The Barrowmen travelled up to South London on Saturday to take on Balham FC in the first preliminary round of the FA Cup. A first meeting between the two sides. The venue was the Mayfield Stadium, Croydon where our hosts ground share with AFC Croydon Athletic recently bought by Stromzy and Wilf. By the look of the route to the ground they have a lot of work to do!! Inside the stadium we were welcomed by a large main stand, and a decent playing surface sped up by the rain which was still coming down.
Town had a number of players; Leahy, Shooman, Remfry all making their first competitive started for the Barrowmen and the bench looked particularly strong as Kev, at an early stage of the season, was clearly looking to start rotating.
Town were quickly in to their stride, looking the more assured, and it didn’t take long for them to go ahead. A deep corner from the left was nodded home firmly by Cooper on 5 minutes. On 8 minutes it was nearly 2-0 as Remfry drove a wicked shot that narrowly deflected over the bar. From the resulting corner Da Costa had a header cleared off the line.
Balham were looking to play out from the back but were having trouble beating the high press lead by the energy of Remfry, Leahy and Barnes. At times when they did beat the press Balham looked neat and tidy in midfield but any up front pressure was well dealt with by our back three of Coops, Clark and Da Costa.
On 29 minutes good work by Langford saw him race clear but be thwarted by a good save. However on 32 minutes we did make it 2-0 as a thumping header from Shooman flew past the keeper. Credit to Clark for a cracking cross but what a header!
On the stroke of half time Lucas was called in to action for the first time but made a good save an Town were in the changing rooms two goals to the good
The second half started fairly quietly but The Barrowmen continued to look the more dangerous. Coops missed a golden chance with a glancing header to add another goal, but we didn’t wait long for a third. Coops got another header in from a corner, which was scrambled off the line but Hallett was there to thump home.
Axell and Towning both came on to the pitch in the second half for their Town debuts, as well as Meehan, in fine early season form, also coming on. And it was that man Meehan who added a fine fourth late on. Balham struck the post from long range, the rebound made it out to Clark, who released Langford away down the left. Langers looked up and played a beautifully weighted ball in to the path of Meehan, who finished with a fine dinked lob over the keeper.
This wrapped up a great afternoons work and send Town in to the hat for the next round where they take on Peacehaven & Telescombe at home. Should be a cracker!!
Final Score: Balham 0 Steyning 4
Town: Lucas, Clark, Da Costa, Cooper, Remfry, Leahy, Barnes, Hallett, Langford, Radley-Martin, Shooman Subs used: Towning, Meehan, Axell Not used: Rondell, Francis, Edwards, Oladokun