FC Team marched into the semi-finals of the London Cup after thumping West Green United 4-1.
Played on a small and bobbly pitch in Walthamstow, Team manager Mitch Young made only made one change to the starting line-up from the previous weeks win against Kentish Town, with the influential Kieran Allen Curry replace Neil Weyman.
Both sides looked nervous for the first 15 minutes with the opening stages littered with free kicks.
The breakthrough came when Richard Salmon flicked a ball onto his strike partner Howson who burst passed his defender only for his heels to be clipped. The young and inexperienced referee froze and gave nothing.
Team could have taken the league from a succession of Breger corners met first by Salmon who headed over and then by Jules Noti who glanced over.
West Green were causing a few problems from set pieces and could have taken the lead themselves from a couple of free kicks themselves.
Set pieces looked the most likely source of a goal and and that is what happened as a superb free kick from Jonny Breger from just inside the West Green half found Kent at the back post who headed the ball back into the danger area to find captain Noti to sidefoot home and make it 1-0 to Team.
One became two five minutes later as good hold up play from Kieran found Howson who jinxed past hid defender on the left wing before cutting inside and curling a shot from 35 yards over the keeper into the roof of the net.
From that moment Team took total control with Laurence Judah and Breger calling the shots in midfield and Ollie Segal keeping a close eye on United’s dangerous left winger.
The hosts were given a lifeline a minute into the second half as a speculative 30-yard effort from the United keeper caught Team stopper Endelsohn napping and left him somewhat red-faced.
However Mendelsohn was to make up for his error a few minutes later as a world- class finger tipped save stopped United drawing level.
From that moment team bombarded the United goal as Kieran started to influence procedures finding Howson and Salmon on numerous occassions however the cutting edge didnt seem to be there.
Judah then had a great chance put he dragged his shot wide form eight yards. Team restored their two-goal margin with 20 minutes to go. Kieran took a delicious free kick from the right hand side that found Kent to head home from five yards.
3-1 became 4-1 five minutes later as Salmon found Howson who took one touch to control and then another to lob the keeper another brilliant goal from Howson to kill the tie.
Howson could have completed his hat-trick with a few minutes to go, missing a one-on-one with the keeper.
The final whistle blew and FC Team were celebrating making the final four.
Young said: “I’m proud of us reaching the semis. We are now one game away from reaching our first ever final. I fully believe in the squad of players I have at my disposal and believe they are good enough to progress to the final if we prepare properly.
“It wasn't that pretty at times today as the pitch was awful. Nonetheless we created numerous chances and Irvine put in a sterling performance up front. We look forward to the semi finals in three weeks but we cannot forget we are in a great position in the league and we cant let our focus slip as we chase promotion to the Premier League.”
FC Team: Paul Mendelsohn, Ollie Segal, Dan Silverman, Paul Kent, Adam Rones (sub: Neil Weyman 70), Jules Noti, Laurence Judah, Jon Breger, Kieran Allen Curry, Richard Salmon, Irvine Howson. Unused sub: Mitch Young