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Ide Hill 4 Malgo FC 3

Kent County League, Division One East

Ide Hill’s pursuit of third place continues with three points gained from a deserved but patchy performance over Malgo FC. Both sides offered the other too much space and in the first half Ide Hill threatened and created plenty of opportunities but failed to capitalise on them.


They got off to a good start and took the lead after eight minutes as central midfielder Craig Jackson’s long pass into the penalty area was met by striker Tom Wright who headed the ball down between two Malgo defenders and controlled it well to slot home under pressure.


In midfield Steve McGinn made a welcome return from long term injury with an assured and confident contribution in a 4-5-1 formation Ide Hill has favoured in recent weeks. Jackson was in good form and the second goal came in the eighteenth minute when his high cross from the right was met by left winger Columb Grant who struck home with a blistering shot that has become his trade mark this season.


Chances fell to midfielder Matt Bunn who worked hard all through the game linking well with Wright but was a little over zealous at times, a feature of Ide Hill’s play as they lacked composure and failed to close down Malgo’s attacks.  Ide Hill lacked incisiveness at times and conceded possession too freely but still they were the stronger side.


Malgo’s response was to break with pace from midfield and down the right flank. With twenty minutes left they hit back with a speculative shot from the edge of the area that dipped awkwardly in front of  Ide Hill keeper Tom Williamson. Chances continued to fall both ways and Williamson was in good form to prevent a goal when from a Malgo attack the ball rebounded off  central defender Charlie James but he covered well.


The second half continued in the same vein as Wright, Jackson, Grant and Bunn had chances and this time midfielder George Kensell was the beneficiary of Jackson’s cutting cross as he met and controlled it well to slot home cooly in the fifty-sixth minute.


Ide Hill now pushed forward strongly and Malgo offered little resistance in midfield but if you offer chances opponents will take them and their failure to clear from a cross allowed Malgo back in the game with twenty minutes to play. Always dangerous down the flanks full-backs Ben Pearson and Jon Sims coped well, absorbing  the pressure of Malgo’s attacks alongside central defenders James and Craig Holder.


At 3-2 to Ide Hill a win never looked guaranteed and there was relief as they struck again when Kensell slipped home from Grant’s cross with ten minutes left and he had a chance shortly after to add a third but he opted to pass and not shoot directly.


With five minutes left Malgo pulled one back through loose defending and from the re-start Ide Hill focused on keeping a tight grip on the play as the minutes ticked away and they shielded the ball adeptly until the final whistle. A deserved win secured the hard way.

Sevenoaks Town U21's 1 Ide Hill 6

Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup, semi-final

On paper this was a game between two well matched teams but the result illustrates Ide Hill’s dominance as they progressed to their third Charity Cup final in as many seasons. It takes place on Good Friday at 2.30pm against and everyone is welcome to come along to Greatness Park.


Ide Hill set out to attack with lone striker Tom Wright upfront, Shaun Boyle and Columb Grant patrolling the wings and the midfield triumvirate of skipper, Craig Jackson, John Connor-MacDonlad and George Kensell dominate throughout the game.


Sevenoaks Town’s free flowing football deserted them in the face of Ide Hill’s committed and well-organised play, and from the start they chased down every ball and pressured their opponents. It was a brilliant all-round team performance.


Within twenty minutes Ide Hill were two goals up. The first by  Kensell who ran through from midfield upped the tempo of play to even higher levels and five minutes later the marauding Grant added another.


In an attempt to stifle Ide Hill’s fee flowing play Sevenoaks Town changed tactics to strengthen their midfield but with little effect. Boyle’s good mazy wing play down the right was matched by the Grant on the opposite side and the attack minded midfield supported Wright who was difficult to handle all game.


Sevenoaks Town’s only goal came ten minutes from time as Ide Hill conceded an indirect free kick twenty-five yards from goal and from the cross the ball was headed harmlessly towards goal before dipping suddenly to slip in under the bar.


At half-time and being only one goal behind it was still possible for Sevenoaks Town to regroup and get back onto the game but Ide Hill simply started where they left off and opened up their lead when Kensell scored his second.


The few chances Sevenoaks Town created were mopped up by the central defensive pairing of Charlie James and Phil Alteriac, backed by the ultra reliable Mike McKay in goal.  Their ring wing-play was suppressed by the experienced full-back Ben ‘nothing will pass’ Pearson and on the left flank Cullum Heath was picked to put in the performance he did, using his pace and cussed style of play to defend and support the midfield in equal measure.


To their credit Sevenoaks Town never slumped and contributed greatly to a highly watchable game but Ide Hill were in no mood to let anything slip and goals continued. Number four came as Wright ran on to a through ball and wisely opted to chip the keeper.  His second came as the keeper blocked his shot back into his path and he made no mistake with the second chance.


Substitutions were made but Ide Hill were relentless and continued to control the game against opponents who were now dazed.  Charlie James rounded off the game with a late final goal and  Ide Hill quite rightly enjoyed celebrated a well deserved win and chance to defend the trophy they won last season.

Park Regis 1 Ide Hill 4

A strong bench helps Ide Hill to a 4-1 win over relegated Park Regis on Saturday

Kent County League Division One East

Ide Hill’s win moves them to mid-table position in the league and with games in hand they are well placed to push for a top three finish. Their assured performance drove them to victory but the deciding factor was the discipline they showed as Park Regis’ intimidating tactics and lack of respect for the officials resulting in bookings and two dismissals.


Park Regis scored first as Ide Hill’s defence was caught flat-footed and after 20 minutes they were behind. However, from the start Ide Hill’s free flowing football, with plenty of possession and good passing always looked like it would overcome the more brutal tactics of their opponents.


Up front striker Tom Wright crossed well for right-winger Columb Grant to score but he was brought down in the box although the penalty appeal was dismissed. In central midfield captain Craig Jackson led the line commandingly supported by John-Connor MacDonald.


At half time the scores were level as Jackson jumped well at the left side of the six-yard box to head across goal for Wright to head home. As Park Regis started to implode Ide Hill knew that maintaining their shape and discipline would be a winning factor in the game and in the second half they dominated play as the referee was forced to issue a succession of warnings and bookings to Park Regis players.


Substitute George Kensell’s good run from the right of midfield unlocked Park Regis’ defence and he timed a good cross to Wright who angled the ball past the keeper. More chances followed as Jackson struck well from free kicks awarded around the area and Ide Hill opened up the defence with growing confidence.


Ide Hill applied more pressure through the pace of substitute Matt Bunn on the left wing and tenacity of Callum Heath in midfield with plenty of chances created.


In defence Craig Holder and Charlie James were solid and keeper Mike McKay had one of his less demanding games.


From a short corner taken on the left after 25 minutes Shaun Boyle almost walked the ball into the net as Park Regis’s static defenders failed to clear and he strolled through to score Ide Hill’s third. By this time Park Regis’ continual dissent resulted in one red card and a second followed for dangerous play as Heath was brought to the ground.


In the final minutes Jackson scored from another free kick outside the area and Ide Hill can reflect on a footballing performance that merited three points, and showed how the game should be played respectfully.

Deal Community Sports 2 Ide Hill 3

Kent County League Division One East

Ide Hill’s league form continued with a win that should have been by a greater margin. The game stated at a high tempo with chances falling to both sides in the first 20 minutes but none were converted.


