Isuzu FA Vase 1st Round – Saturday 22nd October
Buckhurst Hill 2 – 2 Basildon Town
Buckhurst Hill Win 5-3 Pens
Report By Scott Lanza
Images by David Jackman
The Stags are into the 2nd Round of the FA Vase having come through a tough encounter against a Basildon Town side that went in at the break two goals down, but then put in a solid second half performance that saw them level the tie in the final minutes. However Buckhurst Hill held their nerve in the penalty shoot-out and eventually ran out 5-3 winners.
The Stags were awarded a penalty in the 8th minute, but Hassan Nalbant’s penalty was placed far too near Matt Knight and the Basildon keeper was able to save it. The visitors then had a go themselves in the 14th minute with Mike Ofayune blazing a shot over the cross bar. A minute later and Sonny Shilling had a shot deflected for a corner which was then cleared by Mitchell Keen.
Chances were at a premium at times, as this was a full-bloodied Vase tie with neither team shirking challenges, so there were lots of battles going on all over the pitch.
That changed in the 23rd minute when Nalbant outpaced his marker before unleashing a powerful shot that whistled past the keeper to give the Stags the lead.
Basildon were able to get a dangerous cross into the box in the 29th minute that Dan Blockley caught whilst under heavy pressure but the Stags then doubled their lead in the 36th minute as Nathan Sollosi got a high ball under control before curling a shot into the net. Two clear chances, two goals: Buckhurst Hill looked like they were in control at the break.
However Basildon Town came out very much on the front foot in the second half and wasted a glorious chance to pull one back inside the opening minute. A well placed ball reached Rhys Fatts at the back post but he could only fire it wide of the target.
The visitors continued to press and finally carved out a good opportunity in the when Fatts centred to Grant Cumming who then smashed his shot past Blockley. And just like that the pendulum had swung in Basildon Town’s favour and all of a sudden it was very much Buckhurst Hill that were against the ropes.
In the 71st minute Bradleigh Rowland, currently on loan from us, looked like he had equalised for his current team – it was to be ruled out for offside. At the other end Wynter and Nalbant both put shots wide. Then came a real heart-in-mouth moment as a back pass almost played in Fatts but Blockley was able to get to the ball first and kick it clear.
But Basildon Town’s constant pressure finally paid off in the 88th minute when Bowers and Blockley both went up for a high ball, with the Basildon player getting a powerful header on target that Blockley could only appear to punch into his own net. Bowers claimed it though and then moments later had a sizzling shot tipped superbly away by Blockley. The final whistle couldn’t come soon enough as Basildon Town were by now well and truly on the front foot.
Having witnessed an evenly-contested 90 minutes it was now down to who could hold their nerve in the penalty shoot-out. Nathan Sollosi stepped up first and converted his, but Bradleigh Rowland did likewise for Basildon Town. Then Fehinti Falola sent the keeper the wrong way but Rhys Fatts then did the same. Tyler Dolan then scored the next penalty which was followed by Dan Blockley saving the next Basildon penalty. Josh Banfield fired his penalty home, while Billy Hutchinson kept Basildon in it by scoring their fourth penalty. But it was now all down to Ezekiel Bademosi and he duly drilled his shot past Knight to see Buckhurst Hill into the next round after a tough and at times tense battle.
Dan Blockley, Liam Foster, Ted Buchanan, Alfie Harris, Conor Tyrrell (Louis Wynter 54′), Tyler Dolan, Josh Banfield, Hassan Nalbant (Fehinti Falola 80′), Sonny Shilling (Ezekiel Bademosi 54′), Nathan Sollosi.
Scorers – Hassan Nalbant 25′, Nathan Sollosi 36′
Gallery & Images courtey of David Jackman – Everything Local News