Molesey's Walton Road ground sits between East and West Molesey, just South of the Thames and not much more than a decent goal-kick away from Hampton Court Palace. It's very much a residential area and, as such, parking at the ground is fairly limited (maybe 30-35 cars), although I managed to get one the two remaining spots). Access to the ground is via a double turnstile entrance which brings you into a corner of the ground. Immediately to your left is the clubhouse - also accessible from the car park - and the rather unique main stand which has seating on the upper level and the snack bar on the lower level.
There is cover on all four sides of the ground, with identical covered standing areas behind each goal and a similar structure opposite the main stand.
This was an FA Vase clash between two Step 5 sides who were both in Step 4 last season. Molesey were relegated from the Isthmian League Division 1 South Central after spending four season at that level. They have started life back in the Combined Counties League quite well and are currently in sixth spot, but would be in second were it not for a 3 point deduction (issues on the day of this game).
Borough, who had spent three seasons in Step 4, dropped down from the Isthmian League Division 1 South-East. Their return to Step 5 has not been quite as smooth and, before this game, they sat in 16th spot with only one win from their five league games. However, that said, their one win was their last league outing and they remain unbeaten in their last five in all competitions, so maybe things are turning around.
The sides have met in the FA Vase before, in the 2014-15 competition, when Borough won 2-1 at Walton Road. There was also an FA Cup meeting between the teams in 1993-94 in which Molesey won 4-0 at Greenwich before going out in a replay to Tooting & Mitcham United.
There was a good pace and competitive edge about the game from the first minute.
Molesey settled into their rhythm quickly and were playing some nice football up until the final third. They got in down the right on several occasions but, each time, the final ball let them down. Greenwich had a little less of the ball but when they did break forward they too looked dangerous.
Moles striker Reis Stanislaus was causing some concern for the Borough defence with his pace and strength. However, the two Greenwich centre-halves were well capable of looking after themselves, which led to an intriguing, on-going battle throughout the half. Credit to the players that, even after a few hefty challenges and heated exchanges, it never really threatened to boil over.
For Borough left-back Billy Muckle was always willing and able to push forward. A lot of their more dangerous looking forays into the Molesey half came down the Borough left-flank, with Muckle pulling the strings.
Despite the fact that there were no goals the half seemed to pass by very quickly, a testament to the entertainment value of the game.
HT Molesey 0 Greenwich Borough 0. The Moles edged a fairly tight half, certainly on possession. Neither side has been able to find a cutting edge and Molesey's final ball has let them down on a several occasions. A better cross, or a better passing option in the final third may well have got them a goal.
After setting up the first goal, it was now Boughtwater's turn to shore things up at the other end. First of all he reacted well to tip a stinging Reis Stanislaus drive over the bar then, in the 69th minute, he produced a a superb point-blank, reaction save to somehow keep it at 0-1. This for me may well have been the deciding moment of the game. Molesey were on the up at the time, pushing Greenwich deeper as they searched for the equaliser. If that effort had gone in the balance of the game could well have completely shifted. As it was, eight minutes later, Fred Obasa was left alone on the edge of the home penalty area and fired home a rocket to make it 0-2.
Molesey again tried to rally and, in the final minute, had the opportunity to set up a nail-biting added time for the visitors when they were awarded a penalty. Joe Pratley-Jones stepped up but once again was denied by Boughtflower in the Greenwich goal.
FT Molesey 0 Greenwich Borough 2. An entertaining game with both sides playing some good football at times. The difference between the sides in the end was Borough's goalkeeper James Boughtflower. Two excellent saves from open play, the second of which was as good a save as you will see anywhere, and a penalty save. Greenwich will now face Fisher FC in the next round.
Molesey: Allen, David, Meyers, Lewington, Pratley-Jones, Wales(c), Windsor, MArklew, Stanislaus, Gumbs, Di Guissepi. Subs: Grobler, Champion, McShane, Majembe, Jno-Baptiste
Greenwich Borough: Boughtflower, Amoam, Muckle, Foster, Josepgh(c), Fitzgerald, Obasa, Nelson, Darboe, Jimoh, Ita. Suns: Green, Richard, Zepo
Ground Number: 212