In central midfield Ide Hill’s recent signing John-Connor MacDonald played aggressively alongside George Kensell. They linked well with the defensive line-up of Philip Alteirac, Charlie Rob James. Craig Holder and Rob Piper who pressed higher than usual to good effect.


As the dominated the forwards benefited and their creative flair saw Ide Hill take a two goal lead. Striker Matt Bunn made no mistake with an astute finish and Shaun Boyle’s trademark wing play afforded him enough space to deliver a sublime ball across goal to be met on the half volley by the technically gifted Columb Grant. 


Substitutions were frequent for Ide Hill in the second half, making good use of the league’s roll on-roll off policy, most notably for Ben Pearson who returned to action at right back after injury. 


Within five minutes of the second half Ide Hill looked comfortable and with time on the ball Piper released Grant who weaved his way from the wing into the box and set up Bunn to score his second.


Ide Hill were coasting at 3 - 0 but to their credit Deal Community continued to show belief and a correct, if somewhat soft, penalty decision saw them reduce the deficit as keeper Mike McKay was unlucky to have his initial save deflect off the post and in to the net. Deal’s first was followed closely by their second as a ball hit beyond Ide Hill’s defence enabled their striker to score.


Ide Hill had a chance to score from the spot and in the absence of regular penalty taker Tom Wright up stepped Bunn to secure his hat-trick but on this occasion he missed.


The wake up call for Ide Hill came just in time as they managed to see out the closing stage of the match . This was by no means a vintage Ide Hill but it was ‘job done’ and the team can be satisfied with their victory.

Farnborough OBG 4 Ide Hill 5 (aet)

Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup

Ide Hill marched on to the semi-final of the trophy they won last season with a scintillating cup tie win against Farnborough Old Boys. The scoreline suggests victory was hard won and it was against two well matched teams who, in a repeat of last week’s game in another cup competition, needed the last session of added time before Farnborough settled that one.


While Ide Hill took time to settle Farnborough launched into their usual tactic of playing high, long balls towards the penalty area, chasing down half chances and hitting from distance when a little more composure was called for. However, it was effective as Ide Hill’s back four struggled to deal with the danger and too often got caught out of position.


Farnborough scored first in the fifteenth minute when they latched on a loose ball and took advantage of poor defending. This acted as a spur for Ide Hill as they spread the ball well, with close control and created their own chances. The central midfield pairing of Nick Capon and George Kensell are always attack minded and up-front, striker Tom Wright linked well with the tireless running of Callum Heath. 


On the left wing Columb Grant was isolated but his influence came into the game later on. On the opposite side Shaun Boyle’s runs  threatened without creating chances. Ide Hill’s deserved equaliser came in the thirty fifth minute as Wright collected the ball inside the penalty area and checked his stride to clinically beat the advancing keeper.


Within a minute of starting the second half Heath was felled in the area and after one of Farnborough’s several bursts of anger towards the officials Wright stepped forward to score from a penalty he had to hit well to beat Farnborough’s in form keeper.


But Farnbourgh’s long ball tactics caused problems all through the match and shortly afterwards they hit back, cutting in from the left to drill home from distance. Ide Hill’s central defence pairing of Charlie James and Philip Alteirac struggled to stifle aerial attacks and full-back’s Romain Duchon, on for the injured Rob Piper for a severe tackle that went unpunished, and Craig Holder were under pressure. Keeper Mike McKay had to be alert throughout and made good saves from long shots.


Ide Hill’s third goal, and Wright’s hat-trick, came in the sixtieth minute as he climbed about Farnborough’s defence to head home from Boyle’s well placed cross. 


With both sides playing openly chances were created and with twelve minutes remaining Grant, in space on the left, surged forward and beat the keeper to give Ide Hill the two goal cushion that should have been enough to steer then home.


With goals in the bag and control of the game Ide Hill should not have lost their lead in such startling fashion. With little to lose Farnborough pushed forward and will regret their profligacy in front of goal but with five minutes left Ide Hill succumbed to their opponent’s pressure, and with in the last minute were wrong footed defensively. The result being two goals in the final five minutes and Farnborough celebrated as if the tie was won.


But Ide Hill are resilient and you felt a sense of collective calm that said we have won this game once and we do it again. With roll-on substitution’s their line-up altered as the game called for it. John-Connor MacDonald made a promising  debut in midfield alongside Craig Jackson. Capon moved up front alongside Wright to replace the injured Heath.


The teams cancelled each other out in the first session of added time and with five minutes of the second period left Grant collect Alteirac’s well judged through ball to hit home and celebrate gangnam style.


A little bit of back to the wall defending followed but Ide Hill were not inclined to let their lead slip again and emerged worthy winners and cup defenders.

Farnborough Old Boys 4 Ide Hill 3 (aet)

Since their Manager of the Month awards in January, Keith McGinn and Wally Paxton have yet to see their side win

Inter Regional Challenge Cup

Ide Hill suffered defeat in a close fought game their opponents won with a well struck penalty awarded by the referee in the last minute of the second half of extra time. With the scores level central defender George Kensell tracked back to cover in defence and inadvertently brought down Farnborough’s attacker and the penalty was given.


It was a harsh way to lose a game Ide Hill had plenty of opportunities to win during the ninety minutes. They got off to a strong start with strikers Tom Wright and Nick Capon leading the attack. On the right wing Shaun Boyle’s tricky runs caused problems and the midfielders Kensell and Craig Holder dulled Farnborough’s attack. For their part Farnborough gambled on long ball tactics, hitting shots high over Ide Hill’s back line and chasing down half chances.


With both teams playing open attacking football the scoreline was 2-1 to Ide Hill within fifteen minutes. Ide Hill scored first after seven of them as Boyle cut in from the right to beat the keeper with a well struck shot. Within minutes Farnborough hit back and then conceded again as their keeper embarrassingly dallied on the ball inside his penalty area, failed to clear it and the alert Capon took it from his toes to tap in.


No further goals in the first half but tensions flared, largely between the Farnborough players as they became more agitated with the referee’s decisions.


On a muddy track ball playing quality football was tricky and on too many occasions Ide Hill resorted to wayward shots at goal from distance and lost composure in front of Farnborough’s penalty area. Greater use of Columb Grant and Boyle on the wings would have given more opportunity to Wright and Capon up front.


Ide Hill lost their right back Ben Pearson, who had a solid game but suffered a recurrence of an old ankle injury. Holder switched to his position and substitute Jack Edmeads added strength to midfield. Farnborough’s long balls and pace caused problems but defenders Phil Alteirac and Charlie James coped well. Further chances were needed as Holder limped off and right back Rob Piper took over while Matt Bunn covered the left side. Both can attack and support play down the wings, albeit Piper was a little too ambitious at times.


With the clock running down and ten minutes left Farnborough equalised to force extra time. Ide Hill have been in this situation many times before and knew what to expect. They dug deep, battled hard and had the beating of Farnborough but too often their decision making going forward limited their options, the wrong pass being played too often. Their frustration evident by taking too many wild shots that flew untroubled over or wide of the goal.


