VCD Athletic 3-1 Hanwell Town - This will give us a massive boost today, I think that's quite a big scalp looking at their cup record, says Vickers boss Keith McMahon

Saturday 13th October 2018
VCD Athletic 3 – 1 Hanwell Town
Location Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN
Kickoff 13/10/2018 15:00

The Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round
Saturday 13 October 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Oakwood

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon says the club have pulled off a big scalp after knocking Hanwell Town out of The Buildbase FA Trophy in the Preliminary Round.

Hanwell Town arrived in Crayford sitting in thirteenth-place in the Bostik South Central Division with 10 points on the board from their opening six games, while VCD Athletic were in seventh-place in the Bostik South East Division with 15 points on the board from their nine league outings.

But Chris Moore and Wayne Clarke’s men were knocked out of The FA Cup in a Third Qualifying Round Replay by Bostik Premier Division side Leatherhead on Tuesday night. The Tanners progressed after holding their nerve from the penalty spot – winning 4-2 – after a goalless draw after 120 minutes of football.

Hanwell Town had defeated North Leigh from the Southern League Division One Central 4-2; Bostik Premier Division side Potters Bar Town 2-1 and Southern Premier Division Central Division outfit Lowestoft Town 1-0 before taking Leatherhead to two games.

McMahon recalled his star-striker Charlie MacDonald, 37, after recovering from an ankle ligament injury that kept him out of their last two games and he notched his seventh and eighth goals of the season here today.

Ali Fuseini, 29, who slotted in behind MacDonald, drove in a second goal to give Vickers a commanding 2-0 lead on the stroke of half-time.

Hanwell Town targetman Ibrahim Olutade – who scored 34 goals for Combined Counties League side Balham last season – headed in from the goal-line to score his fifth goal for Hanwell to give his team hope, before MacDonald dinked in a penalty with three minutes remaining to send VCD Athletic through to the next round in 14 days time.

“Really pleased, I thought we got what we deserved to be fair,” said McMahon, after ending a winless run of three games, while Hanwell Town extended their winless run to four.

“I thought first half we were outstanding, played some great football against a really good side.

“I watched them a month ago, knew they were strong. They’ve had a very good FA Cup run knocking out two Premier Division sides and losing on penalties on Tuesday.  I knew it would be tough but we’ve got some players back. We took a bit of a gamble as well with a couple which wow one’s paid right off.

“I thought in blustery conditions as well in the second half I thought we withstood a bit of pressure and got the result that we deserved.

“I was pleased with the players. I thought we also showed a battling side to our performance today. There were some outstanding performances. Young Courtney Barrington, we put him in on the left, he’s 18, came from Corinthian last year and I thought he was outstanding first half.”

VCD Athletic produced a fine move to create their first opening inside the opening six minutes.

Winger Alex Gaggin and right-back Jeffery Gyamfi linked up and Alastair Gordon and Aymun El-Moyhalbel flicked the ball on for Fuseini to float in a cross from the edge of the penalty area for MacDonald to flick his volley across the keeper and past the far post from the edge of the six-yard box.

“Great bit of football.  We dropped Ali back in – he’s been playing up front for us – you give him the ball and he causes people problems,” said McMahon.

“I thought he basically ran the game in the first half. When we gave him the ball his pass was brilliant for Charlie and he’s hit it with the outside of his foot just wide. It was a great move from us.”

Hanwell Town then enjoyed a good spell of pressure.

Louis Bircham floated in a free-kick from the right and after Oliver Duffy’s driven shot was blocked, Olutade drove his shot just over the crossbar from 18-yards.

Right-winger Ahmed Elsahib drove down the wing and got past Junior Baker to whip in a deep cross and Tom Collins nipped in front of Gyamfi at the far post to steer his shot straight at Joe Mant from 10-yards.

Hanwell created an even better chance when in the 13th minute, Bircham floated in their first corner from the right, which sailed over Baker’s head at the far post and Olutade planted his free header straight at Mant from eight-yards.

