Graham late show stuns FC Team

An 87th minute goal from Harry Graham saw Hertswood Vale register one of the results of the day as they halted title-chasing FC Team in a thriller in Borehamwood.




Although it was Graham who grabbed the headlines late on, it was Hertswood goalkeeper Joni Hirschowitz who earned the plaudits for a man-of-the-match display, "reaffirming his title as the league's best keeper," according to joint-manager Jacob Emanuel.

Hertswood went into the game on high spirits following their win against Raiders C - although we've had to wait 3 weeks to play since.

They forged ahead just seven minutes in. Ashley Hirschberger, who hasn't scored since the 90s, powered home from inside his own half which evaded the grasp of the keeper and flew into the top corner.

The lead only last eight minutes however as a defensive mistake gifted them an equaliser.

Both teams had chances, with Vale pulling off their pre-match plan of thwarting their famous long-throw to a tee whilst saves from both keepers kept the scores level.

Vale regained the lead again five minutes before half-time - James Millett, fresh from university, played a through ball which found captain Josh Wood in acres of space on the wing who drove into the box before unleashing a finessed shot right on the postage stamp.

Team through everything at Vale in second half, with both teams once again having opportunities to score. However, they found keeper Joni Hirschowitz in "De Gea-like form" to keep out everything thrown at him.

Vale had several chances to grab a third, and finally did so in the 87th minute through Graham. Last season's No. 9, slotting home when one-on-one with the keeper to finish off a brilliant counter-attack.

The game and the drama didn't end there however. With seconds to go, a tussle involved a Vale and Team player led to both players being unnecessarily sent off and a penalty being awarded. Striker-turned-keeper Josh Cohen kept out Mitch Young's penalty although the ball was bundled in off a Vale player for an own goal.

The game finished 3-2 although Emanuel and Young went away disappointed that both teams left the field with 10 men.

A delighted Emanuel told JC Sport: "Having to pay out a shed load of cash to ensure this game went ahead on 4G wasn't ideal but it was justified with a 3-2 win against the league's most in-form team.

"It's a huge win that proves what we can do when we have a full squad to choose from."

FC Team player-manager Mitch Young told JC Sport: "In a game where we missed no less than 15 comfortable chances, we are bitterly disappointed to lose.

"They scored a fluke 60-yard goal and then had a player in goal where his performance was one of the best individual performances I have seen from any goalkeeper in 15 years.

"Without him we would have won 6-3 and if we had been more clinical we would have won anyway.

"Well done to them and we move on to 2018 where we look forward to continue to challenge."

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