Fa Vase

Coleshill Town 1

Newcastle Benfield 1

(4-2 after penalties)

A brilliant individual goal from Luke Carr was not enough for Benfield to progress through to the last 16 of the FA Vase

The Lions were hit with a cruel last minute equaliser forcing the game to extra time whereupon Coleshill progressed through to Next Round.

Full match report to follow……

After 240 minutes of football, two teams from the same level in the football pyramid, from almost 200 miles apart, simply could not be separated, meaning that the only possible way to find a winner was by the lottery of kicks from the penalty mark. Sadly, it was a broken-hearted Benfield squad that bowed out, having seen Coleshill convert all 4 of theirs and both Joe Hailes and Kieran Wrightson saw both of their efforts saved by home keeper Paul Hathaway.

The team from the sleepy, leafy lanes of affluent Warwickshire now move on to host Bracknell Town in the last 16, while for Benfield there is the chance for sombre reflection on the miniscule, yet unforgiving margins between success and failure.

Similar to the first game the week before, the first half of this contest saw Benfield on the front foot for most of the opening period. The 4G surface at bucolic Pack Meadow suited The Lions’ slick, incisive passing game, while the home team relied more on long ball tactics, primarily by utilising the prodigious kicking of Hathaway to switch play from one end to the other in the shortest time possible. Despite the contrasting styles on display, the common factor was a lack of real chances in both goalmouths. There were close shaves and hairy moments, but until Jake Orrell’s superb turn and testing low shot that Hathaway did well to palm away in the 37th minute, neither keeper was called into action and so the score remained unsurprisingly blank at the break, even if in terms of possession, Benfield should have been at least two goals ahead.

The second half was a closer affair, punctuated with a myriad range of stoppages for injuries, post-foul lectures and the retrieval of match balls from the surrounding fields, though again chances were at a premium. A visibly tiring home side were being pushed back by visitors who sought vainly for an opener and it almost came with 10 minutes to go when Jake Orrell slid a ball across the area for the on-rushing Luke Carr. Agonisingly, he was on the stretch and could only steer his shot over the bar. However, there was still time for enough drama in Shakespeare’s home county for a five-act tragedy. On 94 minutes, Luke Carr found himself free on the left side of the box. His shot was firm, true and with the added benefit of a crucial deflection off a home defender. When it nestled in the bottom corner, past the grasp of the despairing Hathaway, it seemed as if the Lions had done it.

In the film Clockwise, John Cleese plays the uptight and obsessive head teacher Brian Stimpson who sums his philosophy on life up as “it’s not despair I hate. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope I can’t stand.” Never was this more apt than during this game. During the final seconds of injury time, Coleshill made one last desperate effort to rescue the game and, unbelievably, drew level. An inviting cross from the left by Ryan Edmunds was powerfully headed home, via the inside of the post, by the impressive Luke Edwards. It was a magnificently placed effort and no keeper in the world would have got near it. The final whistle, 30 seconds later, was drowned out by the cheers of the still celebrating home support.

Extra time, the same as last week, was tight and attritional, with the best and most significant chance falling to Coleshill, following a mix-up in the Benfield penalty area. It was missed and, so we went to penalties, with the devastating outcome mentioned before. Best of luck to Coleshill; they were spirited, worthy opponents who rode their luck, though Benfield will lose sleep over the chances blown over two legs to advance in the competition. Of course, there’s always next year.

Good luck to Coleshill in the next round 👍🏆⚽️

Absolutely delighted with all the players and the support we had for the game, unfortunately it wasn’t to be this year but there is still a lot to play for this season. We are down and hurting but will be back at it again for Tuesday.

🏆⚽️🏆⚽️🏆⚽️🏆⚽️🏆⚽️🏆⚽️

Special thanks to all the Newcastle Benfield fans 2 bus loads 👏

However we need to get these two a Watch bus leaves at 8 not 9😂