There were moments during Saturday’s Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round match at Deal Town when it just seemed that a place in the Fifth Round draw was going to elude Binfield.
The Moles lost captain Sean Moore before kick off and will have a number of players facing a race against time to be fit for the replay on Saturday, not least goalscorer Josh Helmore who limped off in the second half.
That didn’t stop the Moles flying out the gates, a lively coach ride down to the coast in Kent apparently just the tonic for any nerves that may have been hanging around.
Several chances fell to Moore’s replacement, Jemel Johnson – a former Vase winner with Thatcham Town, but it was Helmore who had the ball in the back of the net only to see his strike correctly ruled out for off side.
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The Moles other former Vase winner, Tom Melledew picked up a yellow card in the first half, a booking that was to prove crucial to the second half narrative when five minutes after the half time break, challenge on a Deal midfielder on the break earned him a second booking and an early shower.
Deal took the initiative at this point, it took Binfield a long to time to settle, it seemed to happen though in one of those strange nuances of football, when Moles defender Calam Gallimore gave away a penalty in the 70th minute, goalkeeper Chris Grace guessed correctly but the strike was to far to his right, 1-0 Deal.
That goal seemed to galvanise Binfield though, giving them a target. Paceman Asa Povey joined the fray off the bench and caused all sorts of problems for the home defence, defender Liam Gavin had two decent chances to get the leveller but the ball just never quite fell for the Moles.
With six minutes to go though, a trademark Gallimore long throw, dealt with most of the afternoon well by the home side, eventually found Helmore in the box, his touch and turn thumped home for the equaliser.
1-1 it was at full time, both sets of supporters in the 500 odd crowd were forced to sit through a nervy extra time, but no additional goals mean it’s all back to Binfield on Saturday for a replay.
Verdict: With 11-men Binfield would have been disappointed with a replay, given their early dominance, but all in all a fair result and the return in Berkshire should be a cracker.
Binfield: Grace, Thomson-Wheeler, Legg, Melledew, Gavin, Gallimore, Howell (c), McClurg, Johnson, Short, Helmore Subs used: Povey, Shaw Not Used: Moore, Chamberlain, Kamara, Veal, Williams