Hadleigh United set up an historic home tie in FA Vase

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Hadleigh United have been handed a tough, but 
thoroughly-deserved, home tie as they march on, seeking more glory in the FA Vase.

Having seen off Molten Spartan South Midlands Premier side Colney Heath away on Saturday, they now have to beat the much better Oxhey Jets from the same league on Saturday, December 8.

But it is the fact they have been given a tie at their Millfield ground in Tinkers Lane that is the most important thing, says delighted manager Stuart Crawford.

He is hoping for a big home crowd to cheer on his side, who have reached the third round of the competition for the first time in 17 years.

In the 1993/94 season they actually got as far as the fifth round before falling 4-1 away at Metropolitan Police, who have earned headlines in this season’s FA Cup.

In the previous round they had drawn 5-5 at Halstead Town before ousting their local rivals 3-2 in the replay.

Ollie Canfer was Hadleigh’s two-goal hero on Saturday, but Crawford will be looking to a solid defensive operation to pay dividends against the cup opponents who play in South Oxhey in Hertfordshire, not far from Watford and Bushey.

The Jets beat Cockfosters 4-0 on Saturday and once again striker Lewis Putman did the damage. He scored a hat-trick, his third treble of the season, and will certainly be the player to be watched on December 8.

Crawford does not feel he needs to single out any individual player from his own team to score the cup goals.

Instead he says he is confident he has as many as four or five who are quite capable of putting the ball in the back of the net, helping to continue the Brettsiders impressive season.

“We can get goals from all areas,” the manager said.

They remain in all four competitions, including sitting joint third in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.

Their cup exploits have held up their league fixtures, but if they were to win their games in hand they would be top.

This Saturday (3pm), they face a tough challenge when they travel to Walsham-le-Willows, who they beat in a previous round of the FA Vase this season.

While Crawford was pleased by the actual result on Saturday, he felt his team’s performance fell short of what they are capable of.

He will be expecting better at Walsham-le-Willows and at home to Stanway the following Saturday before their historic cup encounter.

Oxhey Jets sit third in their league, but will have to find a way past Hadleigh’s defence.

“We are defending well,” said Crawford. “I am pleased we have been drawn at home.

“We will be very difficult to beat.”

Elesewhere in the Thurlow Nunn League, on Saturday (all 3pm), the First Division sees basement side Cornard United, still looking for their first point after a 3-1 loss at Great Yarmouth Town, at home to Fakenham with Halstead Town at second-placed Newmarket Town and third-bottom Long Melford at fifth-placed Saffron Walden.