“It’s one we expected them to do. It was deep, we knew they were going to be dangerous from set-plays, they’re a very, very big side,” said McMahon.

“When they brought their forward on they must’ve had seven players over six foot three I think and we’ve got two so it was always going to be a battle.  I knew what they were like a set-plays so I thought that’s why I was very pleased at how well we tried to defend them.”

Hanwell Town missed a glorious chance when MacDonald was caught offside for the second of six times, keeper Aaron Bufton launched a kick up field and Calum Duffy played in Collins, but his low shot was cleared off the line by a sliding Jack Steventon.

“That’s what they’re there for, to defend.  We knew they were going to be chances so we had to defend as well as attack,” added McMahon.

VCD Athletic weathered the storm and went close to scoring when Gordon played the ball into Fuseini’s feet.  He turned centre-half Rhys Paul, took a touch before curling a shot around the top of the far post from 18-yards.

McMahon said: “We thought it was in! It was just showing the dominance.  I thought when we got the ball and kept it, some of our football was brilliant and they couldn’t live with us with how quickly we moved the ball and that’s what we kept telling them to do.

“I didn’t think their midfield could cope with our midfield three with Alastair Gordon, Aymun El-Moyhalbel and Ali Fuseini.  I thought every time they played the ball we moved them about a bit and that was one of our plusses but this week when we done it we had someone up top who finished it.”

After an open first 20 minutes, the game then turned into a midfield battle as both defences dominated.

VCD Athletic deservedly opened the scoring with 30 minutes and 40 seconds on the clock, courtesy of two pieces of quality in the final third.

Hanwell had plenty of bodies behind the ball but Fuseini threated a sublime low pass in between centre-halves Paul and Harry Tamplin to put MacDonald through and the striker let the ball roll across him before drilling a first time right-footed shot across the keeper into the bottom far corner from 15-yards.

“Listen, it was a great finish but it was a great move,” said McMahon.

£It was the ball up to Ali Fuseini. We must’ve had six or seven great, wonderful first time passes and Ali Fuseini’s got that in his locker.  Him and Charlie have got a great understanding and the pass was unbelievable. He threaded it through an eye of a needle and a centre forward of that calibre shows why we took a gamble on him. He’s not fit. He was maybe a week away so we had to make a bit of a call.

“I keep talking about Charlie but if people saw the work that he’s put in this week to get himself fit is unbelievable and the finish was first class and a great finish.”

Hanwell central-midfielder Calum Duffy unleashed a rasping swerving drive from 35-yards, which forced Mant to pluck the ball out of the air above his head, which pleased McMahon.

“We were right behind that and he’s just hit it and the ball moved all over the place and to be fair to Joe he’s plucked it out of the air like it was a back pass!

“He needed that because I think he had a bit of a shaky first 20 minutes if I’m honest.  I don’t know if the wind affected him.  He missed a cross and he’s come out of his box a couple of times when he shouldn’t have and I think that save just settled him down a little bit.

“Joe’s a good goalkeeper. He’s young, we keep forgetting how young he is. It was comfortable but it was moving.”

Tamplin told lethargic left-winger Louis Bircham “to wake up” six minutes before the winger was inevitably withdrawn at the break.

Hanwell left-back Andrew O’Brien launched a throw into the Vickers penalty area but Calum Duffy’s near-post header sailed harmlessly wide of the target.

VCD Athletic doubled their lead with a minute and 16 seconds into stoppage time.

Central midfielder Gordon, who was seeing plenty of the ball, clipped the ball down the right channel to release Gaggin, who was given time and space to play in a low cross for Fuseini to sweep his first time drive towards goal from 18-yards.  His shot deflected off Paul and wrong-footed Bufton to nestle into the back of the net.

“I think it was going in anyway, he struck it so well but again it’s a great move,” hailed McMahon.

“I’m trying to tell them to kill the game. We’ve hit them on the break three times before that to be fair and could’ve scored.

“With a minute to go we’ve just pinged it around them. I think it was a great move down the right and Ali Fuseini has just come across and hit it first time and buried it in the bottom corner.

