Vase trail: Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
By Gary Broughton
Updated Monday, 31st January 2011
Match 6: Saturday 29th January 2011. 4th Round. Holbrook Sports v Lancing FC. The O-Kra Ground, Holbrook.
It was definitely the M1 route down south this time, and with no mishaps we arrived at the ground shortly after 2pm, only to be greeted by the information that the referee wasn't entirely happy with the state of the pitch, and it could yet be called off.
There didn't seem much wrong with it to us, and off to the bar we went. Luckily it didn't turn into a full afternoon session, and we made our way into the ground proper to watch the game.
Playing down the slope, it was Lancing - just along the coast from Brighton - who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges. The number 8 connected well on the volley from outside the area in the eighth minute, but his shot was straight at the home keeper.
A minute later, a stray pass by a home defender let in the number 7, but he should have done a lot better than screwing hopelessly wide from the edge of the area.
The two teams then cancelled each other out for the next quarter hour, before Holbrook burst into life in the last 20 minutes of the half. "Emile" Ejiofor cracked a volley which had to be turned around the post with an acrobatic save. And from the resulting corner, Lancing were relieved to clear the ball from the goalline after a prolonged scramble.
The Lancing keeper was again called into action to palm a low shot around the post, but he was to beaten on 41 minutes by one of his own men. A tremendous move down the right saw the Holbrook no 8 whip in a tremendous low ball, and to the horror of the visiting supporters the number 4's attempted clearance sliced across goal and into the net.
With the home side having slope advantage for the second half, there seemed an inevitability about where the match was heading, but they started the second half slowly. Lancing weren't exactly offering much, but gladly accepted a lifeline midway through the half when the industrious number 7 fired in a low fizzer from a 25-yard free-kick on the left.
Holbrook were sparked back into life, and Ejiofor twisted and turned inside the area before shooting wide, while Lancing fashioned a chance inside the last ten minutes, but the 7 skewed a shot wide from a deep cross in from the right.
Extra-time was looking a real prospect, and the realisation that a midweek match in Lancing could curtail the Vase run hit home. However, in the first minute of injury time, the referee awarded Holbrook a ridiculously soft free-kick on the right edge of the area following an aerial challenge, and Lee Mitchell floated into the area for Ejiofor to glance home and send the home fans mental.
There was still time for Lancing, and again they could count themselves unlucky, when, in the third minute of injury time, an attacker was clumsily bundled to the ground in the area. The referee surprisingly waved away the protests, and shortly afterwards blew the full time whistle.
It was a case of Ultravox's "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes" as it signalled no replay on the South Coast. And though Lancing could consider themselves unfortunate on the back of those late decisions, there was no doubt that on the balance of play and chances created the right team had gone through.
With the game having been postponed a week, we already knew it was a trip to Coalville Town in the fifth round, and something of a local derby.
FA VASE TRAIL SO FAR (team followed in capitals)
1st Qualifying Round
Sat 04 Sep 3pm NELSON v Abbey Hey (walkover for Abbey Hey)
2nd Qualifying Round
Sat 18 Sep 3pm ABBEY HEY 0 Oldham Boro 0 (after extra time)
2nd Qualifying Round Replay
Tue 21 Sep 7.45pm Oldham Boro 3 ABBEY HEY 2 (after extra time, played at Abbey Hey)
Sat 02 Oct 3.00pm St. Helens Town 2 OLDHAM BORO 1 (played at Ashton Town)
Sat 13 Nov 3.00pm Winterton Rangers 0 ST. HELENS TOWN 2
Wed 15 Dec 7.45pm Holbrook Sports 4 ST. HELENS TOWN 0
Sat 29 Jan 3.00pm HOLBROOK SPORTS 2 Lancing 1