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Mill Hill Dons vs Hertswood Vale

A last-gasp winner from James Neidle as they ended Mill Hill's title hopes once and for all, and placed their dreams of a top two finish in jeopardy.

    Josh Cohen and James Millet also found the net for a red-hot Hertswood team who registered their eighth league victory.

    With six wins in our last 10 league games, just as they did last season, Vale are hitting form in the second half of the campaign. Having already comfortably bettered last season's points tally, their final challenge of the season is to finish at high up the table as possible.

    Vale came into the game without veteran Ashley Hirschberger, who unfortunately suffered a broken collarbone against the Dons in the return fixture, and Andy Gilbert. Harry Marlow, Josh Gorb, Harry Graham and Sammy Huberman returned to the side in their absence. 

    In extremely wet conditions, Vale started strongly and after chances for both teams lead to nothing, they took the lead in the 30th minute courtesy of Millet's sixth goal in six games this season - the simplest of finishes after Cohen's initial shot had been blocked by the Dons' keeper.

    The Dons stepped up before half time with the majority of possession but Jack Shulman's clean sheet remained intact...for now.

    The Dons started the second half better and equalised through Zach Cohen who rifled home with the help of a conveniently-placed puddle.

    Despite continuous pressure from the Dons, some strong defending and notable saves from Shulman in goal, Vale held firm at the back. Jordan Harris produced an heroic block on the goal line midway through the second half to keep the scores level.

    All Mill Hill's pressure amounted to nothing as Vale were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute - Millet being hauled down in the penalty area, giving the referee no option. Cohen stepped up to smash home his 14th of the season, matching his tally for the whole of last season. This was his fifth goal against the Dons in four games.

    But once again, the Dons stepped up and finally managed to equalise in the 90th minute through Josh Cinna who had the simplest of finishes at the back post.

    Now ... the Vale of old would've thrown in the towel, and history suggested that a Dons winner was on the cards. However, as the referee signalled for five minutes of added time, Vale went for the win. After a Dons attack was thwarted by an ever-resolute Vale defence, Millet broke up the field before playing in Graham on the right, his inch-perfect cross found Josh Wood. He held the ball up before laying it off to centre-back Neidle who had burst up the field on one of his characteristic runs - he took one touch before firing past the helpless Dons keeper. A deserved 94th minute winner, with every single player deserving their plaudits on the day. 

    Delighted Vale joint-manager Jacob Emanuel told JC Sport; "A huge result for Vale which both myself and Danny are very proud of.

    "Having thrown away a two-goal lead in the reverse fixture, the boys were up for the match and ultimately got their reward for clinical finishing and hard work.

    "We focus our minds to Jeff Gotch's Catford next week on the hunt for another three points."

    Looking ahead to the run-in, Emanuel went on to say: "Sadly, much like the Prem, the top four has already been decided, but we've got a fifth place finish firmly in our sights - a great way to show how much we've improved this season!

    "We knew coming into this game that three wins from our three remaining games would guarantee us the "best of the rest spot"...but we're under no illusions how difficult it will be."

    DONS: Oli Burchell, Adam Ben-Harosh, Joshua Cinna, Adam Lisberg, Adam Morrow, Josh Moses, Nick Phillips, Richard Reback, Zach Cohen. Sub: Adam Isaacs, Jamie Nagioff, Joseph Reece

    SCORERS: Z. Cohen, Cinna

    VALE: Ben Chiltern, Simon Englander, Jordan Harris, Sammy Huberman, Harry Marlow, James Millet, James Neidle, Jack Shulman, Alex Trup, Josh Wood, Josh Cohen. Subs: Danny Feuer, Josh Gorb, Harry Graham

    CORERS: J. Cohen, Millet, Neidle

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