Berks County and Wallingford Town’s heroic FA Vase runs come to an end

Dan Money and Luke Hayden celebrate Berks County's FA Vase opener. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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Dan Money and Luke Hayden celebrate Berks County's FA Vase opener. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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It just wasn’t to be for the two remaining local contenders in the 2021/22 Buildbase FA Vase at the weekend with both Berks County and Wallingford Town’s runs coming to an end in the Third Round.

Both sides began the competition on the 11th September and played five games in the competition – which was a debut year for County – and both will now likely not have to play in the qualification rounds next season after their efforts.

Wallingford Town were up first on Saturday with a trip to Tunbridge Wells in Kent. Vice-captain Tom Stone said on the Berkshire Football Stories podcast that his side ‘will always score’ and Saturday was no different despite the second-minute setback of conceding the games first goal.

Ben Taylor equalised shortly after but Wally rounded off the opening 45 minutes 3-1 down.

Stone was certainly correct though, Wallingford’s fight-back- as they have done several times already in this seasons competition, notably against Bishop’s Cleeve and Ascot United – was on when Brad Walton’s long ranger was deflected past the goalkeeper.

Lee Matthews side though were sunk on 80 minutes when a corner was headed home and Jack McLaughlin was sent off in the final minutes of the game.

To Sunday afternoon then and Berks County’s first appearance in the FA Vase Third Round.

The Swords looked set for a shock after 9 minutes against Combined Counties League Premier Division Egham Town when Luke Hayden opened the scoring after nine minutes but Egham were never down, hitting the post on the quarter-hour mark and then equalising on 23 minutes.

The visitors were denied a goal after the break thanks to the offside flag but the game tipped in Egham’s favour with 20 to go, Danny (the) Campion (of the world) getting his second of the afternoon while Owen Powell was sent off on 90 minutes for a second bookable offence.

Berks County will dust themselves off that’s for sure, as co-manager Ellis Woods said on the podcast, the cup-run has given the team visibility within the club and brought things together off the pitch – something incredibly valuable to a club only born in 2009.

Listen back to the FA Vase Third Round podcast with Ellis Woods and Tom Stone:

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