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Brockenhurst's derby delight with triumph over New Milton Town

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FA Vase fourth round
Brockenhurst FC 2
New Milton Town FC 0

BROCKENHURST marched into the fifth round of the FA Vase for only the second time with a well-earned two-goal victory over local rivals New Milton Town in front of a bumper 857-strong crowd.

The Badgers, who play a division higher than New Milton, progressed thanks to two second-half strikes from Matt Sheedy and Alex Haynes.

Brockenhurst made it to the FA Vase fifth round in their first-ever appearance in the competition in the 1974-75 season. After competing in every iteration since then, they finally repeated the feat.

Brockenhurst's Silvano Obeng New Milton keeper Luke Dennison (photo: Les Chase)
Brockenhurst's Silvano Obeng New Milton keeper Luke Dennison (photo: Les Chase)

The early exchanges saw New Milton off to a great start, forcing an early corner followed by Ash Booker shooting just wide.

Badgers' playmaker Christie Ward then forced a couple of chances, with one effort superbly saved by the outstretched leg of Luke Dennison in the New Milton goal.

Both teams then had dangerous free-kicks midway through the first half, neither of which led to a breakthrough. However, Brockenhurst's Magookin was required to pick up an 'intelligent booking' to stop a promising New Milton attack, before the Badgers had a decent last few minutes of the eventually goalless first half.

With the first 45 drawing to a close, chances came and went for Kieran O'Donnell and Ward as Dennison stood firm, and Sheedy had a goal disallowed for offside.

The second half saw New Milton race out of the blocks, with a decent penalty shout waved away by referee James Robinson.

The deadlock was finally broken after 54 minutes when Connor Ings' deep cross was palmed away by Dennison, straight into the path of Sheedy who ghosted into the area to blast a low half-volley into the net.

Brockenhurst's Matt Sheedy put the ball into the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside (photo: Les Chase)
Brockenhurst's Matt Sheedy put the ball into the net, only for it to be ruled out for offside (photo: Les Chase)

New Milton manager Paul Turner rung the changes, introducing former Brockenhurst winger Noel McCarthy-Gardiner.

With Brock in the ascendancy, they doubled their advantage after 66 minutes when captain Jack Smith plucked Seung-Woo Yang's cross out of the air before setting up Haynes. The midfielder displayed silky footwork before sweeping the ball into the side netting.

New Milton Town never stopped fighting, but the Badgers' defence held firm with several shots well-blocked, and a Luke Stone free-kick hitting the angle of the post.

With 10 minutes left, Town's Booker conceded a penalty. However, Brock's top-scorer Silvano Obeng blasted the spot-kick against the crossbar after sending the keeper the wrong way.

After the match, Brockenhurst manager Patrick McManus said: "What a day. An excellent performance by the football club that catered for a fantastic attendance of 857 coupled with a controlled and comfortable performance by a great group of players."

Brockenhurst will face Athletic Newham away in the fifth round on 12th February.

Brockenhurst: J. Mayo, C. Ings, J. Chamberlain, R. Moore, J. Smith, B. Magookin, K. O'Donnell, A. Haynes, S. Obeng, C. Ward, M. Sheedy. Subs: M. Taylor, S. Yang, L. Carbayo-Borges, M. Speechley-Price, P. Wilson, T. Sykes.

New Milton Town: L. Dennison, J. Dacombe, E. Jones, A. Booker, E. Pearce-Eavis, S. Scott, O. Jenkins, C. Turner, F. Horlock, T. Sampson, C. Long. Subs: O. Bull, L. Stone, G. Deem, T. Rudd, N. McCarthy-Gardiner, E. Lines.

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