'This is just the beginning for Fairlop,' says Dias

A Kai Vale master class steered new boys Fairlop FC into the hat for the second round of the League Cup at the expense of first division Scrabble FC.




Vale was straight into the action and opened the scoring early on against a Scrabble team down to the bare bones, with manager Ray Abrahams only able to name a squad of 11, including the evergreen Jon Yantin.

Scrabble responded superbly and equalised soon after with one of the goals of the season from the quick-thinking Zak McLeod. With Fairlop's tails up following Vale's opener, McLeod received the ball in his own half of the centre circle and let fly with a screaming shot that curled in and beat the keeper's desperate attempt to save it.

Fairlop continue to press throughout the remainder of the first half and showed great patience in their approach play. The visitors continued to press in the second half playing some "sexy football" through midfield maestros Matt Berkley, Daniel Bean and Bradley Gayer.

Not for the first time this season, Brad Gayer was denied by the crossbar but Fairlop didn't have to wait long as the mercurial Vale piled on the misery to the Scrabble defence with some razor sharp finishing. Adam Goldman was Fairlop's other scorer on a day to remember.

Jubilant Fairlop boss Aaron Dias told JC Sport: "If I had a £1 for every time Brad Gayer hit the crossbar this season I would be a very wealthy man, £6 wealthier actually.

"All the boys were great today but special mention to Kai Vale who went home with the match ball after his fantastic hat-trick. Kai is an integral member of the management team and helped set up this wonderful football club but has had a tough start to life at Fairlop to which I have called him out for but he responded excellently today and showed what true ability he has. Deservingly man of the match.

"A special mention to Daniel Bean - our very own Jewish Kante - and Matt Berkley - Jewish Matic - who effortlessly controlled the middle.

"We're delighted to be in the hat for the next round. I've heard the bookmakers have stopped taking bets on us winning the cup. All the lads are hoping for an all Essex tie!

Scrabble manager Ray Abrahams told JC Sport: "Although Fairlop have entered the league as a new team in Division Two, they have some outstanding players of Premier Division quality and we knew we were in for a battle today.

"We also knew on Thursday that we would be missing five or six of our squad including players of the highest quality that have been magnificent for us in the last few years.

I would love to meet Fairlop again this season with our full squad available. I'm sure that it would be a classic.

"However, we drafted in a Masters player for today's game and had no options in terms of subs on the bench but the 11 players worked their socks off and each one of them gave us 100 per cent plus in terms of effort. I am proud of the attitude we displayed in a difficult game.

"We are not pleased that we have gone out of the Cup at this stage but in a season of transition for the club we will continue to build and consolidate our place in Division One and pick up as many points as we can and see where it takes us.

"Our goal today by Zak McLeod was of the highest quality and it's a shame that it wasn't captured on film because I wouldn't think it will be bettered anywhere this season."

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