Ollie Harris scored twice and helped set up another goal as Binfield blasted their way into the fourth round of the Buildbase FA Vase with a sensational 4-1 win at Deal Town.
They now face another long trip next Saturday, this time to Norfolk to face Fakenham when the winners will be through to the last 16 and a step closer to Wembley, where Deal had triumphed in 2000.
Last Saturday’s victory was made all the sweeter by the fact the Moles had been knocked out by the Kent side in last season’s competition, losing the replay in a penalty shoot-out at Hill Farm Lane.
Roger Herridge was the manager that day and, although no longer in charge, he was back helping joint-managers Jamie McClurg and Carl Withers in the dugout for this third-round tie which had originally been scheduled for December.
It wasn’t the most comfortable of starts following the long lay-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then the latest lockdown, with the players having to change on the Stewarts coach and then having their team talk on the pitch at a damp and windy Charles Ground.
Not surprisingly, they took a little time to settle into the game and found themselves trailing in the seventh minute when Deal centre-back Alfie Foster got on the end of Macca Murray’s inswinging corner though it wasn’t quite clear what part of his body got the final touch to send it past keeper Chris Grace.
Binfield responded well although for quite a lengthy period of the opening 45 minutes both sides struggled to create many chances with the defences standing firm at each end.
The Uhlsport Hellenic League men have shown many times before they are more than capable of coming up with the goods when it mattered and they prised open the Deal defence for a deserved equaliser in the 36th minute. From a Harris free-kick 35 yards out, Liam Gavin headed the ball back across goal to find Josh Helmore unmarked in front of goal and he volleyed home.
From that moment onwards, Binfield always held the upper hand over their Southern Counties East League opponents and Harris went close before seeing skipper Sean Moore fire them ahead in the 62nd minute following good work by George Short in midfield.
Their third goal followed on 75 minutes when home skipper Kane Smith missed a chance to cut out a move involving Jack Thompson-Wheeler and substitute Josh Howell, who had replaced Helmore in the 56th minute, with the ball eventually finding its way to Harris to finish off.
And man-of-the-match Harris put the cherry on the cake shortly before the end when from just outside the area he unleashed a superb curling shot into the top right-hand corner.
Related: Full FA Vase Fourth Round draw
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