Against all odds, the Mead’s interest in this seasons Buildbase FA Trophy is still very much alive.
Having drawn Sunday’s original tie, the Mead made the relatively short trip through the Tunnel to face an AFC Hornchurch side who currently sit second in Bostik North with games in hand and favourites for promotion, without Richard Avery, Tobi Ajala and Ellis Green all of whom were missing from the first games squad.
With an ever-lengthening injury list, the performance that the Mead produced really does highlight just what the Gaffer and his squad can achieve. And after a couple of disappointing performances since the FA Cup tie with Billericay Town, this night was all about heroes dressed in Blue and White (and Grey and White of course in Lewis Carey’s case).
The first half was very much a midfield battle with chances at a premium. The Mead’s best fell to Tashi-Jay Kwayie as he clipped the outside of a post when Bode Anidugbes poor corner caused chaos, and then forced home keeper Mott into a fine save with his legs from Jake McIntyre’s fine ball. The home side’s best chance saw Lewis make a fine save to deny Warner just before half-time.
The Mead took the lead four minutes after half time when Scott Kinch was on hand to head Jake’s corner into the net before Jake resumed his full back role in a back line that was simply magnificent on the night with Skipper Leon Smith led by example whilst Joe Denny and Harvey Brand both arguably put in their best performances for the club.
The lead was doubled on fifty-five minutes with arguably the move of the night. Jake found the tireless Laurent Mendy, who’s swift interchange with Tash brilliantly released Bode who was only denied by a tremendous save by Mott. The keeper though could only block Bodes effort and the ball dropped so invitingly to Tash who drove the rebound into the net.
Purcell then drew Lewis’ best save of the night to deny a great run before midway through the second half, the home side made a triple substitution to try and get back into the game, but there was almost no way through the magnificent Blue and White wall that was thrown across the pitch with Leon, Joe, Jake and Harvey all outstanding with their blocks, tackles, challenges and interceptions, ably assisted by Lewis behind them and Kinchy and the rest of the midfield in front of them. Indeed, it took a moment of pure brilliance to breach them as substitute Fanimo gloriously volleyed home a half-cleared corner just nine minutes from time that flew into the bottom corner.
It sparked the home side to press even more but the Mead were not to be denied a place in the next round against Brightlingsea Regent and of course the £3,000 prize money…
THE MEAD – Carey, Brand, McIntyre, Kinch, Smith, Denny, Anidugbe, Kwayie, Vines, Teniola, Mendy
Updated 22:04 - 11 Oct 2017 by MIKE GREEN
Subs – O’Connor, McIntosh, Adeniran, Ovenden