Match Report: FA Cup Binfield Town
EMIRATES FA CUP FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND
WHYTELEAFE 2 – 0 BINFIELD TOWN FC
So, an Emirates FA Cup match under the lights at Church Road. Always a lovely occasion and guaranteed to have a great atmosphere and so it proved on Tuesday evening when Leafe entertained Binfield Town FC.
Not a regular visitor to Whyteleafe as they are based in Bracknell and play in the Hellenic League Premier Division, Binfield are a level below us in the football pyramid. However, this is the FA Cup and history tells us that underdogs do rather well in this competition.
For both sides it was their third FA Cup match of the season, Leafe having already beaten Glebe FC and Bearsted FC in earlier rounds.
Fresh from a scintillating away win at Herne Bay (4-1) on Saturday in the first league game of the season, Leafe were hoping to progress in a competition that has been eventful – to say the least - in recent seasons, reaching the fourth qualifying round last term plus in the present weird times, FA Cup matches provide vital - and welcome - extra cash in the club’s coffers.
A crowd of 253 settled down to enjoy the match. A cagey opening 25 minutes with Binfield not giving anything away. They were well set up and every player knew his job although Leafe’s quality began to break them down and at the half hour mark it seemed like a matter of time before a breakthrough came.
Whyteleafe’s top scorer, Ryan Gondoh duly opened the scoring from the penalty spot after another attack down Binfield’s right flank had been unceremoniously brought to a halt in referee Steven Scott’s view.
Once the opener went in Whyteleafe began to relax and move the ball around. We seem a much more versatile team this season and one that can mix up play on demand. If defences play a high line, we have player who can play a precision pass over the top, while if teams drop deep Leafe boss Harry Hudson has players who can un-pick defences.
Binfield weren’t overawed though and continued to make chances. Sadly for them they couldn’t take them, largely due to commanding defensive performances from Leafe’s back four. A great central defensive partnership is forming between Jamie ‘Mr Reliable’ McGeoghegan and Antone Douglas, who looks like he’s never been away. Our visitors’ biggest chance fell to striker, Sean Moore just after the interval. His shot just clearing the bar from close range.
Meanwhile, young full backs Dami Olororunnisome on the right and Jeremie Milambo on the left also played extremely well. While we are talking defence, keeper Tyler McCarthy was described by Brian Davis in his match report on the Herne Bay game as ‘the best keeper in the league’ and on his recent performances it would be hard to argue.
One particular save, late on in the second half with Binfield looking to get back into the game seemed goalbound only for Tyler to somehow get a touch to it. That was the sort of save where the crowd goes silent for a split second trying to comprehend what they’ve just seen. Mind you, a header from Binfield’s standout defender, Tom Willment landed on the top of the crossbar from the resulting corner, although it was one of those that never really looked like it would end up in the net.
Whyteleafe settled matters in the 62nd minute when Ryan Gondoh received the ball on the left of Binfield’s penalty area. He had a fair bit to do facing two defenders although given the form he’s in at the minute it wasn’t a real surprise to see the ball in the back of the net and him heading off to the corner flag to celebrate with his team mates in pursuit!
Talking of corner flags - he’s developed a particularly flamboyant celebration that sees half the team line astern in what I think they’d call dancing! I’ll leave it at that and you’ll need to make up your own mind as to whether it’s a ‘Yes from you’ in terms of artistic merit or not!
To their credit, Binfield didn’t give up. Leafe boss Harry Hudson was pleased to get through the game and praised the visitors for their organisation and determination, while in George Short they have a player with the longest throw-in I have ever seen. His throw is clearly a large part of Binfield’s attacking plan and in the second half, in particular, he subjected the Leafe defence to a tricky aerial bombardment. The distance he gets is quite amazing.
So, Leafe now move into the second qualifying round and will be hoping for another home draw and then who knows … in the meantime, there’s the little matter of a league game at Church Road this Saturday (September 26 – 3pm) when we entertain Chichester City – see you there.
Leafe Line Up: 1 McCarthy 2 Olourunnisome 3 Milambo 4 Graham 5 McGeoghegan 6 Douglas 7 Thompson 8 Orome (captain) 9 Hibbert 10 Mensah 11 Gondoh
Subs Duru for Milambo 52’ – Clarke for Mensah 55’ - Dennis for Thompson 71’