Shoulders delighted as Mile Oak seal shock FA Vase victory

Mile Oak Football Club boss Ben Shoulders.
Mile Oak Football Club boss Ben Shoulders.

Ben Shoulders looked back on his side’s FA Vase victory on Saturday and said: “It was a great performance.”

Strikes in each half from Jack Stenning and Nick Lansdale helped Mile Oak to a 2-1 success over division-higher Southern Counties East Premier Division side Erith & Belvedere.

Victory saw Oak collect £600 in prize money, while also earning a second qualifying round home date with Erith’s league rivals Croydon.

Mile Oak boss Shoulders was proud of his players following the cup victory and said: “It was a great performance. In the first 15 minutes we were brilliant and played some of the best football that I have seen.

“We went into it full of confidence and that really showed in the performance.

“It’s great from a financial perspective for the club and it’s nice to progress in this competition.

“We did give away a sloppy goal after falling asleep as a defensive unit. When you play against teams from a higher level you cannot afford to switch off.

“We were punished for that error but after a silly five minute spell, we were back at it and playing well once again.”

Jack Arnold was sent racing clear after five minutes but slotted a shot just past the post.

Mile Oak’s blistering start was rewarded eight minutes later. Erith failed to clear their lines following a corner and Stenning was on hand to thunder a strike home.

Shoulders’ side continue to cause their league higher opposition difficulties and added a second on 67 minutes.

Joe Benn’s corner was headed home by Lansdale as Oak went two goals ahead.

Erith began to get into the game and some sloppy defending gave them hope 13 minutes from the end.

Ike-Robertson Feehi was quickest to react and fired past Aaron Stenning to make it 2-1.

Oak were forced to defend for much of the closing stages but Shoulders’ side held on to progress in this year’s competition.

The triumph was a seventh straight win in all competitions for Oak.

Following the victory, they have now booked a date with fellow Southern Counties East Premier Division side Croydon on Saturday, September 24.

Shoulders hopes his side can cause another upset and believes they will go into that clash full of confidence.

He added: “We proved in pre-season that we can compete with teams from a division above us.

“We’re at home once again, which is favourable for us, with nothing to lose.

“We’ll go out and give it a really good shot, were in great form at present and will be looking to cause another upset.

“They are up at the top of their league at present, so it’s going to be tough but if we play to our potential we will have a chance.”

MILE OAK: A.Stenning; Hall, E.Benn, Pollard, Lansdale; Symes, J.Benn, Garrod; J.Stenning, McKenzie, Arnold. Subs: Wedge-Bull (Garrod), Austin-Slade (J.Stenning), Early (Arnold).

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