Away specialists Flackwell Heath stand between US Portsmouth and the FA Vase semi-finals

Flackwell Heath will enter next weekend’s FA Vase quarter final at the Victory Stadium aiming for their SEVENTH away win in eight rounds in 2020/21.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 4:31 pm
Flackwell Heath (red) in action during their FA Vase 4th rd win at Lancing. Pic: Stephen Goodger

Like US Portsmouth, the Hellenic League Premier Division club are in the last eight of the tournament for the first time in their history.

But while USP have been drawn at home in six rounds out of seven, Buckinghamshire-based Heath have clocked up the miles - and goals - on their record-breaking run.

They started their Vase campaign last September in the first qualifying round, winning 2-0 at Rushden & Higham United.

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They then triumphed 3-0 in their only home tie against Desborough Town.

More away wins followed at Frimley Green (2-0), Stansfield (3-0) and Chatham Town (1-0).

The latter was a particularly eye-catching result as Chatham had won 10 of their 11 Southern Counties East League games in 2020/21, belting 60 goals in the process.

The Kent club had given three divisions higher Hawks a number of uncomfortable moments during an FA Cup tie at Westleigh Park in October.

Flackwell - managed by former Cambridge United, Torquay, Hartlepool and Lincoln striker Marcus Richardson - were drawn away again in the fourth round, at Lancing.

There they managed a 1-1 draw before winning a penalty shoot-out 4-2 thanks to a double save from keeper Aaron Watkins.

Like USP, Heath saved their best performance of the Vase season for the fifth round - winning 4-2 at Plymouth Parkway.

It was a major shock - Parkway boast the best points-per-game ratio of any club in the 14 step 5 leagues over the last two seasons (2.61).

Fareham (5-2) were among the sides Parkway had brushed aside en route to crashing to defeat at the weekend.

Jack Taylor put Heath in front before Parkway levelled through a Ryan Richards spot-kick.

Mitchell Parker restored their lead and, after Parkway sub Shane Krac had been sent off just nine minutes after coming on, Simeon Weekes made it 3-1 on 80 minutes.

Parkway set up a nervous finale with a second goal, but Heath held on.

Flackwell endured a mixed 2019/20 league season, winning nine, drawing six and losing nine of their 26 Hellenic games. They were ninth when the campaign was null and voided.

But this season they were top, winning six and losing one of their seven matches, when 2020/21 was curtailed in February.

Other Vase 5th rd scores: Hebburn Town 1 Congleton 0, Warrington Rylands 1 West Auckland 1 (Rylands won 3-1 on pens), Walsall Wood 0 Anstey Nomads 0 (Wood won 5-4 on pens), Hanworth Villa 2 Long Eaton 2 (Eaton won 5-3 on pens), Cobham 0 Leighton 1, Hadley 0 Binfield 0 (Binfield won 5-4 on pens).

QF (May 1): US Portsmouth v Flackwell Heath, Warrington v Hebburn, Leighton Town v Walsall Wood, Long Eaton v Binfield.