Hallam FC 1 – 1 Burscough FC
(Hallam FC win 4 – 3 on penalties)
On another glorious sunny day, beautiful uptown Sandygate hosted the FA Vase with Burscough FC the visitors. An enthusiastic crowd of 300 were served up an afternoon of sporting entertainment that is sure to be talked about for quite some time! This tie was originally meant to be played at Burscough, but work at their ground meant the match had to be moved to Sandygate, and so Hallam found themselves the away team playing at home, and Burscough the home team playing away!
The game got off to a lively start, with instant end-to-end action. Both teams had their share of free-kicks, corners, and half-chances, with both defences proving difficult to break down. However some sloppy Hallam defending on the 40th minute saw the ball fall to the feet of Burscough's Josh Quarless, who showed great presence of mind to lob the ball over the stranded Hallam 'keeper.
Hallam found themselves one nil down at half-time, but there was still plenty of football left in this cup tie, and the Countrymen were far from out of it.
Ten minutes into the second half, a coming together between Hallam's Christopher Wood and Burscough's Kevin Pollard saw a heated altercation between both sets of players, sparking uproar in the Hallam crowd. Kevin Pollard received a deserved red card for his clear and intentional foul on Christopher Wood, with several players also seeing yellow for their part in the ensuing conflict.
Just seven minutes later, Hallam began to make the extra man count when a poor goal kick was headed back into the path of Kieran Watson, who made no mistake in slotting the ball calmly into the back of the Burscough net. Scenes of delirium could be seen both on and off the pitch! At 60 minutes the score was level at one-one, with everything to play for!
On several occasions Hallam came close to taking the lead for the first time in the game, but a resolute and well-organised Burscough side did a good job in stemming the blue and white Hallam tide. When the 90th minute whistle was blown the score remained level, meaning the tie would have to be settled through a penalty shoot-out.
It was Hallam who held their focus, scoring all of the four penalties needed to overcome a Burscough team whose nerve seemed to have suddenly deserted them, missing two penalties and putting Hallam into the hat for the next round of the FA Vase.
Once the final Burscough penalty had been saved by Hallam's David Reay, a roar erupted from the Sandygate faithful who had just witnessed a highly competitive and entertaining match that will live long in the memory of all who were there to witness it!
Hallam FC Media
Pictures by https://matthsheff.tumblr.com/