Date Published: Tuesday, March 20th 2012
Ian Davies 27, Mike Hancock 45,
Jos Millar 90
Rayners Lane .......................1
Lee Gardner 89
Hellenic Challenge Cup with Bluefin Quarter Final - 20th March 2012
Binfield continued their great cup form this season and put recent indifferent league form behind them to progress to the semi finals of the challenge cup at the expense of Rayners Lane.
The Lane lost to Hellenic Premier Division opposition for the second round in a row, although they were awarded the win over their last 16 opponents, Wantage Town after a rule breach.
Arriving at Hill Farm Lane in 4th place in Division One East, an upset for the Lane looked possible with the Moles not in the best of form. But after an even opening 15 minutes, Binfield got into their stride and for the rest of the first half, pressed their opponents back as the match was almost exclusively played around the Rayners Lane penalty area.
Binfield welcomed full backs Paul Mortimer and Dave Fenton to their defence and both played a big part in Binfield's solid performance at the back. One solitary blot on the copy book apart, when a soft penalty was conceded with minutes remaining, the Moles looked more solid than in recent weeks and Dan Weait in goal was a spectator for the most part.
Jos Millar was also left on the bench as Carl Withers replaced him on the right. But when Millar came on with ten minutes left, he looked keen to make an impression and scored a fine late volley seconds after Lane had come back to 2-1, to settle any nerves and secure Binfield's place in the semi final.
The only criticism of the Moles first half performance could be the lack of a finishing touch to so many great chances. After Carl Davies had brought a good save low to his right from James Harry after just ten minutes, Ian Davies had three great chances to score, before he finally found the net on 27 minutes.
After blazing over, hitting the post and side footing wide when a cut back to strike partner Carl Davies may have been the better option, Davies curled in perfectly from 18 yards, after great work on the left by Danny Wing. Inevitably he finished a harder chance than several not taken.
And from then, it really looked a question of how many Binfield would score. Danny Wing saw plenty of the ball and had two or three good chances to add the second goal, without forcing Harry into a save.
And with 5 minutes to half time, the Moles were almost punished in a rare Lane attack. Dave Sexton found himself all alone at the far post as a high free kick was floated into the box, but his wayward header flew over to the Moles relief.
Right on the stroke of half time, the Moles had a valuable second goal. A right wing corner fell to Ian Davies with his back to goal 6 yards out. Davies rolled the ball back to Mike Hancock who blasted in from 8 yards for his second Binfield goal, both scored in cup competitions.
Lane made a better fist of the second half and with the Moles easing off slightly, most of the action was in the middle of the pitch with few chances at either end.
But the final ten minutes had some more excitement in store. First Paul Mortimer performed heroics on the line to twice keep Lane out in a matter of seconds. First he acrobatically cleared off the line with an overhead kick just under the bar to stop Jarmaine Rehill's flicked header finding the net. Then he got straight up to head Dene Gardner's return header off the line.
With just a couple of minutes of normal time remaining, Carl Davies had the chance to finish the tie in style as he won and then took the penalty. But Harry guessed correctly and made a good save to his right. A minute later and Lane had a penalty of their own and although Dan Weait saved his fifth spot kick of the season, it fell kindly to taker Lee Gardner to tap in past Weait's despairing lunge.
Less than a minute after Lane had hope though, Millar, who had come on for Steve Nebbett for the last ten minutes got into the box onto a bouncing ball and brilliantly volleyed into the top corner and the Moles could relax again.
On the same night, Oxford City Nomads joined the Moles in the semi finals. Headington Amateurs host Lydney Town this coming Saturday and Wokingham & Emmbrook bring Highworth Town to Larges Lane on 31st March in the remaining quarter finals.
The Moles now have a few days rest before a testing trip to second placed Ardley United on Saturday (24th March), kick off 3pm.
BINFIELD; Weait, Mortimer, Fenton, Shone (capt), Hancock, Nebbett (Millar 80), Withers, Suarez, I Davies (Whitty 67), C Davies, Wing. Subs not used; Rowland, Butler, Tanfield