“It was a great time to score just before half-time and I thought it was what we deserved.  I thought we were two goals better than them in the first half, I thought that was how strong we were.

“I came in (at half-time) and said to them that’s nearly a complete performance for us,” added McMahon.

“I thought our work-rate was great. I just said keep the ball. We knew we were going to be under it second half. I said they were going to make the sub as they did at half-time with another massive forward (Chendlik) coming on.  I said they will go route one, they’ll use the wind and go route one and they did.

“I said we’ll have to weather the storm but I think if we kept the ball well and hit them on the break and we did that.  We had a couple of great chances. We put Charlie MacDonald through again and the keeper’s made a fantastic save from him and we’ve had a couple of other chances.”

Hanwell added more height to their forward line as Gareth Chendlik came on,  before Tre Mitford came on and played down the left wing in the 53rd minute.

Paul powered a headed a clearance forward, the ball was knocked down by Chendlik and Calum Duffy’s right-footed drive deflected off El-Moythalbel and was easily gathered by Mant in the 51st minute.

Mitford made an immediate impact on the game as Hanwell were then thwarted by a smart save from Vickers keeper Mant.

Chendlik moved the ball in from the left to release Mitford, who played Olutade through on goal but Mant rushed off his line swiftly to make a vital block.

McMahon said: “Great save, great save!  The lad (Olutade) was a handful. I knew he was, I went to watch him. He’s strong, he’s quick and they just played a ball over the top for him and they’ve got in behind and Manty’s come out and made a fantastic save for us at a very good time as well.”

Hanwell Town were on top at this stage and they created another chance when Mitford drove at the Vickers defence and cut the ball back from the by-line, which flashed behind Olutade and Collins floated in a deep cross towards the far post for Mitford to rise to send his free-header straight at Mant from eight-yards.

McMahon added:  “Again, they were just putting balls into the box. I thought we defended well.  Apart from the goal they haven’t hurt us.”

Hanwell Town deserved their goal when it arrived with 17 minutes and 33 seconds on the clock.

Collins floated over a deep cross from the right and Mitford was given space at the far post to loop a header over Mant only to see the ball clip the post and poacher Olutade was on hand to nod the ball over the line.

McMahon said: “Goal line scramble, isn’t it?  They’ve overloaded at the back post and it’s hard to defend. It could’ve fallen anywhere and it’s just dropped on the goal line and the bloke’s headed it in.

“I’m sitting there thinking ‘keep a clean head here, we’ve got to defend properly,’ and I was telling the lads to get back to getting on the ball.”

VCD Athletic left-winger Courtney Barrington was released down the left and cut into the box but his low right-footed shot was held by Bufton at his near post, before Bufton made a vital save to keep his side in the game in the final 21 minutes.

“We’ve hit them on the break, kept it.  Maybe we had better options. I told them today we needed to get shots off whenever we could because it’s the one thing we’ve been lacking over the last couple of weeks is shooting when we should do.  Listen, we’re not going to have a go at anyone having a shot,” said McMahon.

Gordon drove through the heart of the pitch before playing MacDonald in behind the flat-footed Hanwell back four but Bufton rushed off his line to prevent the Vickers striker scoring with his right-boot.

“He makes a very good save,” added McMahon.

“Charlie’s movement is fantastic. I said at half-time I didn’t think they could cope when we’re driving from midfield.  Sometimes you’ve got to make the right decision and pick the right ball and Ali’s done it.   Charlie’s peeled off the back and he’s hit a great last touch and the keeper came off the line and made a very, very good save. That could’ve been game over then.”

Vickers substitute right-back Temi Eweka tripped Chendlik on the very edge of the penalty area and was booked and Collins sliced his right-footed free-kick across goal and past the far post.

McMahon was delighted to re-introduce Malachi Hudson back into football following a lengthy injury lay-off and he teed up Fuseini, who swept his shot straight into Bufton’s gloves from 25-yards for a comfortable save.

Hanwell won another free-kick on the very edge of the box and Mant flew to his left and was relieved to see Calum Duffy’s right-footed free-kick sail just over the top of the far post with 10 minutes left.

