Vets thrash Salopians to reach Cup QF

27 Apr 2021

The OHAFC Veterans returned to action for the first time in 2021 and did so in style, destroying the Old Salopians 9-0 in the second round of the Derrick Moore Veterans Cup on the Harrow School astroturf on Sunday morning. The thumping win sets up a quarter-final tie, and a first ever meeting at Vets level, with the Old Berkhamstedians on May 9th.

After such a long period of inactivity on the football pitch, it was perhaps unsurprising that the hosts began Sunday’s encounter in rather uncertain fashion, with numerous passes going astray on the pristine Harrow astroturf. Salopians enjoyed more of the ball, without testing stand-in keeper Lederman, whose long-term back injury forced him to don the gloves in the absence of any recognised goalie.

But as the half wore on, the hosts gradually began to find their rhythm and once Piers Bourke had scored the opener, goals began to arrive at a frantic pace. Bourke scored a second via a deflection from a free-kick, Paul Molloy added a penalty following a blatant foul and Matt Davies struck twice following good work from the two wide players, Bourke and Warner. Indeed, in a matter of twenty minutes, what had appeared a close contest between two fairly evenly-matched teams, had become a totally one-sided affair, the OHAFC going in at the half 6-0 up, with Bourke claiming a hat-trick (that was subsequently debated at some length during the interval).

A seventh goal, and another for Davies following a lovely move down the left, ensured any lingering resistance from the visitors was snuffed out early in the second half. And with debutant Theo Gordon and regulars Tim Dalton, Ru Hoffen and Arjun Chopra (who was replaced at the break by John Wyn-Evans) looking increasingly secure at the back, and Lederman showing sound judgement with his positioning, a rare clean sheet began to look a distinct possibility. The visitors did manage a shot against the bar, from an unlikely source too, as one of the centre-halves charged forwards and clipped what appeared a cross towards the far post only for the ball to hit the top of the bar and drop out of play.

But up the other end the hosts continued to wreak havoc, with Davies adding a fourth and Molloy a second as the game lost any semblance of competitiveness, the referee putting Salops out of their misery with the scoreline reading 9-0.

A triumphant return to action for the OHAFC, then, who march into the quarter-finals and a first ever meeting with the Old Berkhamstedians.

OHAFC Vets: Lederman (C, GK); Chopra, Dalton, Gordon, Hoffen R; Warner, Mutter, Poulter, Molloy, Bourke; Davies; Sub Wyn-Evans

Scorers: Davies 4, Bourke 3 (2.5), Molloy 2