Saturday January 21st 2012, KO 15:00 at The Beeches, Packwood Lane, Tividale.
FA Vase Fourth Round.
Tividale 7-1 Binfield, ht 3-0 , attendance 192.
Admission £6, Programme £1.50 (very good, lots of colour), badge £3.50 (from behind bar), coffee £1.
On paper this looked potentially like it could be a closely fought FA Vase tie. When I arrived it was a bitter cold wind that blew around ‘The Beeches’, which is set up on high ground in the Black Country.
Binfield had finished the 2010-11 season in 2nd place in the Hellenic Premier, and Tividale were currently sitting in mid table in the Midland Alliance, both Step 5 leagues. Although my experience has shown me previously that the Midland Alliance is generally a stronger league in playing standards than the Hellenic Premier.
Binfield are an up and coming club based near Wokingham and Bracknell in Berkshire and have a lovely ‘country feel’ ground tucked away on the edge of their village, and over recent seasons have built up a very strong local following and junior team infrastructure. Today a good 75-100 fans made the trip up to the suburbs of Birmingham for potentially the biggest game of their history so far, with a win putting them in with the last 16 for a crack at a Wembley final.
Unfortunately for them and their travelling fans, they were outclassed virtually from first to last-minute. Binfield known as the ‘Moles’ looked more like ‘rabbits in headlights’ for the 1st 20 minutes, as by then they had gone 3-0 down. Dale had attacked the clubhouse/car park end and struck in the 10th, 12th and 19th minute from Matthew Jukes, captain Lee Chilton and centre back Luke Paskin. Such was their disarray that Moles centre back Ryan Millward was withdrawn in the 23rd minute.
Tividale looked sharp, quick, and a step or two above Binfield in quality. Maybe they had more experience with the very heavy sandy pitch, but more likely just that player for player they had too much class. The pattern of play changed little in the 1st 45 minutes, and at half time it was, 3-0.
Clearly some re-organisation of the Binfield game plan took place at half time, as really the period 46-60 mins was their only time of any sort of ascendancy, as Ian Davies scrambled in a goal in the 54th minute, and it looked potentially that they may get back in it.
Matthew Jukes 60th minute goal put paid to that, and at 4-1 it was all over. A bad day for Binfield got worse when in the 75th minute sub Callum Whitty was red carded for a two footed lunge, which for some reason only known to themselves Binfield felt was worth arguing with the officials, those watching, and I was sitting close by could see the ref had no option.
After this the Moles really fell apart, as Tividale took them to the cleaners, their superb front three, scored in the 80th (Chilton), 81st (Russell), and Jukes completed his hat trick in the 87th.
Tividale will be very tough opponents in the 5th round, but I suspect they will face much stronger opposition.
An enjoyable day out and well organised by the Tividale officials. A superb programme, real ale in the club house, and a friendly welcome from all, I wish them well in Round 5 🙂