West Essex 1 – 2 Great Wakering Rovers (Buildbase FA Vase 2nd Qualifying Round)
Report by Scott W @ScottMHC14 & www.survivor16b.wordpress.com
On a decent afternoon at Mayesbrook Park, West Essex welcomed fellow ESL side Great Wakering Rovers in this FA Vase Second Qualifying Round tie. Wakering kept the same starting XI that won in league action last weekend.
Wakering did start the match the stronger of the two sides, with winger Billy Johnson giving an early indication of the threat he posed by having two efforts on goal, though they were off-target. Only ten minutes in, Wakering forward Jake Gordon was in prime position to shoot on goal though was adjudged to have been brought down by home defender Koki Appiah, who was subsequently given a straight red card by referee Simmons. The decision certainly ticked off the home side and it was arguably a controversial one to send Appiah off.
Anyhow, Gordon dusted himself down and took the spot-kick himself, duly converting it to give the visitors the lead soon after. West Essex showed their spirit again though as two minutes later, the ten-men were level as Joe Lefley’s free-kick from the right evaded everyone and nestled into the left corner.
The visitors were buoyed on by the equaliser though couldn’t find the target on 18 minutes as Johnson’s strike hit a post then forward Neil Richmond inexplicably missed a tap-in, following up. In the next period of the match, Wakering midfielder Jason Ring and Gordon were denied by home goalkeeper Dan Russell. What followed was not something the home defence will want to remember anytime soon. Hesitant defending from West Essex pair Daniel Christey and Sanchez Hardy led to a poor clearance which Richmond seized on and calmly rolled the ball past Russell to put Iain O’Connell’s side back ahead on 28 minutes.
Again, West Essex responded as a minute later as forward Michael Mignot’s goal-bound drive was tipped wide by visiting goalkeeper Rees Hawkins. Eight minutes before the break, home manager Kwame Kwateng was sent to the stands for arguing with the officials. Wakering really should have been further ahead by half-time as with six minutes to play before the break, Johnson’s left-wing cross found Richmond all alone in the area though the forward blazed his shot over. The hosts had the first chance after the break as from Lefley’s corner, substitute Josh French headed over the bar. Gordon shot wide near the hour-mark as Wakering realized they were not ‘home & dry’ just yet in this encounter. On the whole though, the second half was less frantic than the first. Johnson was denied in the area by West Essex defender Josh Kane’s tackle with 19 minutes to play. The hosts continued to seek another leveller and with 12 minutes left, substitute Cameron Gray’s corner found captain Tom MacLeod though his header hit the crossbar.
Wakering did hold on to secure their place in the First Round Proper of the competition though certainly could’ve scored more today. West Essex will undoubtedly point to the early sending-off as a turning point though weren’t quite at their best, perhaps this being their third match in a week maybe took its toll a bit.
West Essex: Dan Russell (GK), Sanchez Hardy (Isaac Marfo 83’), Josh Kane, Tom MacLeod (C), Koki Appiah, Daniel Christey, Michael Mignot, Brad Russell, Tom Woodbridge (Cameron Gray 57’), Joe Lefley, Fatos Zeqiri (Josh French 46’)
Scorer – Joe Lefley (14’) Sent Off – Koki Appiah (11’)
Great Wakering Rovers: Rees Hawkins (GK), Charlie Seaden (Stephen Butterworth 46’), Oliver Woodhouse, Scott Pethers (C), Louis Robinson, Samuel Carter (Chris Bryan 84’), Jason Ring, Ricky Evans, Neil Richmond, Jake Gordon (Aaron Russell 64’), Billy Johnson
Scorers- Jake Gordon (12’ pen), Neil Richmond (28’)