Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Six sucker punches see Aveley through in FA Cup

FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Aveley 1 v 0 Hadleigh United

A BILLY Holland hat-trick, a brace from Shane Oakley and a well taken finish from Jack Stevenson was more than enough for the Millers to see themselves into the hat for the second qualifying round of the F.A. Cup.

Hadleigh did grab a late consolation after the away side were given a penalty in the dying seconds after a foul by Junior Dadson, but Aveley were home and hosed by then after the killing the game off as a contest just after the half time interval.

Hadleigh started this cup tie with a lot more impetuous. Having beaten Harlow Town of the Ryman North division in the previous round, the side who had yet to lose in the Thurlow Nunn Premier League were full of confidence and it was clear from the first whistle that they were up for a battle, and it looked like the away side were going to make a very fast start with just four minutes on the clock.

A corner from the left hand side was headed down towards goal by Hadleigh’s Oliver Canfer, and with Ronnie Worster a bystander the ‘keeper would have been pleased to see Ellis Sands on his right hand post available to clear the ball away off the line.

Aveley were struggling to get into the game in the early stages as Hadleigh continued to pressure the home side, but without creating any clear cut chances or forcing Worster into action. Aveley, though, were given a shot in the arm that they so desperately required, when with 16 minutes on the clock they were awarded a penalty.

Hadleigh’s captain, Mark Goldfinch, swung a leg at a bouncing ball but got it all wrong as his attempted clearance spun backwards towards his own goal, with Shane Oakley bearing down on him. The mistake allowed Oakley to stumble his way into the box as he struggled the get the ball out from under his feet, but when he did he was clipped from behind by Kris Rose and the referee had no hesitation in giving the spot kick.

Oakley duly dusted himself off to dispatch the penalty, sending ‘keeper Charlie De Lara-Bell the wrong way, with Rose feeling pretty lucky to find himself still on the pitch as referee Kelly decided a yellow card was sufficient punishment, with people in the crowd and on the home bench calling for a red.

The lead was arguably undeserved, but gave Aveley the kick up the backside they required to get a stranglehold on the game and from there on in it was a much more even contest, with Hadleigh still looking dangerous without creating much, winning a number of corners but doing very little with them.

Aveley could have found themselves two ahead shortly after taking the lead, again through Oakley, who came out best in a crunching tackle with Goldfinch before getting up and dragging his shot wide.

With the heat a serious concern for all involved, the referee decided to call for a drinks break 25 minutes into the match, allowing both managers the chance to have an additional team-talk, allowing them to give much needed advice to their players.

The game took some time to get back going after the drinks-break, until the final 10 minutes of the half when Hadleigh almost found themselves level, only the see Aveley extend their lead going into the half time interval.

With 35 minutes gone, Hadleigh finally made Worster work from a corner from the left. The cross was swung out towards the far post and headed down towards goal by Rose, but with the Hadleigh fans in attendance already celebrating, from point blank range Worster managed to get a glove on the ball, and after a bit of a goalmouth scramble the ball was cleared to the relief of the home supporter inside Mill Field.

The Millers were even more thankful for Worster’s intervention, as just three minutes later the home side extended their lead through Billy Holland’s first of the game.

Neat build up play between Marcus Rose – making his Aveley debut – Paul Burnett and Jack Stevenson on the right allowed Stevenson the time and space to pick out a pin-point first time cross towards the far post. The cross tempted ‘keeper Lara-Bell off his line, but he got caught underneath the flight of the ball, allowing Holland to head into the unguarded net from six yards out after 38 minutes.

The second goal took the wind out of the sails of the away side who had very much been in the game up until that point, but as the away side came out for the second half looking to get an early goal to get themselves back into the cup tie, a second from Holland killed the game off just two minutes into the second period.

The ball was played into Holland on the left where he had peeled off into acres of space and with the Hadleigh defenders trying desperately to recover, Holland cooling curled the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-0 after 47 minutes to put himself on a hat-trick.

Not to be outdone, Shane Oakley then grabbed his second of the game just three minutes later after Sheldon Sellears picked the ball up in the middle of the park, the midfielder played in Junior Dadson who had gone hurtling down the left. The wingers touch was a little heavy, enough so to tempt the’ ‘keeper once again off his line, but Dadson managed to stab the ball across for Oakley to bundle home to make it four with 40 minutes still left to play.

The saying goes that everything comes in threes: well, three minutes after Oakley claimed his second, Holland outdone him by scoring Aveley’s third goal of the half and his third of the game with 53 minutes on the clock.

With Hadleigh pushing forward trying to retrieve something from the game, Aveley hit the away side on the counter attack and found themselves in a three on two situation. Burnett brought the ball forward from just inside the Hadleigh half before laying the ball into the path of Dadson who had slid off to the right. The winger then picked out a perfect cross with the outside of his boot that found Holland unmarked in the centre to head home his hat-trick.

The home side completely their scoring with 71 minutes on the clock, through Jack Stevenson, who latched on from a flick on from Oakley. With second half sub, Jordan Cox, for company, Stevenson took control of the bouncing ball before powering a strike low and into the bottom corner from just inside the area.

Cox will have been bitterly disappointed not to have joined in with the scoring after missing a golden chance to make it seven when he headed wide whilst unmarked at the far post, and Dadson also had an effort cleared off the line after good work from Oakley on the left, Oakley then teed up Dadson, only for his shot to be blocked before being hooked off the line.

Hadleigh for all their endeavour were awarded a chance to grab a consolation goal at the death, when Dadson chopped down Scott Chaplin in injury time in the area for a penalty. Striker Neil Calver stepped up to send Worster the wrong way and ruin Justin Gardner’s and Worster’s hopes of a second successive cup clean sheet.

After the match Gardner said “for 89 minutes and 55 seconds I thought we were superb.”

He continued by saying “Six (goals) is a very comfortable win, but at the same time we could have scored more, I’m greedy. (I’m) more disappointed that we didn’t keep a clean sheet if I’m honest with you, but at the of the day we’ve won comfortably at home after losing 2-1 against Tilbury in our last home game so I’m happy.”

Hat-trick hero, Billy Holland, with match-ball in hand said of the team performance that “the gaffer said before the game that it’s going to be a tough game. He said their midfield were very strong…said first half, battle away, second half get the space and that’s what seemed to happen.”

On his hat-trick, Holland said “he’s (Justin) been on my back a bit a little bit about not scoring, hopefully today I put him right.”

Aveley: Ronnie Worster, Marcus Rose (Alfred Kamara 75’), Lee Sontag, Jack Stevenson, Jay Leader, Ellis Sands, Junior Dadson, Sheldon Sellears, Shane Oakley, Paul Burnett (Junior Appiah 57’), Billy Holland (Jordan Cox 60’)

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