Having cancelled each other out in the first session of added time there was plenty of action in the second. Edmeads ran through from midfield and with Wright’s decoy run opening up the defence his blistering shot beat the keeper. By this time substitute Baz Pennells came on for Grant to add weight to the midfield and Ide Hill looked to hold the scoreline.


Farnborough’s continual intolerance of each other and officialdom left the referee with no option other than to issue a second yellow and red card to striker Arun Evans for continual careless tackles. With ten men to face and ten minutes left Farnborough scored again to make it three all and the game looked liked heading to penalties until the last minute spot kick Ide Hill’s keeper Mike McKay had no chance of stopping.

Kennington 3 Ide Hill 1

Ide Hill 6 New Romney 2

Goalscorers: Boyle (2), Bunn, Edmeads, Grant, Wright

Evening shadows of the Ide Hill 11 projected on to the unblemished surface of the Wrotham 3G pitch like imperious silhouettes as the sun set on another day undefeated for IHFC in 2015.


2 hours earlier: New Romney arrived in strong form 1 place above their opponents in the league with hopes to tip the balance in their favour in the third encounter between the sides this season.


Hill’s managing partnership of McGinn and Paxton agreed not to alter a winning formula as the team triumphant at Faversham maintained their starting positions.


The inaugural blow of the referee’s whistle prompted a fast start by the home team who asserted authority with slick pass and move football whilst matching the notorious physicality of the visitors. Chances for Hill were frequent and credit is due for Romney’s determination to protect their goal with vital blocks. A studious Charlie James organised Hill’s defence to render Romney’s fleeting counter attacks obsolete.


Around fifteen minutes in, having been involved in the build up play, a tardy Shaun Boyle arrived invariably late in the box to power a shot on goal. The ball rebounded back to Boyle who met it cleanly with his unfavoured foot to ensure it’s final resting place was the back of the net. 1-0.


New Romney showed immediate enthusiasm to hit back but their quick equaliser was perhaps more by luck than design; a throw in deep in Hill’s half was met in the air by a marked attacker and the ball found it’s way in to the net via a strong palm by Mike McKay and the post. 1-1.

Ide Hill were frustrated but unperturbed by the equaliser and regained control of proceedings. The bewhiskered George Kensell was often amongst the thick of play ensuring possession remained in the Romney half. Recent signing Matt Bunn put the burners on to chase down through balls from midfield and was unfortunate to not have a clear chance at goal. Frenchman Romain Duchon, enduring a persistent back injury, proved his feet are still fully functional as he tip toed towards the centre from the flank and an unleashed an audacious strike from outside the box. Football is a game of small margins and Duchon’s shot was inches away from being in contention for goal of the season, deflecting off the stanchion.


No one would argue that Hill’s recent upturn in results correlates with the return of Craig “Jacko” Jackson and the talismanic captain controlled midfield with his trademark blend of strength and guile. Jackson’s commitment served a contrary purpose midway through the first half as the second bad challenge on him in the space of 5 minutes resulted in a recurrence of the knee injury which kept him out from the start of the season. Attempting to play on, Jackson had to be replaced imminently and with initial hesitance handed the captain's armband to Rob “Pipesy” Piper who clarified he would in turn hand it to the clubs assigned vice captain Phil Alteirac. Jack Edmeads was the ideal replacement for Jackson, available for only the third time this season. Qualified coach Edmeads gained an instant feel for the game and within 5 minutes applied the finishing touch to more intense play from Hill in the Romney box. 2-1.


New Romney resumed play around the half hour mark and their resilience was again evident as they attempted to have a greater influence in an attacking sense. Little time had elapsed when Romney broke down the left wing and right back Rob Piper conceded a foul between the touchline and penalty area receiving a career first yellow card for a push in the aftermath. Mike McKay, having been largely a spectator in the game, pushed his defense high and New Romney, somewhat specialists at set pieces, were able to find a gap between keeper and defence to prod home a second equaliser from the free kick. 2-2.


Penalty appeals for both sides were waved away by the referee and the first half drew to a close with no further chances of note.


Half time is perhaps the clearest opportunity for managers to have an influence on their players during the game and McGinn and Paxton assembled the team in the dressing room to take centre stage.


In a rare insight to the Hill dressing room it was evident why McGinn and Paxton recently received the accolade of managers of the month in the Kent Leagues for January. Paxton was critical of defensive errors whilst McGinn focused on Hill’s attacking prowess in what was clearly an example of motivational technique good cop bad cop.


Hill’s players emerged from the dressing room confident of eliminating errors and converting more chances in the remaining 45.


The second half was quickly underway and it seemed New Romney had hatched a plan of their own as they introduced more passing to complement their counter attacks. Romney had the better of the next ten minutes but soon to be married Phil Alteirac showed the sort of devotion that will serve him well in wedlock as he dominated aerially and intercepted all key passes.


McGinn/Paxton implemented a change as the incandescent Jon Simms replaced Piper at right back who in turn replaced the substituted Duchon at left back. “Simmo” settled quickly with an exuberance reminiscent of a child on christmas morning, ensuring Hill’s defence remained resolute and preventing attacks from out wide.


Ide Hill’s main outlet was Shaun Boyle whose twists and turns confused the opponents as he paraded onwards like a slinky down an iceberg. High on confidence Boyle created space for himself a few yards from the penalty area and as the crowd called for a shot he obliged with a rifled effort which maintained trajectory to nestle in the top corner. 3-2.


Boyle’s goal was the vital blow as New Romney seemed deflated, allowing Hill more space in attack, as they searched in vain for another equaliser. If there is one man who exploits space that man is Tom Wright. Recently single Wright proved that a heavy heart doesn’t always mean a muddy mind as he took an exquisite through ball from Edmeads in his stride and applied a cool finish low past the keeper. 4-2.


The referee had divided opinion with one or two decisions and New Romney were more vocal with their grievances but ultimately their complaints will be lost in time like tears in rain.


Partnerships in Hill’s side continue to develop as the runs of Wright and Bunn, in particular, allow space for Boyle - as well as the trio exchanging passes during good interplay. Interplay being the pertinent word in the next run of play: Elder statesman Columb Grant had produced good moments in the game from wide but this time he exchanged passes with Edmeads who took the ball wider than Grant and dribbled superbly passed two players into the box teeing up Grant in a more central position who finished with a powerful yet controlled side foot into the top corner - a sumptuous goal for the spectators. 5-2.


With 20 minutes remaining Romney continued to chase the game but McKay was not forced to reproduce some of the world class saves attributed to him in recent games.

Ide Hill’s final change saw Baz Pennels enter the fray, replacing Tom Wright. Pennels was as dedicated as ever during his record 15 years with the club - chasing down and linking up well in attack.


With Hill fully in control of the game players were free to roam forward, camping in the Romney half. During this spell Matt Bunn took receipt of a quality pass and in one fluid motion moved the ball from right foot to left releasing it low into the corner in what was possibly an attempt to curry favour with new manager Paxton. Bunn’s third goal since joining was not his most important but was certainly his best. 6-2.


In the dying embers of the game a chance fell to Piper courtesy of more magical footwork from Boyle. Piper will be disappointed to not convert but will most likely take solace in the fact he is not the least composed player in his family as brother in law Pennels blasted over from point blank range with the keeper stranded.


