DAVID WOLFF DIVISION ONE CUP QUARTER-FINAL
HERTSWOOD VALE 6 SPEC FC 0
The first 30 minutes were an even contest with both sides creating very little in the way of chances. However, Vale no. 1 Adam Zaidman pulled off a save with the score at 0-0 that proved to be crucial in the home side going on to win the match.
PMT semi-finalists Vale finally broke the deadlock after 31 minutes. James Millet playing a beautifully weighted through ball into Graham who took a touch and leathered the ball with his weaker foot into the top bins with an insane amount of curl, taking it far beyond the keeper's reach. Comparisons of Hurst in the '66 World Cup final were muttered around East Barnet!
Vale doubled their lead just a minute later. Ollie Brill picked up the ball, fed Millet whose deflected shot from just outside the box whistled itno the net.
The purple patch continued as Vale added a third on the stroke of half-time - a mazy run from Jordan Harris in which he evaded a challenge before finding Graham back post to slot in his second of the morning.
A flurry of changes in the second half didn't stop Vale's momentum and Graham took just 20 second half minutes to complete his first hat-trick of the season. After regular penalty-taker Millet was fouled inside the box, he graciously handed the ball to Graham to slot it home from the spot. Apparent encrochment inside the area meant Graham had to retake his penalty. Same result however.
The hosts continued to create decent chances and keep the intensity high, and it was this exact comibnation that lead to Graham's 4th goal. A quick free-kick from former Mill Hill Dons hero Adam Morrow found Graham who nutmegged a SPEC defender before bending a shot in from 25 yards.
Vale completed the rout in the 78th minute. A brilliant piece of distribution from Zaidman found Millet who brought the ball down perfectly onto his chest, ran into the area, turned their defender and slotted beyond the onrushing keeper
Both teams had further chances, including another one for Graham who saw his header cannon off the crossbar, but the score remained 6-0.
Vale joint-manager Jacob Emanuel told JC Sport: "The first 30 minutes were absolutely pivotal in this match, as both teams struggled to get into the game. Adam Zaidman pulled off a huge save at 0-0 and within minutes we've gone down the other end and scored before grabbing another couple of goals to put the game to bed at half-time.
"After grabbing our first goal, we were absolutely devastating in attack, none more so than Harry Graham who deservedly grabbed four goals today and walks away proudly with the match ball."
Emanuel added: "I said to the boys in training this week that we don't score enough goals in games, and in fairness they responded perfectly. Well played to Spec, and we look forward to facing them in the league in a fortnight's time."