Hallam Stack Hey in the FA Vase
0Posted 14th September 2017 - Posted in Match Reports
Abbey Hey 0 - 1 Hallam FC
The first half began with both units attempting to play some on the deck football which brought about an initial chance for the guests that dissolved into nothing more than a minor warning. The Heys repaid the threat with a chance of their own when a glorious cross was hoofed in. Although the in-coming head of a striker missed the ball it caused surprising trouble for the shocked defender who must have been relieved when he kicked it backwards to fly inches over the bar...just!
More Heys pressure followed, their No 6 (Djenny Bembo) was in, a fine nut goalward came and although the goalkeeper was a trifle late off the mark he did the job in hand and kept us as we were. Hallam responded with some fine interplay that was rounded off by their effective No 8 (Sam Fewkes) who shot low but only found the keepers midriff. Despite the wretched conditions both teams were determined to play their own brand of football and tried their hardest to avoid the basic long ball game, which as a matter of point, may have proved beneficial in the said downpour. The game got back on an even keel, Abbey Hey fought against the tide (literally) and created the odd half chance but nothing outrageous of note came from the murk.
The next highlight came when the visiting No 10 (Andrew Fox) let loose a stunning ball that allowed his teammate to flash over a low-lasered cross - alas no connection was made. Heys came right back but the Hallam defensive line was on form tonight with No 3 (Alex Brown) and No 5 (Tom Cropper) doing some eye-catching work as well as several other hard working bods. The home team though were exhibiting disciplined patience but Hallam were getting toes to every through pass and out of sheer frustration the home No 10 (George Noon) fired in a 25 yard blisterer. It was a grand effort but not grand enough to call the keeper into action. No 7 (Daniel State) came at the other end, he tried something similar but it had too much elevation and disappeared into the filthy night. The game plodded on with both teams grunting and grinding (the dirty tinkers) with Hallam's Fewkes having a late punt that produced a fantastic save by the home keeper who defied the attack with a quick reactive one handed stop. Great work and a fitting moment on which to finalise the first period.
The same pattern developed as seen throughout the first half, lots of midfield bluster just no final cracks found. Alex Brown for The Heys had an early effort that was a mere finger warmer for the opposing mitter and then, from nowhere, No 9 (Rhys Webb) was through on goal. This could easily have been the first fracture of a very resistant defence but the touch was terrible and the chance passed with no further contemplation. Daniel State at the other end had a quick shot in response, the save was regulation and, by this stage, expected. Abbey Hey came again, the hard working Bembo zipped a superb cross-field ball to his colleague who immediately knocked one into the box for Webb to head onward - it was just off target. Hallam, as was the nature of the game, came back. Cropper shot at a sharp angle to test the keeper and moments later the Captain No 9 (Chris Wood), dinked a cross in for No 17 to fire off the mark. We were getting closer to that much sought after opening goal. Hey now rushed hard, No 4 (Lee Wilshaw) did some admirable chasing that led to a move that saw No 8 (Sam Wreakes) eventually pull the trigger - a good save was the result. From here a messy passage of play followed and the rain fell with gusto.
With a seeming stalemate set Hallam made a brace of substitutions. One of the new lads had a peek at goal and only had the keeper to beat - alas the ball was blazed wide. A coming together came next, a 50/50 ball was up for grabs and the Heys No 1 (Elliot Wynne) and a rushing striker threw themselves into the lottery. The two men clattered, the ball was loose and the goalkeeper had taken a mighty crack, game on hold. The injured man was seen to and got up to realise a certain madness had ensued. The ball had been retrieved and was waiting on the penalty spot, an award had been granted to the visitors and no-one, including players and punters, seemed to know what was happening. Up stepped Daniel State, thumped the ball home and we now had a game on our hands. From here Hey threw themselves forth, but it was Hallam's Wood who had the next chance and could have buried the game but, afte rusing good strength, he could only fire the ball into the keepers awaiting arms.
Time ticked, Abbey Hey bobbed and weaved but no killer punch was landed and Hallam safely tucked up and absorb everything the hosts could throw at them. The game came to an end, one team looked distraught, the other chuffed to bits - yes the hand of fate is a crooked thing and who knows what cards it will play and whose spirit it shall break.
For me all players deserved a pat on the back tonight as do the officials who got off their arses and made sure we, the curious public, were entertained. Man of the Match however goes to Hallam's No 2 (Charlie Myers) who was absolutely determined in defense, offered himself as a viable option throughout and threw himself around with convicted belief. You can't beat a good defensive stint, this was a prime example.
Match report by Non-League Punker (with some edits)
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