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Ide Hill Reserves' win continues 100% record in 2014

Eynsford 3rd 1 Ide Hill Reserves 3

Sevenoaks & District Football League Division Two

Last weekend saw only the second game to take place in 2014 for a reserve team who have only played three games in the last three months due to the prolonged bad weather. Hopefully that is now behind us and they can march on towards the end of the season with a spring in their step.


The reserves manager, Steve Rowley, made some surprise changes ahead of this match, taking 16 players along to Harrow Meadow in what was a much less heated affair than the last time these two teams met. And on a pitch that would have been more useful to athletes in Sochi, Ide Hill started the match well and pressed their downhill advantage from the whistle.


Mike McKay and Craig Holder had come to assist the reserves from the first team, after they were left without a fixture at the weekend. This immediately spurred on the rest of the team to pick up their game and put in a decent performance. Dean Taylor and Andy Rudden had put Ide Hill 2-0 up within the first 30 minutes before the opposition even looked like scoring, however that was to change and the team started to give away posession easily. 


Simon Lewis, who had been given the captains armband, had his work cut out with partnering centreback Billy Cornwell, as the home side started to flood through the midfield and threaten the Ide Hill goal. Holder and out-of-sorts, Sam Coleman, were struggling to get hold of the ball, and it wasn't long before the manager had to make a change. Baz Pennells, who had started the match on the far right, was dropped in to help protect the flow, replacing the now tired Coleman. Halftime came and Ide Hill were lucky to still be two up.


Going uphill in the second half was to prove the making of this team. Matt Higginson, who had had a superb first half, made way for Dave Lansley to make his first appearance of 2014, and the show began, albeit not before we let them back into the match with a simple tap-in.


Dean Jarman was proving a handful for the opposition on the wide left and with the debut appearance of Daniel Hogarth up front, Ide Hill started to move the ball in ways not seen since McGinn and Paxton were last playing together! With the continued pressure, counter attacks were key and Hogarth's strength and pace gave him the opportunity get his name on the scoresheet. This he did with about 3 minutes to go, and the manager's heart started to beat normal again!


A special mention has to go to Cameron Essam, who at the age of 18, has shown how much he has come on as a player over the last year or so. His controlled passing and posession from his position at right back helped calm the rest of the team and greatly assisted this much deserved away win. 


The man of the match though, went to Pennells, for a display so full of energy and spirit that it carried this team to a fantastic three points away from home. Unfortunately he is not available this week, so someone else will need to step up and take this spot! With so many talented players in the side, the manager does not envisage this being a problem.

Rowley Writes: Ide Hill Reserves banish their Westerham demons

Ide Hill Reserves 3 Westerham Vets 2

Sevenoaks & District League Division Two

When Ide Hill Reserves welcomed Westerham Vets to the Knole Academy 3G pitch, there was pretty much just one question to be answered. How do you stop a passing team like Westerham on such a flat surface? The answer. Play them at their own game and use what little width the pitch allows!


Earlier in the day, the reserves had gone from a full strength squad of 16 to 13. Therefore giving the manager and captain some headaches as the starting 11 would have to be changed. The only position secure on the day was that of in-form goalkeeper, and fantastic shot-stopper, Tom Williamson.


Westerham have that ability to make any team think they are a bunch of mates just having a bit of fun for the twlight years their have left, but Ide Hill have been on the receiving end of two losses already this season, shipping in 11 goals in the process, and we knew this was going to test everything we had.


Steve Rowley made the very hard decision of leaving two players out of the starting line up, but withSam Coleman as his captain, the message was delivered to Jack Heasman and Jaymes Randall with diplomacy.


Ide Hill started the match in good spirits and with every player in their suitable positions, took the game to Westerham with a well worked move down the right of the pitch. Matthew O'Sullivanplaying a superb ball down the wing for Dean Taylor to cut the ball back to the ever impressive Dean Jarman, who slotted it home at the near post.


Before the opposition could settle, some great defensive work from Matt Higginson and Simon Lewis released O'Sullivan into space, who fed the ball to Taylor again down the right. Only this time he pulled the ball back for Andy Rudden, who danced past one defender then finished past the keeper with his next touch.


All this time, the midfield made up of Jason Miles-LomasCraig HolderSam Coleman and Jarman, controlled the game and made the passing look so effortless, much to the astonishment of the Westerham manager. However, a mad minute (and believe me it was the only one) allowed the opposition to get back into the match, reminding Ide Hill that this match was far from over.


