Berks County's Luke Hayden. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Berks County's Luke Hayden. Photo: Andrew Batt.

FA Vase: Berks County and Wallingford Town continue to defy odds

Hayden and Opoku-Ware fire Swords through while McLaughlin strikes for Wallingford
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Berks County's Luke Hayden. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Berks County's Luke Hayden. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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Scenes! Absolute scenes.

Step 6 sides Berks County and Wallingford Town are in the draw for the Third Round of the 2021/22 Buildbase FA Vase after superb victories on Saturday against Step 5 opposition.

County’s long trip to Harefield United saw them come away with a 3-2 win while Wallingford beat North Greenford United 1-0 at Hithercroft.

The Swords away day began with being excitedly spotted at the Coppid Beech Hotel on the ‘We Love Binfield‘ page and ended with a place in the Third Round and exemption from the 2022/23 qualifying rounds.

Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Ebby Opoku-Ware. Photo: Andrew Batt.

The game itself started furiously, Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Harefield scoring in the opening minute before Ebby Opoku-Ware levelled things in the second minute from close range.

It took 10 minutes for another goal to come along with Luke Hayden on target in the 13th minute and further Swords chances were denied before Hayden struck again on 36 minutes and the game could well have been out of sight had a penalty been awarded on the stroke of half-time for a challenge on the forward.

The game got tense five minutes into the second half when Harefield pulled a goal back and had a penalty appeal turned down themselves in the 89th minute, but County held on to create yet more club history.

Wallingford Town

Wallingford Town equalled a club record held by AFC Wallingford in reaching the Third Round, knocking out North Greenford United when back in 2001/02 the clubs previous incarnation reached the Third Round, losing out to Abingdon Town.

The only goal of the game came when Jack McLaughlin struck a volley in the 31st minute after a corner was poorly cleared.

There were scares, not least in the 87th minute when the visitors hit the post but celebrations began for the Oxfordshire side at the final whistle who have now beaten three step 5 sides in a row in the competition.

Buildbase FA Vase Second Round Proper

Wallingford Town 1-0 North Greenford United
Harefield United 2-3 Berks County

A full list of all the weekend results is here.

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