The final whistle marked three straight wins for Hill in the league with the only negative being the injury to Jackson. Spirits will overall be high in the camp with a chance to progress in the cup on Valentines day followed by a singles night social event in the evening.

Faversham Strike Force Seniors 2 Ide Hill 3

Ide Hill’s battling performance saw them defeat top of the league Faversham Strike Force. In typical mid-Winter conditions on a muddy pitch and swirling wind Favesham’s first half tactic of playing long balls over the Ide Hill defence was effected.


They created early chances and Ide Hill was forced to make an early change as injured left back Romain Duchon was replaced by Rob Piper and Andy Ruddon took over at right back. The game was twenty minutes old when Ide Hill failed to clear their lines and Faversham Strike Force took an early lead.


As Ide Hill’s defence dropped deeper to nullify their opponent’s long ball tactic and gradually played the stronger, more assured football in central midfield Craig Jackson and George Kensell dominated. Up-front the pairing of pace caused problems as Tom Wright and Matt Bunn had chances. 


On the sideline Faversham’s management unnecessarily challenged the referee’s decision and their managed was red carded at half time and the whistle blow with the scoreline unchanged.


Early in the second half Wright and Bunn had shots on target and Ide Hill and in the seventeenth Shaun Boyle equalised with a shot the keeper had no chance of stopping.


The tension increased as Faversham fought back conceding free kicks and collecting yellow cards as they frustrated themselves and a second member of their management team was sent to the stands.


Meantime on the pitch Ide Hill stayed focus on the football albeit loose defending allowed Favesham to regain the lead. Ide Hill battle hard and strong and Bunn was upended in the area as he ran trough and Jackson struck home the resultant penalty.


In the last fifteen minutes both sides may have settled for a draw but Ide Hill were the stronger in attack and to the frustration of Faversham scored in the last minute. Boyle crossed from the right and Bunn met the ball with a timely run to tap home the winner.

Halstead 2 Ide Hill 2 (2-2 aet, 4-5 on penalties)

Inter Regional Challenge Cup

In a pulsating cup-tie Ide Hill emerged victorious after extra time and a successful penalty shoot-out. Penalties are converted more often than not but Ide Hill’s keeper Mike Mckay made three solid saves and helped win the day for a team who always dig deep when needed and battle hard to the end.


Although demoralised by losing in such a way Halstead contributed fully to a match that tested both teams.  They conceded home advantage to Ide Hill by switching the venue as their pitch was not in top condition and both teams started well on the 3G surface.


Although not the dominant team Halstead forced early corners and their arial threat caused problems but their goal in the sixth minute was a fortunate one. Ide Hill failed to clear a cross and Halstead’s header sneaked home from a deflection off defender Phil Alteirac.


Halstead failed to build on their early lead as Ide Hill battled back winning the midfield with skipper Craig Jackson returning from a long lay-off to add muscle to the centre alongside the disruptive George Kensell.


Up front striker Wright hustled Halstead’s back four and the forwards put pressure on them at every opportunity. Wright had a chance to equalise from left winger Columb Grant’s through ball and fellow striker Nick Capon hit wide but increasingly Ide Hill were the stronger team.


With thirty five minutes gone Shaun Boyle picked up the ball on the right wing drifted infield and struck home to level the score and despite further chances it was all square at half time.


In the second half the intensity of the game increased as both teams fought hard to take the lead. Halstead caused problems up front with their quick breaks although full-backs Callum Heath and Ben Pearson defended them well and, in turn, attacked with pace.


Boyle’s second goal was similar to his first as he picked up the ball wide on the right and forced his way infield to score another from a blistering shot after ten minutes.


Halstead created chances but needed another stroke of good fortune to score with fifteen minutes remaining. Ide Hill’s Alteirac poked the ball into his own goal as he stretched to clear a cross.  Unfortunate for a player who linked well throughout with central midfield Charlie James.


Injuries to Heath and Pearson did not disturb Ide Hill’s play due to the depth of their squad. Rob Piper, Roumain Duchon and picked up where they left off and up-front Matt Bunn joined Wright. The full time score was two all and remained so after thirty minutes of extra-time under floodlights on a chilly evening.


Penalty shoot-outs are always tense affairs and who takes them is often a hard decision but this time it was made easy as Jackson, Duchon, Boyle, Bunn and Wright volunteered. Both sides missed penalties and Halstead would have won had they struck home their fifth but McKay’s save was superb, and Kensell scored from Ide Hill’s seventh to see them march on to the next round.

Ide Hill 5 Hollands & Blair Reserves 3

Ide Hill goalscorers: Columb Grant, Charlie James and Tom Wright (3)

Kent County Division One East

Ide Hill kicked off their 2015 campaign with an impressive win over third placed Hollands and Blair Reserves as they clocked up five goals and conceded three sloppy ones in a scoreline that flatters their opponents.


Hollands and Blair always play well drilled and organised football and are pacey up front. They attacked well and created opportunities but no real chances in the early exchanges. However, Ide Hill’s tendency to give the ball away at key times remains a problem and it stifles their play as they concede possession and lose their attacking initiative.


In drizzly, wet  conditions Ide Hill’s midfield combination of Callum Heath’s strong tackling and Columb Grant’s distribution eased them back into the game. An early change was needed as Seb Christophers came off injured, right back Rob Piper moved to midfield and Romain Duchon went to defence.


In an open first half Hollands and Blair had the greater chances but Ide Hill striker Tom Wright scored the first of his three goals with five minutes remaining. He took advantage of a shot spilled by the Hollands and Blair keeper to hit low and hard into the net.


No-one expected the scoreline to go from one-nil to five nil in the opening twelve minutes of the second half. It rained goals as Wright picked up Matt Bunn’s pass, controlled it well in the penalty area and hit his second.


Ide Hill were rampant and Hollands and Blair slightly bemused as central defender Charlie James did well to swoop low and head home the third in a packed penalty area. Minutes later Grant was fouled on the edge of the box and from a position where he is always fancied to cause problems and struck home a great free-kick the keeper could not defend.


The power play ended when Shaun Boyle played a ball that dissected Holland and Blairs’ central defensive pairing and with keen anticipation Wright ran on  controlled it well to complete his hat-trick.


With a strong squad available and a five nil lead Ide Hill made several substitutions, maybe a little too many so soon, as it takes a while to acclimatise to the pace of a game and the initiative swung back to their opponents for a while. In particular the introduction of Hollands and Blairs’ Miguel Roth on the right wing caused problems and he linked well with their central attackers. 


In the remaining twenty minutes some Ide Hill players seem to switch off and although their victory was not in doubt they will be disappointed to have let in three loose goals and not improve their negative goal difference 


Nevertheless a great start to 2015 completing a league double over strong opponents.

Ide Hill 3 Woodlands 2

Ide Hill FC are the current holders of the Sevenoaks Charity Cup

Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup - second round

Ide Hill advanced to the next stage of the cup and a step closer to retaining the trophy they won last season. In a game they made hard work of winning Ide Hill emerged stronger in the second half and the one goal winning margin does not reflect their dominance.


With first team regulars striker Tom Wright and central midfield George Kensell away for the festive period others came to the fore and in particular winger Seb Christophers caused mayhem down the right flank.


