Moneyfields handed FA Vase trip to Sussex to face striker who has belted 74 goals in 50 games

Moneyfields will have to tame one of the most prolific strikers in south coast non-league football after being handed a tough FA Vase draw.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 2:51 pm
Joe Benn (orange) has netted 22 goals already for Littlehampton this season. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Moneys’ reward for beating AFC Portchester in Saturday’s second qualifying round tie is a trip into West Sussex to face Littlehampton Town on October 23.

There they will face Joe Benn, who has belted 22 goals in just 15 appearances for the Southern Combination League table-toppers in 2021/22.

Benn also scored 19 times in just 15 appearances last season, when Littlehampton were playing at step 6 level prior to being promoted as part of the FA’s summer restructuring.

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In 2019/20, while playing for step 6 club Mile Oak, Benn fired 33 goals in 20 appearances - meaning he has scored 74 goals in 50 outings since the start of August 2019.

Benn started this season with four goals in a 6-4 league win at AFC Varndeanians, and in his second league outing belted three against Horsham YMCA (who were later thrashed 10-1 in the FA Cup by Fareham’s FA Vase opponents Jersey Bulls).

Littlehampton have won 10 of their 11 Southern Combination Premier games in 2021/22 - the same level of the pyramid as the Wessex Premier - and Benn didn’t play in a 6-0 spree at Steyning.

The only points they have dropped so far came in a 2-1 loss at Peacehaven & Telscombe - and that was via an 85th minute penalty after they had been reduced to 10 men.

In an FA Cup against higher tier Whitehawk, Littlehampton only lost 5-4.

Moneys boss Glenn Turnbull welcomed a tie against non-Wessex League opposition.

‘They’re a good footballing side, with a nice little set-up there,’ he reported.

‘We’ll go there as underdogs again, and you know we like that!’

Turnbull took his US Portsmouth side to play a pre-season friendly at Littlehampton in July 2020, winning 3-1 when both teams were at step 6.

‘They had a similar sort of system to US, they played it out from the back, they have runners off their forwards.

‘We’ll look forward to it, I was presuming we’d be drawn against someone from the Wessex League structure.

‘Last season (at US) the games against Millbrook, Tavistock, Flackwell and Binfield stand out. No disrespect to them, but I’d almost forgotten we’d played Brockenhurst.

‘I might send someone to watch them, I might not - it depends on time and fuel! We’ll do our prep and if we’re good enough on the day we’re good enough.

‘It’ll be a test, somewhere new for the players to go and probably upset a few people … we probably won’t be singing ‘Our House’!

‘But we’ve got four league games before Littlehampton and they take priority.’