FA Vase Second Round
Gardiners Close, Basildon
Match Rating: 4
I decided fairly early on this week to visit my penultimate Essex Senior League ground today, with an attractive looking fixture in the FA Vase. However constant rain was forecast throughout today, and thereby brining about the first nervous Saturday morning of the season, monitoring Twitter feeds and finding back-up plans. However, the rain turned out to be constant drizzle rather than downpours and so this game was never in doubt and I indeed paid my second visit to south-east Essex on consecutive Saturdays.
On a really murky afternoon, with constant fine misty rain falling, Basildon were certainly quick out of the traps, opening the scoring with just 4 minutes on the clock, Nathan Dewberry tapping in at the far post following a cross along the six yard box. Dewberry doubled Basildon's lead on 13 minutes following a rebound off of a defender. Basildon were in virtually complete control throughout the first half, although a minute before the break, the visitors did see a free kick floated into the box miss everyone and come back off the far post.
The second half continued in much the same vein, with Basildon dominating, Felixstowe just could not get going and the match seemed to be meandering towards a comfortable home victory, with Basildon having the best chances to score again, a floated shot coming back off the crossbar and a close range far post strike on the stretch was blocked by a defender. Out of nothing Felixstowe gave themselves hope on XX minutes. The ball was chipped into the box from a free kick and although Craig Jennings failed to control the ball initially, he pounced on the loose ball to stab it home. Things got even better for this visitors on XX minutes when they equalised. A good run from midfield towards the outer corner of the area ended with a low cross towards the six yard box and Kyron Andrews tapped the ball home. They barely deserved to be back on level terms, but they upped their game and extra time looked to be on the cards until the sixth minute of added on time when Basildon won the match with a terrific goal by Jamie Brown, who took a few touches to create a little space for himself to curl a lovely low shot from the edge of the area into the far bottom corner, to spark wild celebrations, and at the final whistle which blew shortly afterwards, they celebrated as if they had won a cup. Felixstowe will be so disappointed to lose so late in the game, but Basildon undoubtedly deserved to progress into the last 64 of the competition, and Felixstowe were fortunate to give themselves a chance in the closing minutes.