Binfield joint-manager Jamie McClurg praised Josh Helmore for the way he had battled back to fitness following a long lay-off through injury after his two goals saw the Moles reach the fifth round of the FA Vase for the first time.
The tie at Fakenham Town on Saturday ended 2-2 before Binfield won the penalty shoot-out 4-1 with keeper Chris Grace making two brilliant saves while Josh Howell, George Short, Sean Moore and McClurg all made no mistake from the spot.
They now go to Barnet-based Hadley this Saturday – their fourth successive away tie in the competition. The Moles are certainly enjoying their excursions these days with Helmore a particular happy traveller as he had also scored the previous week in the 4-1 victory at Deal.
MATCH REPORT: Fakenham Town 2-2 Binfield
“It’s great he has come back in the way he has, but I think he’s still finding his feet after his lay-off of several months due to a bad ankle injury,” said McClurg.
“All the lads could not be happier for him and I’m delighted.”
Helmore twice equalised, the first in the 33rd minute after the Norfolk side had taken a seventh-minute lead through Callum Brain.
Skipper Moore did extremely well to work his way through the home defence to set up the chance for Helmore to score from close range.
Brain regained the lead for the side known locally as the Ghosts around the hour mark, but this time it took them only two minutes to reply when Moore’s cross was headed on by Short and Helmore chested the ball down before volleying home.
Soon afterwards, Helmore gave way to Howell and the Moles made two more substitutions which must have raised a few eyebrows among their fans.
They were Kensley Maloney and Liam Ferdinand, both signed on dual registration forms from Harrow Borough a few weeks ago.
McClurg explained: “Before we returned to (FA Vase) action we realised we could be five or six players light. Josh had not played any football for some time due to a bad ankle injury, so we could not be sure where he was fitness-wise, Asa Povey was injured and we knew he would not be back and Adam Cornell had work and other commitments.
“Jack Broome was suspended and there were one or two others with doubts due to work and family stuff.
“So I asked Ferdy and Kensley if they would sign to help us out if needed and they were both happy to do so. They are great lads on and off the pitch.”
The Moles will keep the same squad for the tie at Hadley, who were sitting sixth in the Essex Senior League with seven wins from eight games when their fixtures ceased.
The games are becoming harder as the Vase final at Wembley gets closer with McClurg commenting: “We have got to the stage where only the very good sides are left in and the matches are going to get tougher, but we are looking no further forward than this Saturday.
“Hadley will be strong opponents, but we will be well prepared as we always are for every game we play.”