The hosts made a stuttered start in the opening exchanges as Woodlands’ harried their midfield and created chances through their efforts and Ide Hill’s loose play. Woodlands were always dangerous on the break and took advantage by playing long balls over the Ide Hill defence culminating in a well taken goal by Woodlands’ Adam James as he rushed on and hit home after twenty five minutes. 


Woodlands ended the half one nil ahead and probably expected to dominate in the second session but Ide Hill emerged stronger and more aggressive after the break. Woodlands were pegged back and shots flew in on and off target as Ide Hill opened up the play. In central midfield Columb Grant and Callum Heath took control unleashing Matt Bunn and Christophers’ to create chances.


Defender Charlie James came close to scoring in a goal mouth melee before captain Phil Alteirac played a through ball to Christopher’s who was fouled in the area and scored from the subsequent penalty. Shortly after Ide Hill striker Shaun Boyle made a mazy right run across the edge of the penalty area and hit home with a powerful strike to take the lead.


By this time Ide Hill made all the running although against the run of play Woodlands hit back as a careless throw from defender Ian Nye allowed striker Tom Bayne to collect the ball and round the keeper to score.


The game got a little frentic as this time with both teams looking to score the winner and avoid added time and it fell to Ide Hill’s Nick Capon to secure victory as he hit home inside the six yard box from a cross with five minutes remaining.

Ide Hill 1 Kennington 2

Guru Nanak FC 6 Ide Hill 0

Shaun Boyle tries his luck against Guru Nanak

Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield - 1/4 final

Guru Nanak thoroughly deserved their victory over Ide Hill who suffered their first defeat in cup competitions this season. The hosts looked well drilled and organised in their warm-up session whereas too many Ide Hill players struggled to arrive on time. With Guru Nanak in good form they hardly needed the gift of an early goal. From the kick-off striker Nick Capon’s mis-hit back pass allowed Guru Nanak early possession and they surged forward to score in the opening minutes.


There followed a period of pressure as Guru Nanak picked up the pace and central defender Phil Alteirac blocked a goal scoring chance, and keeper Mike McKay had a busy opening spell. Guru Nanak were especially strong when attacking down the left flank and Ide Hill defender Andy Rudden had a difficult job containing their winger. 


Ide Hill struggled to keep pace and gave away the ball too carelessly at times. Guru Nanak added to their score after twenty minutes and it was only then that Ide Hill settled and started to play their style of football. In central midfield George Kensell pushed forward supported by Alex Daly who held back as opportunities started to flow. However, too often Ide Hill’s over-complicated play meant they lost possession at key times and they failed to convert the chances they created.


As the first half drew to a close Guru Nanak added a third and although Ide Hill improved in the second session manager Keith McGinn rued the fact that the game was effectively lost in the opening fifteen minutes as they conceded space and possession to combative opponents.


Substitute Matt Bunn came on and added pace down the right wing, linking well with striker Tom Wright. Kensell worked tirelessly but as Ide Hill pushed forward Guru Nanak exploited the space it opened up and they soon added a fourth. Ide Hill made further changes, moving Bunn to left-back, limiting their attacking options, Ben Pearson moved from midfield to replace Rudden, to strengthen defence, but the hosts hit a fifth. As the game petered out the referee awarded Ide Hill a penalty and Wright’s shot was saved by the keeper.


McKay pulled off some good stops before Guru Nanak’s final goal. A good victory for the Kent County premier league side and a game to move on from for Ide Hill.

New Romney 2 Ide Hill 1

Ide Hill FC players enjoy the free tiffin boxes from the Raj Bari after the game

Kent County League Division One East

New Romney deserved their three points with goals from Charlie Partridge and John Williams but Ide Hill will be disappointed with their under-par performance. There was little to commend in their first half display as Ide Hill conceded possession cheaply, failed to read each other’s movements and created few chances.


New Romney were pacey up-front, found space down the flanks and in the opening twenty minutes should have scored but fortunately Ide Hill keeper Mike McKay was in shot stopping form and prevented an early goal. Although not the usual Ide Hill back-four formation this was no makeshift line-up and Rob Piper was in fine form both defensively and going forward. They held firm despite central defender Romain Duchon having to be replaced through injury after twenty minutes and did well to contain New Romney who led the game one nil at half time.


New Romney did not dominate in the first half but were threatening and it took time for Ide Hill to counter and settle into the game. They failed to use the flanks, striker Tom Wright was isolated and the central midfield pairing of Nick Capon and stand-in skipper George Kensell had to work hard to control the play. Their injury problems continued as towards the end of the half Shaun Boyle was replaced by substitute Matt Bunn.


In such situations Ide Hill make full use of the break to regroup and rethink their approach to the game. They started strong with Bunn’s pace upfront a welcome addition and he beat his marker and New Romney keeper Lewis Butler to hit home his first goal for the club. Substitute Ben Buhagiar did well to chase down and win the ball on the right wing, pass it back to Wright who fed Bunn to score.


Now there was more attacking intent and some creative combinations around the midfield and new Romney’s penalty box. Boyle resumed  play on the left wing as striker Julian Carvey was subbed and Bunn switched to left-back with Piper moving to central midfield. The changes to formation and position were designed to spur on Ide Hill but this was a rare occasion when too many players were lacking and they themselves were disappointed  with their performance. New Romney pushed on, took their chances, scored again and emerged winners.

Hollands & Blair 2 Ide Hill 3

Wally Paxton takes charge in the changing room

Kent County League Division One East

A feature of Ide Hill’s play is their strength of character, a collective spirit and attitude that pervades every game and makes them so difficult to beat; their unnamed twelfth man. It was in full display as they came from behind to grind out victory over Hollands and Blair.


Hollands and Blair’s pace upfront and their midfield strength caused Ide Hill problems from the start. Due to injuries and absences Ide Hill’s line-up had an unfamiliar ring to it yet every player stepped up and although under early pressure they were difficult to break down.


Mike McKay in goal made several brave saves throughout the ninety minutes and the pairing of Phil Alteriac and Romain Duchon in central defence was strong. Although not natural full-backs Andy Rudden and Rob Piper dealt with Hollands and Blair attacks down the flanks.


In midfield Callum Heath, playing one of his best games, and George Kensell balanced their attack minded play with gutsy defending and debutant Matt Bunn impressed on the left-wing. As the game moved on Ide Hill switched from absorbing pressure to applying their own as Shaun Boyle, on the right wing, and Bunn attacked down the flanks. With Julian Carvey playing up-front just behind striker Tom Wright Ide Hill came more into the game but Hollands and Blair’s pace was always a problem and they were frustrated at their inability to convert their chances.


They scored with twenty minutes left when Sam Welsh ran on to a through ball and with a deft touch made it 1-0. They then boxed in Ide Hill for a time as they piled on the pressure from throw-in’s and corners albeit without looking like increasing their lead.


With ten minutes left Kensell was fouled and although the referee blew his whistle the game continued long enough for him to be brought down by a second Hollands and Blair player.  Although rewarded for the first offence it was the second that caused him to limp off the pitch. Rudden moved into midfield and substitute Ben Buhagiar took over at right back.


