Two late goals from set pieces sent Binfield crashing out of this season’s FA Vase in the second qualifying round down in Hampshire. The early stages struggled for rhythm as both sides tried to assert their authority but came across a whistle-happy referee leading to a disjointed opening ten minutes.
The hosts took the lead after 11 minutes when a clumsy challenge from behind from Gary Smith in the box on Sergio Caballero resulted in a spot kick. Caballero dusted himself off, stepped up and sent Grace the wrong way to make it 1-0 to AFC Stoneham.
This opened the game up and it became a real end to end encounter. First James Knight curled a free kick deep into the box. Sean Moore jumped highest and his header was headed for the top corner but was palmed over well by Williams in the Stoneham goal. Almost immediately, Stoneham worked the ball to the right of the box where only a great block from Charlie Tuttle on a fierce Josh Clark shot prevented it from becoming 2-0.
Binfield came close to an equaliser with a moment of individual brilliance from Carlo Santoro, who won a header from a long ball which he flicked past the defender and onto himself. He battled past the defender then floated his shot just over onto the roof of the net. However, the equaliser did arrive in the 30th minute when Jamal Johnson won the ball in the middle of midfield and curled a pass with the outside of his foot through to Sean Moore who sprinted away from the defence and lofted past the keeper to make it 1-1, which is how the half ended.
The second half started slowly, with both sides doing solid defensive work preventing the attackers from gaining any advantage. It wasn’t until Sean Moore went close with a cross cum shot from the right wing that was dipping in before the keeper palmed it away in the 56th minute that either side looked like coming close to scoring.
Both keepers did well to keep their side in the game as well. First, Grace saved a stinging Caballero shot from a well worked free kick down low to his left, before Williams saved equally as well with his legs when Sean Moore was through 1 on 1.
It was eventually the Moles that broke the stalemate. Danny Horscroft won the the ball in midfield, and played a stunning through ball out to Carlo Santoro on the left wing who floated a ball over to the far post. Sean Moore headed down, which was saved by the keeper but the ball broke into the middle of the box where James Knight beat the defender with a slide to poke the ball home. 2-1 to Binfield.
From there in however, it was almost all Stoneham. Only an incredible diving save from Chris Grace prevented Jack Brady from equalising from 20 yards. But there was nothing Grace could have done to prevent the equaliser. Danny Horscroft hauled back a Stoneham midfielder 25 yards out and Sergio Caballero fired home the free kick powerfully to equalise with only 2 minutes plus stoppage time to go.
Just as everyone was preparing themselves for a Monday night replay, Stoneham struck the killer blow. In the 93rd minute, a corner from the right was floated in, Matt Palmer flicked the ball across the face of the goal where Ben Clarke was on hand to bundle home from all of 4 yards.