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Hardings the difference for Hillians

In a month full of Cup fixtures for the Hillians, Aveley FC visited the Green Elephants Stadium in the First Round Qualifying of the FA Trophy. The game started brightly for the Hillians, limiting Aveley’s chances, as well as controlling the midfield well. A return to the starting eleven for Curtis Gayler proved a good decision, as his early deliveries showed promise for the Hillians attack. The first clear opportunity for the Hillians fell to Argentinian Favarel on the half hour mark, and Lee Harding cut the ball back to the midfielder, only for his shot to be blocked on the line. However, just two minutes later, another delightful Gayler delivery was met at the far post by Lee Harding, who headed home. Almost immediately the Hillians could have made it two, but Joey Taylor’s strike flew high over the crossbar. As the half was fading, a collision in the Aveley box saw the referee point to the penalty spot. The Aveley players were infused, the Hillians confused – but nevertheless, Mr. Reliable Pat Harding stepped up at slotted the ball home. 2-0 it stood at the half, with the Hillians very much in control. The story of the second half very much contrasted the first, with the Hillians allowing Aveley more possession, as the visitors looked for a way back into the game. Some resolute defending from the Hillians back four, and brave goalkeeping from James Shaw, kept the clean sheet intact. Aaron Smith-Joseph looked to put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go, but his curling effort cannoned off the bar. A deserved win for the Hillians, who progress into the next round of the FA Trophy.


Charlie Kelly

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