Saturday 1st Team
Sat 20 Jan 2024
Hashtag United Development
Catholic United Football Club
Saturday 1st Team
J Warder (31'), A Baldwin (44')


Robert Lilley28 Jan - 00:59
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Catholic come from behind to move into the next round.....

United, on the road for the 7th consecutive game, found themselves facing Hashtag Development in the 4th round of the Essex FA Premier Cup.

Manager Simon Thomas faced a number of unavailable players and named veteran team forward Dan Williams, new signing ex-Grimsby Town attacker Gary Cohen and pacey utility player Ben Burrows on the bench.

Club captain Mike Sammut was named in the middle of the park, to secure his 250th appearance for the club and Brad Vaughan, at the hear of the defence, chalked up his 150th appearance.

Conditions at kick off, although bright and sunny, was still chilly. It seemed as though the Essex Bhoys were feeling the cold, with just four minutes on the clock and the Tags first real attack found the ball crossed into the box from the right but a failure to clear allowed a toe-poke home. It was a great start for the home side and a number of balls over the top in subsequent attacks had Catholic scrambling to get organised.

The Essex Bhoys had keeper Woody Wells to thank as his outstretched left leg kept the Tags at bay.

However, on the half hour the hosts doubled their lead. A freekick from the left was floated into the box, to bounce to the back post and headed past keeper Woody Wells. Simon Thomas was enraged at the defending and knew there was an uphill task to get back to parity.

Two minutes later, Joe Burton chased the ball down the left, keeping it in play at the byline to find a pass to Aaron Baldwin who controlled but allowed fellow striker James Warder to turn and fire a rocket past the keeper. It was the kickstart that the Essex Bhoys needed.
A minute before half time, Baldwin drew the teams level. Louie Hay's long throw found its way through to Mike Sammut who played in Baldwin who's first time right foot shot snuck past the keepers right hand.

Half Time: Hashtag United Development 2-2 Catholic United

The second half couldn't have been any different for the visitors, who finally took the game by the scruff of the neck and gained the majority of control and possession.

Baldwin came close early in the half, cutting inside and curling a shot which the keeper got a great hand to. Burrows was brought on to replace an injured Joe Burton, and was immediately involved down the left but a slightly overhit through ball was pounced on by the keeper.

A long ball over the top from Aaron Clark gave substitute Dan Williams something to run onto and he outmuscled the defender to get to the ball but his side foot shot was too close to the keeper who parried well.

The winner came in the 65th minute, a long ball from Louis Robinson found Burrows, who played it back to Thomas Kearney and his run to the byline and ball across the face of goal was turned in by a Tags player, just ahead of the incoming James Warder.

Further chances came the visitors way and with Robinson and Vaughan keeping the tags forwards at bay, the final whistle sounded on a tough game which could have, honestly, gone a different way. The Essex Bhoys dug in and despite a shocking first half, the win was secured and they now find themselves in the hat for the next round.

Match details

Match date

Sat 20 Jan 2024


Team overview
Further reading

Team Sponsors

Player Sponsor - Anglian Cathodic Protection Services
Player Sponsor - MHS Radiators
First Team Shirt Sponsoe - Celts Are Here
Matchday Programme Sponsor - Paul Robinson Solicitors
Kit Provider - SXSports
Club Sponsor - Geoff Keane Carpets
Club Sponsor - St Thomas More Alumni