second half Hamlets found a seventh goal when Danny Childs saw his effort from outside the box go through the grasp of Tylan and into the far corner of the net and five minutes later it was eight as substitute James Ross pounced on a loose ball to fire home with his right foot. It was too easy for the hosts now as they soon made it nine when Ross grabbed his second of the game, firing across keeper Tylan into the far corner, and two minutes later it was ten with Mustafa burst through on the right and struck an effort beyond Tylan into the far corner. It was the first time I’d seen any senior side hit double figures in my 27 years of watching football!!!
And with twelve minutes left Pond should have had his fifth and Hamlets eleventh but saw his poke drift inches wide of the far post. Oakley tried to find a second and almost found it with eight minutes left when they struck a free kick just wide and then three minutes later saw a glancing header juggled by McKnight before he managed to gather the ball. Moments later a long range strike from the hosts saw Tylan push away, before the visitors saw an effort fly across Hamlets goal in the final minute. Soon after the final whistle went to put Oakley out of their misery and end a ruthless afternoon from the hosts. That’s seven wins in a row now for Hamlets and they go through to the first round proper of the competition.