The right footed Cameron Essam, who had been having a great game again at left back, made way for the left-footed Randall shortly after in an attempt to sure up the back four, and give us some breathing space once more. Ide Hill continued to push forward and when a corner came all the way out, Randall didn't think, he just hit it on the volley and buried it in the bottom left, far from the goalkeepers gloves! Heasman then made his appearance replacing the terrier that is Taylor and Ide Hill went in at the break 3-1 up.


The second half started as well as we'd hoped and the defence continued to stop Westerham in their tracks. Some slick passing was then enjoyed by the central midfield duo of Coleman and Holder, and it wasn't until the 75th minute mark that Westerham got their second goal. All afternoon Andy Salako was in O'Sullivan's pocket, but minutes after he left the pitch due to injury, Salako took full advantage and fired home a goal very similar to Ide Hill's third.


With the last few minutes remaining, Westerham did themselves no favours after getting involved with the referee time and time again, which allowed Ide Hill to hold on and win the three points!


The performance of the season! Every player in the squad deserves to be recognised for their effort in a superb team display, but it would be amiss if there wasn't a man of the match. That honour fell toCraig Holder for his dog-like determination to get the better of a very well setup Westerham midfield. His passion for this club has no boundaries and this flowed through his team mates like a virus! Had Craig not played the way he did then Simon Lewis and Matt O'Sullivan would be sharing the gong for equally outstanding performances!


The way we played, without one argument with the referee, has to be the way forward. And this squad, given their availability, would start every single week!

Reserves suffer first loss of the season at the hands of Orpington

Oripington 3rd 3 Ide Hill Reserves 1

The reserves had started their season in flying form until last Saturday when they were brought back down to earth with a thump after losing out in this Sevenoaks Junior Charity Cup tie away to Orpington 3rd. And the build up had not been exactly what the manager wanted. After weeks of having plenty of players to select from, he found himself starting the match with a bare 11. A lot of names who had been available in past weeks were away either due to sickness, work or injury, however the team that started this match started well.


Tom Williamson wore the goalkeepers jersey for the first time this season after Kenny Draper pulled out of the squad with a long term injury and with noticeable defenders missing too, it was alweays going to be tough. However the experienced players in their place helped Ide Hill make it to the half at 0-0 with some fantastic shot-stopping from young Tom. Dave Lansley suffered an ankle injury before the half and was replaced by Billy Cornwell.


After a reassuring half-time team talk, the reserves knew they could perform better, as they have done all season, but after some sloppy defending and wayward passes, Orpington duly took the lead and started to command the match. This cup tie looked like it was only going to finish one way, and whenBaz Pennells went down after a heavy challenge, it was back to a bare 11 on the pitch, although this time they had been already been running for over an hour!


As the time ticked by, Orpington squandered chance after chance, if their finishing was any good then Ide Hill would surely have been eight down by now, but they battled on and Rob Giddins showed why there is so much pride when you wear the black and white shirt. His partner in the centre of midfield,Craig Holder, then did something he will surely remember for ever! A cheeky challenge knocked Craig of balance but the composure of his ability shone through and with a flick of his foot, sent a screaming shot over the keeper from about 25 yards.


A now bouyant reserve side pushed on for the win (the legs probably couldn't handle another 30 minutes of extra time) and when Andy Rudden pulled the ball back across goal for Dean Taylor andJames Randall to tap in, there were a number of astonished gasps as the linesman called it offside.


After this decision Orpington regrouped in the last few minutes and pushed on themselves, catching Ide Hill on the break, not once but twice in as many minutes. A hard fought match ended with the reserve players exhausted after their heroics. A few mentions to Matt HigginsonJames Cooke andCameron Essam for holding up at the back and to Rob Piper for keeping that engine going all game. Man of the match this week however goes to Craig for his determination in the middle of the park and for giving Ide Hill that little window of hope with his strike late into the game.


A tough test awaits the reserves this coming Saturday when they travel to their old home ground in Westerham to face the Vets team in the Smith's Cup. With a near full strength squad again, this will surely be a chance to get the team back to wining ways.

Reserves hold on to progress in the Fisher Sheild

Otfor United 3rd 3 Ide Hill Reserves 4

Ide Hill reserves won this Fisher Shield cup tie away to Otford 3rd in normal time despite some bizarre decisions by the referee. Dean Taylor got the day off to a good start with his fourth goal of the season however Ide Hill were left wanting at the back minutes later when a mistimed tackle brought down an Otford player almost two foot outside the box.