Although not realising it Ide Hill’s strong finish to the half set the tone for the second and from the start they surged forward. Kensell returned from injury and with the original line-up restored within a minute the score was level as Carvey met Bunn’s cross with his outstretched leg. As Hollands and Blair took time to regroup Ide Hill dominated.


In the fifty-third minute Boyle collected the ball in his own half and beat three players to hit home impressively. Although always dangerous in attack it was the turn of Hollands and Blair to be pegged back and they became increasing frustrated with themselves and started to needlessly commit fouls and argue with the referee, who kept control well.


Hollands and Blair made substitutions but to no avail as Ide Hill piled on the pressure and upfront Wright led the line, creating several chances and linking up well with Bunn in a potentially strong future combination.


From the now succession of fouls Boyle’s floated cross from a free kick awarded on the edge of the penally box found Kensell on the far post and he scored his first league goal of the season.


Hollands and Blair lost their cool and shape, defender Joseph Elliott was sent off and although they scored a late consolation goal through Max Morgan Ide Hill’s character and superior football merited their spirited win.

Malgo FC 2 Ide Hill 5

Inter-Regional Challenge Cup - Round 2

Phil Alteirac, Ide Hill’s skipper, said their pacey, free flowing style of play and all round team effort overwhelmed Malgo FC on the day. Sometimes scorelines misrepresent a game and Ide Hill’s 1-0 lead at half-time failed to reflect their domination as they closed and pressed down Malgo FC’s midfield and back line. With Ide Hill on top Malgo struggled to shift the ball from midfield to attack. Ide Hill passed and moved the ball at speed and opportunities fell to midfielder George Kensell, striker Jack Edmeads and winger Columb Grant.


Ide Hill should have taken the lead earlier than the thirty-fourth minute when Edmeads hit home Shaun Boyle’s cross from close range. Boyle had a cracking shot to the top right of goal saved by Malgo’s keeper who had a busy ninety minutes. With striker Tom Wright linking the forward play and Grant making the most of set pieces Ide Hill’s pressure was constant and Malgo did well to regroup and repel their attacks, keeping the deficit to one goal.


In a frenzied opening to the second half Wright’s twenty-five yard screamer was well saved and as Malgo turned defence to attack Ide Hill’s keeper Mike McKay was adjudged to have brought down their striker, and in the sixth minute the referee awarded a penalty for the lightest of physical contact. McKay was booked and subsequently saved well diving low to his right. Rather than level the score Malgo went two nil down as Ide Hill surged forward from the clearance and Boyle scored, cutting in from the right wing.


In midfield Kensell and Ben Pearson held centre stage and chances flowed. Ide Hill did not need to wait long for their third. From a clumsy challenge just outside the penally area Grant struck home the free kick with a well placed shot that beat the keeper, hit the underside of the bar and crossed the line.


Malgo’s midfield struggled and with no creativity in their play took to hitting long balls with most shots inaccurate and hit from to far out to worry Ide Hill’s defence. In goal McKay was assured and brave, the central defensive pairing of Alteirac and newcomer Josh Cryer, who was booked in the opening five minutes, was solid and the full backs, Andy Rudden and Rob Piper contained Malgo’s attacking wing play.


With twenty minutes gone Wright broke on the left side of goal, cut back and sashayed round the defence to hit home Ide Hill’s fourth. On came substiutions Julien Carvey and Ben Buhagiar as Ide Hill made changes to the back four, midfield and the attack.


Malgo were awarded a second penalty for a trip inside the box and this time made no mistake converting from the spot. At the other end minutes later Wright was fouled in Malgo FC’s area and he hit his penalty low and hard to the right to make it five.


There was still more drama as the game came to a close. In an unnecessary challenge in the box Ide Hill defender Buhagiar was booked and the referee pointed to the spot for the fourth time in a game that, despite the spot-kicks and bookings, was played competitively and fairly. Malgo FC scored a consolation goal and Ide Hill secured their fifth cup-tie win this season and are well placed to win a trophy.

Ide Hill 2 Faversham Strike Force 3

Kent County League Division One East 

After a succession of winning cup-ties, Ide Hill’s form slumped as they returned to league duty and suffered defeat to top of the table Faversham Strike Force.


Although missing players, Ide Hill’s squad is strong enough to compensate albeit on this occasion they struggled as Faversham set the early pace of the game and were quick to attack down the flanks. Ide Hill’s midfield pairing of George Kensell and Ben Pearson, with Columb Grant and Seb Christopers on the wings took time to wrestle control but as the game turned chances fell to Pearson, who hit the bar, and strikers Tom Wright and Nick Capon.


In the 16th-minute Christophers was fouled on the edge of the box and Grant struck home sweetly from the free kick. Favesham almost hit back immediately and goalkeeper Kenny Draper pulled off a good save that rebounded and the follow-up chance was turned over the bar.


At times this season Ide Hill’s players have conceded soft goals due to basic errors and a collective failure to clear the ball. And it happened again as Faversham’s equaliser came too easily from a half-chance down the right wing in the 38th-minute.


In the second half Ide Hill lacked the recent intensity and aggression they have shown to impose themselves on their opponents with only a few players competing hard. Faversham were pacey and strong but highly beatable yet scored their second in the 71st-minute from a midfield through ball that split the defence. 


Ide Hill hit back in the 82nd-minute through Christophers strike and then chances still fell both ways. Ide Hill’s Wright slotted home from the penalty area as the club linesman incorrectly called it offside and the goal was disallowed. Ide Hill made changes to their line-up as they pushed on and then lost defender Charlie James who was [literally] caught short in a tackle and had to leave the field. Pearson dropped back and substitute Shaun Boyle was on for right back Ben Buhagiar


Searching for the winner in the final ten minutes Ide Hill often opted to play a complex pass when a direct and more straightforward chance was available. At the other end Faversham caused problem from corners and this led to the winning goal. With three minutes left, Ide Hill failed to thwart the threat of players running in from the edge of the box and Faversham headed home strongly from the final corner.

Kennington 1 Ide Hill 2

Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield - Second Round

Ide Hill’s defeat of Kennington FC was their fourth win in cup competitions in as many weeks and the second time they have defeated their opponents this season.


Kennington play open and flowing football and in the early exchanges they caused problems as they harried Ide Hill who took time to ease into the match. Kennington had more of the possession but chances fell to both sides, Ide Hill getting caught offside as they pushed forward too keenly at times.


As the game settled Ide Hill’s attack minded midfielder George Kensell made good runs and won his aerial battles. Striker Tom Wright chased down every chance and captain Craig Holder led the team well. They were awarded several set pieces and largely they were wasted as shots were over hit but the best chance of the half fell to right-back Ben Pearson.


With twenty five minutes gone Wright’s through ball put Pearson in a one-on-one duel with the Kennington keeper who stumbled and fell to the ground. Pearson must have taken pity as, almost in unison, he did exactly the same and the chance was lost.


For their part Kennington resorted to long balls played forward and took too many shots from distances unlikely to trouble the Ide Hill defence for whom goalie Mike McKay was adept in handling crosses and defender Phil Altierac was solid in his play throughout the game.


The deadlock was broken ten minutes into the second half as Nick Capon hit a long ball to right wing for Shaun Boyle to gather, beat his opponent and pass to Wright whose controlled shot beat the keeper.


