Walsham-le-Willows out of FA Vase as Tilbury progress at Morrish Stadium
Jack McQueen’s goal in first half stoppage time put an end to Walsham-le-Willows’ journey in the Isuzu FA Vase as Chay Budd and Ian Hubbard’s side bowed out at the last-32 stage in a 1-0 defeat at the Morrish Stadium.
After a scrappy first half, which saw a nine-minute period that consisted of four yellow cards, the visitors took the lead when defender McQueen prodded the ball home after a melee in the penalty area.
Having struggled to create clear-cut chances in the first half, Walsham battled well in the second and on another day could have found an all-important equalising goal, Jack Brame came closest for the hosts as his volley from point-blank range was blocked by his own player – Ethan Garcia.
But the defeat should not paper over what a fantastic run it has been in the Vase for the Willows. Prior to this season, the furthest the club had got in the competition was the second round and the duo of Budd and Hubbard allowed their side and the Morrish Stadium to dream.
Joint Walsham joint-bosses named two changes from their side’s 2-2 draw at home to Harleston Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last weekend.
Scott Chaplin dropped out of the squad with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Charlie Iglesias – who scored when coming off the bench in the previous round – and Charlie Norman returned from suspension to replace Ryan Clarke.
As for Tilbury, they made two changes from their 4-1 win away at Little Oakley last Saturday as Harry Donovan and Alex Calrk dropped out for Igli Metalia and Connor Martin.
The ball spent a lot of the opening 10 minutes in the air but it was the visitors who threatened to create the first chance of the game. Metalia teased an inswinging delivery from the left corner of the penalty area to the back post where Trendall ghosted in, but could not apply the finish with a diving header.
Tilbury looked the most likely side to break the deadlock and they almost did minutes later when Carter blasted an effort from the edge of the box, that look destined to nestle in the bottom corner as it swirled towards goal, but Sam Nunn put is body on the line to block the powerful strike.
Having soaked up a lot of the pressure and struggled to get a foot-hold on the game, the Willows fashioned their first sight at goal when the ball ricocheted to Harvey Hubbard on the edge of the box, who scuffed his low effort wide of the mark.
The contest threatened to boil over at multiple points in the first half with challenges flying in from all areas and free-kicks breaking up the flow of the game. Garcia’s name went into the book when he left his mark on Trendall with a high challenge and moments later Hubbard was shown a yellow card for a late tackle in Tilbury’s half.
Tilbury’s Carter was the next player to be brandished a yellow card for a foul on Cooper, as he broke down the right, and then Nunn rounded off four bookings in nine minutes with a late challenge on the halfway line.
The Willows had struggled to make the ball stick in the final third but pieced together their best attack five minutes before the break.
Garcia sparked the move with a brilliant touch and pass to Iglesias who drove down the right. His cross was cleared only as far as Matthew Glover who caught his first-time volley almost too sweetly as it flew over the crossbar.
The amount of stoppages the first half endured was encapsulated in four minutes additional time, and it was right on the cusp of the half-time whistle when the Dockers took the lead.
Macauley Joynes’ deep free-kick caused a scramble in the box and, as Walsham failed to clear their lines, McQueen was on hand to stab the ball home and break the deadlock just before the break. On the balance of play, it was a deserved lead.
The visitors started the second half the brighter of the two teams and could have killed the game off had Reece Lanchester not been on hand to make a last-ditch clearance to deny Metalia a tap in at the back post.
Chances came few and far between for the hosts and Budd and Hubbard would have known their side had to be clinical when they got the chance to find an equaliser. Their best opportunity of the match so far fell to Hubbard who pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area but the midfielder skewed his left-footed effort wide.
The hosts then fashioned another good opportunity as Brame rose highest from to latch onto a Norman free-kick, but he could only direct his header straight at North who claimed gratefully.
Growing in confidence, the Willows came forward again with the dancing feet of Norman, who curled a teasing low delivery into the box that just evaded Hubbard on the stretch.
The Essex Senior League Premier Division leaders could not get out of their half as the Morrish Stadium faithful helped their side rally forward. After his header was saved moments before, the ball broke to again to Brame in space and it looked for all the world that he was about to hammer home the equaliser.
However, the skipper’s strike from point-blank range was blocked by Garcia. A sign that it was not to be Walsham’s day.
After the hosts huffed and puffed for a leveller, Tilbury went up the other end and almost confirmed their place in the last 16. Trendall weaved his way to the goal line on the right and fired the ball across the penalty area, but no man in white was able to turn it home.
That turned out to be the last action of the game, as the Willows could not fashion a chance in seven minutes of stoppage time, which meant Walsham bowed out of the FA Vase.
Walsham-le-Willows: Dunne, Cooper, Lanchester, Nunn, McKenzie-Vince, Hubbard (Clarke 87’), Glover, Norman. Iglesias (Dongray 54’), Brame (cpt), Garcia (Blyth 81’)
Tilbury: North, McQueen, Joynes, Hayes, Martin, Marlow, Carter, Metalia (Salter 60’) (Spooner 80’), Trendall (Agyiri 87’), Campbell (cpt)
Unused substitutes: Fry, Page, Browne, Mokwenye
Suffolk News MOTM: Kyran Cooper – Got up and down the right wing excellently and provided some brilliant challenges to thwart Tilbury’s attacks on their left-hand side.