FA Vase honours go the way of Walsham-le-Willows thanks to odd goal in three victory over Lakenheath
Lakenheath wrote another chapter into their history books but it was Walsham-le-Willows that came out on top 2-1 during the Buildbase FA Vase first round qualifying tie between the two sides on Friday evening.
Hosting Walsham, who play one level higher than their visitors, controlled large parts of the opening 45 minutes and were worthy of the two-goal advantage that they took into the break.
However, to the credit of competition debutants Lakenheath they refused to accept their fate and came out battling in the second half, yet all they had to show for their efforts was Shaun Avis' 75th-minute penalty.
Walsham's Ryan Twinn and Cameron Nicholls both shot straight at new Lakenheath goalkeeper Tom Coombe before the home team broke the deadlock in the 27th minute.
Craig Nurse and Lakenheath defender Dean Grogan jostled for possession inside the box, with the latter eventually being penalised for a foul. Nurse stepped up to take the resultant spot kick and sent Coombe the wrong way.
Walsham continued to dominate possession as the half wore on and they eventually doubled their lead four minutes before the break.
Lakenheath wanted a free-kick for a foul on Kelvin Enaro on the right touchline but with the whistle not forthcoming, Trevor Newman's Walsham sprung into life.
The ball was eventually worked into the Lakenheath area and when it broke free captain-for-the-night Matt Collins was on hand to calmly slot the ball in from close range.
At this point the next goal was always going to be crucial and Lakenheath thought they had scored it in the 49th minute, but Avis' free-kick from distance flew inches wide.
The away team asked more questions of Walsham in the second half and manager Ben Cowling took drastic action in the 65th minute with a triple substitution to try to get his team back into the contest.
One of those replacements – Aaron Forshaw – linked well with Enaro in the 70th minute but his low shot ended up in the side netting.
The goal that halved the deficit finally came five minutes later when Avis was hauled down by returning Walsham defender Karl Saffrey and the Lakenheath frontman buried the penalty.
But that was the end of the Lakenheath chances and it was Walsham that went closest to scoring the game's fourth goal with Twinn's deflected effort being smartly turned over the top by Coombe.
Walsham will now travel to the winner of the all-Thurlow Nunn League First Division North clash between Norwich CBS and March Town United in the next round.
Walsham: Fenner, Warren, Wigley, Miller, Saffrey, Hammond, Nicholls (Boulter 52), Collins, Nurse, Twinn (McPhillips 76), Clark (J Spampanato 83)
Lakenheath: Coombe, Hardwick (Geoghegan 65), Crowe (Logan 65), Hawley, Grogan, Leech, Weaver, Clarke, Avis, Enaro, Wozniak (Forshaw 65)
* For reaction from Lakenheath boss Ben Cowling, Walsham manager Trevor Newman and the match winner Matt Collins, see next week's print editions.
More by this authorLiam Apicella