Once again the new season opened with an Emirates FA Cup tie. This year we faced fellow Combined Counties side, Bedfont & Feltham in the Extra Preliminary Round.
Unusually for us we actually started on the front foot and only 3 minutes had passed when the ever lively Athan Smith-Joseph burst through “The Yellows” back line and fired past the keeper to put us in front. Happy Days, an early goal. We just had to hold on to the lead for the remaining 87 minutes.
The goal didn’t seem to upset our visitors very much and, to their credit, they stepped up their efforts to find an equaliser by throwing numbers forward. This however left them open to our counter attacks and, with the Jacks (Buckle & Mills) pulling the strings in midfield we created numerous chances to increase our lead. Unfortunately for us we squandered every chance that came our way and instead of being comfortable at half time we found ourselves taking a slim 1-nil lead into the break.
The second half started with us looking much brighter and we immediately took the game to our hosts. The reward for our almost constant pressure came 15 minutes into the half when Tom Neal was brought down in the box. Jack Buckle stepped up to fire home the spot kick.
The second goal finally took the fight out of B&F. The game became almost one way traffic and the goals started to flow. New signing Jack Mills opened up his Villa account by finishing smartly form 10 yards out in the 70th minute and another new boy, Francis Darko, came off the bench to score a brace in the remaining time.
All in all a decent display. However, we will have to step it up a bit when we travel to Ramsgate FC, from the Isthmian Division One South, in the next round. Game scheduled for Saturday 19th August