Binfield suffer FA Cup exit at Whyteleafe

Jemel Johnson. Photo: Andrew Batt.
Jemel Johnson. Photo: Andrew Batt.

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Binfield didn’t get it quite Whyte on the night and made their Emirates FA Cup exit on Tuesday.

When it came to taking chances, they failed to take a leaf (should it be Leafe?) out of their hosts’ book and were beaten 2-0, conceding a goal in each half.

“It was a disappointing performance from us,” admitted player-manager Carl Withers after their first qualifying round tie at Isthmian League South East Division club Whyteleafe on Tuesday.

“In the first half we probably showed them a bit too much respect and we didn’t impose ourselves on them as much as we should have done. We had chances to change the game with a goal which we didn’t take.”

The Moles made several changes to the side that had defeated Westfields 2-0 the previous Saturday, with Jack Thompson-Wheeler, George Short, Calam Gallimore and Josh Howell all coming into the starting line-up, while full-back Dave Hancock switched from the right to the left flank.

A blow for Binfield was the news that wide man Asa Povey was ruled out with a ligament injury and is now undergoing treatment.

Jamie McClurg challenges. Photo: Andrew Batt.

There was little to choose between the two teams early on, both showing plenty of pace and movement when going forwards. but it was the powerfully-built home No. 9, Omari Hibbert, who offered the main threat, bursting through the Binfield defence before firing just wide of the far post.

After having to clear three corners in quick succession, the Moles went close to taking the lead when Gallimore launched a long throw into the danger area, but the ball was scrambled away from in front of goal.

Whyteleafe, who had scored four goals in each of their previous two games, continued to look the more dangerous side in the final third and the pressure paid off in the 37th minute.  

There was a claim the ball had gone out of play in the build-up, but Binfield’s defence tried to stem an attack, only to concede a penalty which led to Tom Willment being booked and keeper Chris Grace being given no chance by Ryan Gondoh’s spot-kick.

“I don’t think it was a penalty as he won the ball,” commented Withers.

Josh Howell challenges. Photo: Andrew Batt.

Soon afterwards, Grace came to his side’s rescue when rushing out to block Hibbert’s path as the striker outpaced four Binfield players.

The Moles never found it easy to prise open the east Surrey side’s defence, but Gallimore’s high, dropping throw-in continued to cause problems and, from one of them, Sean Moore blazed over the bar.

Their hopes of getting on level terms ended just after the hour mark when they were caught out by a swift breakaway down their left flank. Grace did well to get down to stop Gondoh, but the ball ran loose and the home No. 11 made no mistake at the second attempt, firing home a left-footer from an angle for this sixth goal of the season.

Grace went on to make another fine save, while at the other end Willmett was not far away from pulling back a goal which Binfield would have deserved, but Whyteleafe were still good value for their win.

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