The momentum that comes from such a strike raised Ide Hill’s game and they now played the more attacking football but they never closed out the game and Kennington looked for the equaliser, causing problems on the right side.


In the final twenty minutes both teams had chances with Kennington hitting the post and McKay making a good stop from an unsighted position. Defender’s Charlie James and Romain Duchon helped Ide Hill keep a clean sheet.


There was action at the other end as Ide Hill’s attack was cleared and the ball fell to midfielder Rob Piper on the edge of the box and he hit a scorcher of a shot that beat everyone. Great strike.


Holder twisted his foot so Capon slotted into midfield and substitute Julian Carvey joined Wright up front. Kennington surged forward in numbers and forced Ide Hill to defend deep. With five minutes remaining Carvey’s clumsy tackle in a shooting position resulted in free kick and Kennington’s Adam Mercer tapped home from the shot.


Ide Hill’s resilience and strength overcame Kennington’s final flourish and they deservedly won the tie.

Fleetdown United B 1 Ide Hill 7

Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup - First Round

Ide Hill’s defence of the trophy they won last season started with a resounding 7-1 defeat of the team they beat in the final. Despite the delayed start, due to a lack of pegs to stabilise the goal nets, Ide Hill’s football flowed from the start and Fleetwood struggled to get into the game.


This was Ide Hill’s third cup-tie in as many weeks and in the past two it took a battling spirit to win through in extra-time. This time Ide Hill not only led with their fluent, free-flowing football they took the lead in the seventeenth minute and defended it well.   


On the edge of the box Shaun Boyle passed to Nick Capon to open the scoring with a good strike. The midfield pairing of skipper Craig Holder and George Kensell outplayed their opponents and Ide Hill created several chances. The best falling to striker Tom Wright who shot over the bar from close range then made amends with a great thirty-fifth minute strike, again from the edge of the box, courtesy of a good through ball from Capon.


Ide Hill opened up the play well yet the tendency by some to delay the decisive through ball or early pass disrupts Ide Hill’s play. Still, they ended the half two nil up and the team talk focused on adding to the lead. Romain Duchon replaced Rob Piper at left-back, both had good halves, and Seb Christophers took over the right midfield slot from Boyle.       


Within four minutes the score was 4-0. Capon floored Fleetwood with his second and Christophers’ pace caused problems and from his pass winger Columb Grant neatly controlled and struck the fourth.


Fleetwood had opportunities during the game but at 0-4 down focused more on damage limitation. At the back Ben Pearson’s good runs aided the attack and Phil Alteirac was solid in central defence alongside Charlie James. In goal Mike McKay was hardly troubled.


However, Fleetwood struck when over-complicated play from James failed to clear from the right and in the fifty-sixth minute they scored their only goal.


With a good lead Ide Hill took the opportunity to rotate the squad with Billy Harris making a welcome return from injury.

Chances continued to flow for Ide Hill and next to benefit from Christophers’ arrival was Capon who scored a deserved hat-trick from his through ball.


Goal six came about as substitues Julian Carvey’s saved shot deflected to Capon’s chest then to Boyle, back on the field for Grant, to tap home. Ide Hill maintained the pressure and McKay’s long clearance to the right wing was picked-up by Wright whose targeted cross was headed home by Carvey.  

Ide Hill 4 Kennington 3 (aet)

Inter Regional Challenge Cup - First Round

Ide Hill conceded two goals inside three minutes yet fought back resolutely to win 4-3 after extra time in an exhilarating cup tie.


Kennington’s scored in just six seconds as Ide Hill lost possession from the start and after two touches Ide Hill defender Charlie James gifted the ball to Kennington’s striker who finished with a debt lob from 20 yards out.

Leaving Ide Hill no time to regroup, Kennington surged forward and scored in the third minute taking advantage of clumsy defending. Kennington took the ball to the byline and drilled it back to tap in softly under the keeper.

In a state of daze Ide Hill struggled to cope with Kennington’s pace and flowing football on the break and they should have added to their score in the next five minutes but Ide Hill dug deep when needed and after ten minutes they started to regain their shape and pose.

Ide Hill’s Shaun Boyle was brought down on the edge of the box and from the free kick Columb Grant’s shot was parried by the keeper and Ben Pearson was on hand to push it home after 15 minutes.

As the game opened up both teams created opportunities but Kennington were difficult to contain and Ide Hill’s defence relied on keeper Mike McKay to stop a one-on-one chance, after dealing with three corners in quick succession.

At the other end Kennington’s keeper was busy as well, having to stop several shots, with striker Tom Wright and attacking midfielder George Kensell going close. A pulsating period of play saw Kennington take the edge as Ide Hill conceded possession at key times and careless passing gave the ball away in the centre of the park and with a quick touch and great shot the score increased to 3-1.

If Kennington looked to restart as they finished, Ide Hill had other ideas and looked more assured and settled as they pegged back their opponents.

Chances flowed at both ends with Kennington shooting from too far out to trouble McKay. Defensively James and Philippe Alteirac were strong and gradually full-back’s Pearson and Callum Heath pushed forward in support of the midfield. 

Upfront Wright was upended in the box and calmly scored from the spot and now it was Kennington’s turn to be tested as Ide Hill linked their play well passing the ball and opening up the game. With 15 minutes left, substitute Rob Piper’s determined play saw him win the ball from a tight position on the wing and pass to Grant outside the box who struck low and hard to level the score.

Both teams pushed on with Ide Hill emerging the stronger as the final whistle blew and extra-time beckoned.

Striker Julian Carvey came on for Heath and from the start you sensed the game would not end in penalties as both sides looked for goals. After 97 minutes Ide Hill’s Wright worked the ball to Kensell on the wing. He picked his spot and his well struck, low cross was met by Carvey who headed home to give a well deserved win as they won the tie and ended Kennington’s unbeaten run this season.

New Romney 3 Ide Hill 4 (aet)

Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield - First Round

Ide Hill emerged 4-3 victors in a pulsating cup tie that went to extra time and drew the best from both teams. In a highly combative game Ide Hill scored first after early pressure. In a tight spot on the right wing full back Ben Pearson crossed for Tom Wright to control it neatly in the penalty area and beat the keeper.


Ide Hill’s continuation with a 4-4-2 formation is a good attacking option and up-front veteran Baz Pennells had his toughest run-out of the season showing the deft touches and the experience he has. Linking well with Wright they caused the New Romney back-four problems, ably supported by runs from Shaun Boyle and George Kensell.


In front of a good home crowd New Romney absorbed the pressure and matched Ide Hill for effort and flowing football. In the first half they pressurised Ide Hill into conceding six corners and caused problems from each one. Defenders Romain Duchon, Pearson and the strong central pairing of Philippe Alteirac and Charlie James needed to be at their best to prevent an equaliser.


Ide Hill took their slender lead into the second half and increased it within two minutes of play. Boyle picked up the ball and cut across New Romney’s defence to score from a deflected shot. This galvanised New Romney and they applied pressure, always looking dangerous in attack from high balls and long crosses. Ide Hill keeper Mike McKay made several strong stops and James made good blocks also.


