Thatcham Town 8-2 Broadbridge Heath
AN end to Broadbridge Heath’s FA Vase campaign for 2017
The hosts came into the game in excellent form with just one defeat in their last 10 matches a run which sees them on the edge of an automatic promotion position in 3rd. Heath’s recent form has been good with players returning from injury and suspension but once again that familiar story of player availability struck Steve Painters team selection with first choice keeper Michael Chester Best Man at a wedding, Dan Sandell missing out with a groin strain, Darren Helsdown had to work and then George Cousins pulled up in the warm-up.
Heath found themselves a goal down within 4 minutes of the start and that was in somewhat controversial circumstances when Devon Fender was clearly fouled on the halfway line but the Referee allowed play to continue and the ball came out to Shane Cooper-Clark in acres of space and the striker coolly placed his shot wide of Conor Evento and in at the far post. The Heath players’ surrounded the referee but their complaints were ignored and the goal stood.
Things got worse for Heath 6 minutes later when the hosts won the ball wide on the right and some quick passing across the field ended with the ball being played out wide on the left to an unmarked Harry Grant who drilled the ball past Evento for his teams 2nd.
Heath gradually got into the game and finished the half on the ascendency, Tom Bold tried his luck from distance but his shot was
saved comfortably by the Thatcham keeper Chris Rackley. Stuart Chester had a shot blocked from the edge of the penalty area and Rackley was in the right position again to deny Shaun Findlay. In the closing minutes Tim Martin got round the fullback and crossed to the near–post where the ball was eventually cleared following a goalmouth scramble but there was reason for Heath supporters to be optimistic for the start of the second period knowing the next goal would be very important.
And within minutes of the restart Javlon Campbell found himself through on goal but his low shot was saved brilliantly by Rackley diving to his left. The killer goal came 12 minutes into the restart, a counter attack down the left saw the ball played to the feet of Josh Helmore on the edge of the penalty area, with Martyn Flack in close attention the Thatcham striker played a lovely back-heel pass into the path of Cooper-Clark who slammed the ball past Conor for his 2nd of the match. Two minutes later it was 4-0 when Helmore picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and danced his way through Heath defenders to net his 2nd. Javlon Campbell reduced the deficit with a well taken goal on 61 minutes but Helmore completed his hat-trick minutes later to make it 5-1.
The Bears heads were down now and the home-side took full advantage with further goals from Cooper-Clark completing his hat-trick on 70 minutes, Michael Miller and Tom Browne completing the scoring for the Kingfishers. Tom Frankland managed a late consolation in injury time but in the end the Bears were well beaten.
Not too many complaints from the Heath management after game, Painter said we lost to a very good side with some clinical finishing, once the fourth goal was conceded we were all over the place, we lost our composure and they’ve got the quality of players to take full advantage. On the plus side he said the club has won £2,500 in prize money for reaching this stage and to a club like Broadbridge Heath that’s a lot of money.
Team: Evento, Findlay, Robinson, S.Chester, Flack, Howard-Bold, Weller (Frankland 60), Parsons, Fender (McNab 70), Martin (Elkana 60), Campbell.