“I was right behind that, as soon as it left his foot I knew it was wide but it went wide by not very much,” added McMahon.

Hanwell Town kept knocking on the door and good play from Olutade (shrugging off Steventon outside the box) before teeing up the impressive Calum Duffy, who swept his first time shot just over the crossbar from the edge of the D.

But VCD Athletic grabbed a third goal that sent them through to the next round, the penalty going in with 41 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

Hudson was tripped by Calum Duffy and lenient referee James Hurst declined the chance to give the Hanwell midfielder a second yellow card for the foul.

MacDonald had to place the ball back on the penalty spot but he held his nerve, dinking his right-footed spot-kick straight down the middle, looping over the keeper, who dived to his right.

“We brought Malachi Hudson for his first game of the season after an 18 month lay-off, which we’re so glad to see him back and you saw in glimpses what he can do. He was going past people for fun and got us the penalty as well,” said McMahon.

“Listen, we brought Charlie in to score goals and it was a great move for the penalty. Alex Gaggin done really well and Duffy could’ve gone to be fair.

“It looked a bit soft from where I am to be honest, I ain’t going to lie. Is it a foul? He said it is. It looked like he’s gone across. We got a decision today.

“Charlie’s been smashing them in the top corner and their number 12 (Chendlik) went over to their keeper and actually said to him ‘he’s going down the middle’, because he’s come and told us and to dink it over him with three minutes to go,  I knew he was going to score but not like that. Fair play to him. He’s got bigger balls than a lot of people.”

Hanwell Town created two further chances to score before the end of the game.

Olutade reached the left by-line and cut the ball back but Calum Duffy lashed his first time shot just over the crossbar from 12-yards. He certainly deserved to score for his efforts in this impressive display for Hanwell.

Substitute right-winger Harvey Kileen then floated in a free-kick, Calum Duffy flicked the ball on and Mant got down low to his right to prevent Chendlik sweeping his shot into the bottom near corner from eight-yards.

VCD Athletic play sixth-placed Whitstable Town here in the Bostik League at Oakwood next Saturday. Scott Porter’s side also have 15 points going into the game and came away from Bedfont Sports with an impressive 4-1 win in The FA Trophy.

“I’m pleased for the boys, more importantly we’ve been getting a bit of stick if I’m honest and we’ve been playing out of our boots,” said McMahon, who naturally wants a home draw.

“Cup runs are always good, obviously money (£3,000) for the club, fine. You want to earn as much money for the club as you can but for me it’s more winning.

“Today will give the players a massive boost because today I think that’s quite a big scalp, looking at their cup record.”

VCD Athletic: Joe Mant, Jeffery Gyamfi (Temi Eweka 59), Junior Baker, Aymum El-Moyhalbel (Jonathan Adebayo 76), Jack Steventon, Ricardo Joseph, Alex Gaggin, Alastair Gordon, Charlie MacDonald, Ali Fuseini, Courtney Barrington (Malachi Hudson 72).
Subs: Moses Ashikodi, Tom Cecil

Goals: Charlie MacDonald 31, 87 (penalty), Ali Fuseini 45

Booked: Ricardo Joseph 11, Temi Eweka 70, Jack Steventon 89

Hanwell Town: Aaron Bufton, Kieron Cathline, Andrew O’Brien, Oliver Duffy, Rhys Paul, Harry Tamplin, Louis Bircham (Gareth Chendlik 46), Calum Duffy, Ibrahim Olutade, Tom Collins (Harvey Kileen 72), Ahmed Elsahib (Tre Mitford 53).
Subs: Ismael Ehui, Charlie Barton

Goal: Ibrahim Olutade 63

Booked: Calum Duffy 13, Kieron Cathline 67, Harry Tamplin 83

Attendance: 76
Referee:  Mr James Hurst (East Dulwich, London SE22)
Assistants: Mr Paul Agboola (Walworth, London SE17)  & Mr Jordan Whitworth (Catford, London SE6)