Some Ide Hill players lost possession too easily and knowing New Romney’s strength in the air conceding needless free-kicks in attacking positions was always going to play to their advantage. With twelve minutes left they hit back from a flighted cross. Soon after New Romney took advantage of Boyle’s failure to take the easy option to clear and levelled the score.


Now both teams had to dig deep in extra time and it was Ide Hill’s turn to take advantage of a clumsy tackle outside the penalty area and captain Craig Holder struck well to beat the New Romney defence. Pressure tells and New Romney felt it more resulting in a red card to add to their other bookings. But they made chances and McKay needed to be at his best to stop a great one on one chance. 


In the second period with the scoreline 3-2 to Ide Hill the teams surged forward and with five minutes left both sought the extra goal to either win it or force penalties. Ide Hill made the decision! Julian Carvey, on for Pennalls, collected the ball yards inside New Romney's half and to the delight of his team mates let rip with a well struck shot to beat the despairing keeper. Time for well deserved celebrations but Ide Hill will rue their failure to close down a game they had won and had to win again.

Ide Hill 2 Park Regis 0

Kent County League Division One East

A well earned and thoroughly deserved three points launched Ide Hill’s season. Reverting to a 4-4-2 formation Ide Hill had the stronger start led by debutant Seb Christophers’ impressive contribution, exploiting his pace and linking well with midfielder George Kensell and striker Tom Wright.


Ide Hill created early opportunities and Park Regis keeper Andrew Peters had to make several saves and clearances. They built attack from defence eliminating any desire to play the ball long and Park Regis struggled to match the quality of their play.


Unfortunately midfielder Billy Harris turned his ankle early on and substitute Julian Carvey joined Wright upfront while Nick Capon moved to the centre. Ide Hill adapted quickly to the switch and although Park Regis created chances they were thwarted by the central defensive pairing of captain Craig Holder and Charlie James.


Down the flanks Ben Pearson’s pace on the right complimented Christophers speed and Park Regis struggled to cope. On the left Columb Grant beat his marker regularly and Romain Duchon was firm in defence.


Despite their opportunities Ide Hill could not score their elusive first goal of the season but in reply Park Regis’ increasing frustration demanded strong refereeing as their physical response resulted in bookings and a red card for Jack Brown who floored Grant with a punch.      


Ide Hill’s attack minded midfield with their full backs drifting to the centre in support continued to cause problems in the second half. Upfront Wright linked the play well and chances fell to many with Capon hitting the bar. Ide Hill’s work ethic and dominance pinned back Park Regis who despite using four attackers at one time could not unpick their opponent’s sound defensive organisation.


However, their increasing ill-discipline marred their play and a two-footed lunge caught Ide Hill keeper Mike McKay on the chest and play was stopped for eight minutes to allow him recovery time. It is testament to Ide Hill’s conduct and style of play that they rose above such behaviour. Fortunately McKay did recover and went on to pull off two superb shots as Park Regis strove to score.


In the 77th minute the referee waved his second red card, sending off Park Regis keeper Peters for bringing down Carvey. Penalty taker Wright remained calm as Peters histrionically left the field throwing his gloves and top.


Wright converted well, beating the keeper who went the right way but could not reach his well placed kick. Both sides upped the tempo but Ide Hill scored again five minutes later as Pearson struck home after a bristling run from midfield.


Despite their dismissals Park Regis were outplayed by Ide Hill’s solid and polished performance.  

Malgo 1 Ide Hill 0

Kent County League Division One East

Ide Hill’s below par performance flattered opponents Malgo FC who scored from the penalty spot in the sixteenth minute. Ide Hill’s frequent lapse of individual concentration and collective failure to play to their strengths gave early momentum to Malgo FC.


Both teams started well and Ide Hill’s 4-5-1 formation favoured their pace down the flanks and width across the midfield but they struggled to impose their style of play and Malgo had the early breaks but failed to make the most of them.


Malgo took advantage of the time and space offered by Ide Hill who failed to put them under pressure as they squandered several opportunities through a series of unforced individual errors. Defender Charlie James’ clumsy tackle was taken full advantage of as Malgo won a penalty that ‘keeper Mike Mckay had no chance of stopping.


For the next fifteen minutes Ide Hill looked ragged but gained composure to ease back into the game and upfront striker Tom Wright, winger Shaun Boyle and Columb Grant caused problems for Malgo.


In the second half Ide Hill started lively and Malgo’s defensive play was fragile at times and certainly their keeper deserved to be tested more aggressively than he was. An area of play Ide Hill will do well to strengthen in the early part of the season is from set pieces. Too many poorly placed corners failed to put Malgo’s defence under pressure.


On the break Malgo caused problems and McKay made good stops. In midfield there was not enough urgency and Ide Hill lost their shape. Another burst from midfield resulted in MacKay conceding a penalty for which he was booked and Malgo failed to convert from the spot as they hit the post.


Ide Hill’s tactical switch to 4-3-3- for the final fifteen minutes to push for a goal made little difference and the wayward shooting from outside the box added to a poor return for an afternoon’s work and they still seek their first points of the season.

Ide Hill 0 East Kent College 3

Kent County League Division One East

A new season and a new league for Ide Hill FC who disappointedly lost their opening game to a spirited performance from newly promoted East Kent College.


East Kent’s fitness and greater all round organisation so early in the season was the major difference between the two teams. Ide Hill held their own for much of the match but a second caution and the second half loss of defender Phil Alteirac was difficult to overcome.


Strong performances in pre-season friendlies is good preparation for league competition but East Kent’s pace and verve from the start pinned back Ide Hill who took a while to adjust to the tempo of the game. East Kent’s pacey front line and breaks from midfield was difficult to contain throughout the match and Ide Hill’s first half penchant for playing long balls when short, sharp passing was the better option gave away possession too often.


Although East Kent created opportunities they failed to convert them and at the other end Ide Hill caused problems with striker Tom Wright linking well at times with right midfielder Ben Pearson and on the left Shaun Boyle’s jinxing runs penetrating the defence. In midfield captain Craig Holder, George Kensell and Rob Piper held firm but in a goalless first half Ide Hill failed to dominate their opponents in the way they would have wished.


In defence Ide Hill’s Ian Nye played well at right back and the central pairing of Alteirac and Charlie James is always tricky to break down and goalkeeper Mike McKay was in good form. Alteirac picked-up his first yellow card as he brought down his opponent to prevent a strong run on goal from midfield.     


From the start of the second half East Kent started with predictable pace and scored within five minutes, moving the ball quickly from the back to right wing to score with a great strike. They were difficult to contain on the edge of the penalty area and a clumsy collision resulted in Ide Hill’s sending off.   


To compensate Pearson moved to midfield, Nye to left back replacing Romain Duchon and Sam Miles took over at right back. Ide Hill continued to break but chances were few and East Kent’s ‘keeper was in good form mopping up crosses and high balls.


East Kent scored their second from a failure to clear a cross and in the last minute an opportunistic strike resulted in their third. A good introduction to the new season for both teams and much to build on positively as the league progresses.

About Ide Hill FC

Ide Hill FC are a charter standard club who play in the Kent County League and the Sevenoaks & District League. They were formed in 1923 and became an affiliated member of the FA in 1924. The football club's home pitch is located behind The Cock Inn pub in the picturesque village of Ide Hill and is reported to be the highest football pitch in Kent. 

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