FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Waltham Abbey 7 Buckhurst Hill 2
Saturday 3rd September
The Stags maiden bow in the FA Cup came to an abrupt end at Capershotts on Saturday, however the hosts did had to come back from 2-0 down and were able to do so by showcasing some clinical finishing.
Buckhurst Hill came out attacking from the offset and actually forced Arthur Janata, the Abbey keeper to come and claim two crosses within the opening few minutes. The hosts also had an early corner, delivered with precession by Nathan Koranteng into the six-yard box requiring Dan Blockley to tip the ball over the bar. The following corner was cleared, but Adam Sikny then hit a shot from outside the box that was only a few inches too high.
In the 16th minute the Stags were awarded a free kick and from it Suley Zuhdu broke the deadlock with a sublime shot that bent round the wall, whizzing past Janata before landing in the top right hand corner of the net.
Four minutes later things got even better for Buckhurst Hill as Ezekiel Bademosi placed Edwin Mensah under pressure and he inadvertently tried to play a back-pass to his keeper, but instead slotted the ball past him and into his own net.
But the hosts were able to re-group and pulled one back in the 22nd minute when a cross in the box was finished off by Billy Holland. Three minutes later another cross was fired home from close range by Christian Adu Gyamfi and then on 28 minutes Koranteng put Abbey in the lead from the penalty spot. And the Abbey firepower was to be unleashed again on 35 minutes as Richard Asamoah poked a cross past Blockley. It was to be fair to the hosts a masterclass in finishing, and showed just why they have been able to compete at Step 4 for many years with a squad of players that have certainly done the rounds at this level or higher in some cases.
Zuhdu did have a shot that was only too high in the 40th minute, but luckily for the Stags the hosts did spurn one chance in first half stoppage time, as a deep cross from the left was poked wide at the back post by Nathan Orafu.
Ted Buchanen drilled a shot across Abbey’s goalmouth within the opening minute of the second half, and the Stags did apply a bit of pressure early on in an attempt to salvage the game. But Orafu then got his head onto an Abbey free-kick to make it 5-2, then three minutes later Orafu made it a brace, making sure with the rebound after Blockley had saved his initial effort.
Two minutes later and a bit more salt was added to the wound, as Koranteng pinged in a fast-paced cross from the left which ricocheted off a Buckhurst Hill player, directing the ball past Blockley and into the net.
The hosts created a few other chances as the game wore on, Orafu having a shot blocked with Otote then steering the rebound well-wide, then Declan Rydings curled a shot towards goal that Blockley kept out with a superb save.
To our credit we did keep going. Zuhdu got himself into the box on a few occasions but found himself at times having no-one to then pass to as Abbey’s defence shut up shop. But the game was won by what happened at the other end.
Buckhurst Hill: Daniel Blockley, Liam Foster, Ted Buchanen, Alfie Harris (Tyler Dolan 75′), Henry Day, Germaine Dua (Conor Tyrell 58′), Max Nicholson, Harry Markatis, Ezekiel Bademosi (Sonny Shilling 58′), Suley Zuhdu (Capt), Jake Moss.
Scorers – Suley Zuhdu (16′), Own Goal (20′)