Second-half goals from forwards Steve Townsend and Shameek Farrell saw Becks book their place in the Second Round of the FA Vase with a comfortable 2-0 win away at Essex Senior League side Clapton FC.

Fielding an unchanged lineup, Becks looked the better team in a goalless first-half but on an uneven pitch compounded by long grass the hosts looked like they were starting to believe themselves capable of the upset the longer it remained goalless.

Two goals in two minutes shortly after the re-start ended any self-doubt that had crept in as the first period had drawn to a close. The opener arrived on fifty minutes. A spell of pressure from the visitors involving tall forward Alfie Bloomfield broke down, but picking up the pieces was captain Danny Waldren who collected the ball centrally facing away from goal, turned and cleverly maintained the momentum by quickly recycling possession out to Townsend on the left. Collecting the pass in the outer corner of the area, the young striker feinted towards the byline only to check back in, take two or three strides across the area before rifling a low shot inside the near post. It was a moment of individual brilliance that enlivened what had been, up until then, a pretty dull affair.

Farrell on the opposite wing had enjoyed the best of Becks’ early first-half chances, firing wide 22 minutes in and then hitting the side netting after tricking his way into the area on the right just three minutes later. The languid winger choosing to try and beat the keeper at the near post rather than fire across goal and into the far corner. But after that clear cut chances had petered out and a Waldren header from an Archie Johnson corner shortly before the break was the closest Becks came with Clapton offering little beyond a speculative overhead effort from Warren Kayembe.

Just two minutes after Townsend’s wizardry had broken the deadlock, the lead was doubled. Defender Callum Henry hit a long high clearance forward and failing to deal with it, Clapton found themselves in trouble as Farrell – arriving first after putting the burners on – picked up the bouncing ball and finished neatly from eight yards out.

Five minutes later the 28-year old should have added a second. Good play from Blomfield and Townsend worked the ball to Bertie Valler inside the area and the teenage midfield dynamo selflessly played in Farrell on the right – but this time the finish was decidedly average allowing goalkeeper Harry Baker to make the block. The visitors were in the ascendancy now and Baker was required again to deny goal bound efforts from Johnson and then Waldren. Johnson’s shot being tipped over after he’d skipped past two defenders and unleashed from just outside the area, whilst Waldren’s fizzing effort after a corner was half-cleared was similarly palmed over.

Bloomfield, Valler and Nick Curran made way for substitutes De Niro Pinto, Joe Healy and Junior Kaffo as Becks looked to manage the game. Clapton tried manfully but were by now clearly second-best.

With eight minutes left Healy’s pass put Townsend through one-on-one with the keeper but for once his skill deserted him and the moment was gone. With the final kick Pinto should have added a third after also being played in by Healy but a tame effort was saved in what proved to be the last kick of the game.

The draw for the Second Round Proper will take place on Monday with the tie scheduled to take place on Saturday November 20th.

Man of the Match was defender Mudiagaha Wanogho

Blue; Hanifan, Johnson, Henry, Wanogho; Valler (Healy 73), Waldren (c), Curran (Kaffo 79); Farrell, Bloomfield (Pinto 60), Townsend
Unused Subs: Nyhus, Humphris

Townsend 50, Farrell 52


WORDS – BTFC Media Team

PHOTO’s – @SniperPose