Bizarre decision number one, when the referee gave a penalty. The shock of this prompted some back-chat and Dave Lansley was booked for his protests. Kenny Draper was unable to stop the penalty and the match was tied. Manager, Steve Rowley, noted that Lansley was still protesting so took precautions and subbed him for Rob Giddins. However, the ref then overheard 'something' and gave Lansley his second yellow and marching orders before the substitution could take place, bizarre decision number two.


Despite this set back, the reserves stood straight and went 3-1 up before the break. Baz Pennellsweaving his way into the box before nut-megging the keeper for his first goal of the season. This was shortly followed by some great passing play, which saw Jaymes Randall provide a sublime ball into the path of Taylor, who duly smashed it home for his second.


The manager made a few changes at the break however Ide Hill went out in the secong half looking a little bewildered by the oppositions forward play and the lead was pegged back to 3-3, an open header from a corner not the most pleasing sight from the sidelines.


The team, though, has this ability to regroup and get back on track, and with the introduction of Billy Cornwell to the fray, they started to pass the ball a lot better to make chances for themselves. Simon Lewis, who had been reintroduced after being subbed in the first half, took the ball on down the right and superbly kept the ball from going out for a thrown in. However the opposition linesman made a movement to call the ball out and the referee blew his whistle, bizarre decision number three. Lewis was in no mood for this and after offering dissent to the linesman was shown a red card. Ide Hill now down to 9 men.


This was not to be the end though as Ide Hill never give up and continued to push forward. An experienced piece of control from Giddins, opened it up for him to volley over the keeper for the win.


Whilst it is nice to secure a fourth win in as many matches, the discipline of players was not at it's best and a lot of work is needed to get this under control. We have two more away fixtures in two cups before returning to the league and we need to get this out of our system now!


Man of the match goes to Kenny Draper, who, without him between the sticks could have seen Ide Hill 3 down from the start. Dean Taylor also deserves a massive mention, as he came very close in this contest with his second brace in as many weeks.


Steve Rowley, Ide Hill reserve team manager

Reserves perfect start continues despite poor performance

Ide Hill Reserves 4 Sevenoaks Weald Reserves 1

Ide Hill Reserves continued their perfect start to the season with a home win over Sevenoaks Weald Reserves, giving them maximum points as they start three weeks of cup campaigns. The reserves' good track record over Sevenoaks Weald Reserves yielded another three points, however this was far from a decent performance.


Simon Lewis opened the scoring when Baz Pennells' free kick was duly headed in from close range and it looked like Ide Hill were going to have another fun day on the park. However some sloppy passing and wayward shots meant this was going to be a lot tougher than first thought. Just before the break and after some awful goalkeeping  from Sevenoak Weald, Ide Hill found themselves 3-0 up, but the clean sheet soon disappeared and they went in 3-1 at halftime. Dean Taylor and Billy Cornwellbagged both goals.


After the break the poor passing continued, however with some simple moves, Taylor was there again to secure his brace and the match finished 4-1. The reserves have a lot of quality in their side but this never materialised in this match and could cost them in the future against better opposition. That said, a win is a win and I will take that for now, however if we are going to win any silverware this season then a lot of effort has to come from all areas of the pitch! Play as a team and win as a team!


Man of the match, with a fantastic 'experienced' performance, was Simon Lewis.


Steve Rowley, Reserve Manager

Low strike earns Ide Hill their second win of the season

Sevenoaks Weald Reserves 1 Ide Hill Reserves 2

A week on from their 6-1 hammering of Kingsdown Racers Reserves, Ide Hill Reserves were looking
for another three points and Sevenoaks
 Weald Reserves appeared to offer the perfect fixture, with the Hill having a good track record over their close neighbours in recent years.


Sam Coleman’s composed header over the Weald goalkeeper put Ide Hill in front before the break but there was plenty to work on as a ‘new-look’ Weald struggled to create chances but got some fortune on occasions that broke down Hill’s play.


Ide Hill manager Steve Rowley was frustrated with his side's hesitant approach in the final third and, when they did breach the Weald defence, the Hill were wasteful with all shots coming from outside the area. This is something they obviously have to work on.


Craig Holder and Matt O’Sullivan, who were new to the squad, were substituted just before the half after giving everything they had in their tanks. Their replacements, Billy Cornwell and Cameron Essam, who both scored in last week’s match, filled in for the last few minutes.


The Hill continued to push forward after the break and some great work down the left from Matt ‘Beardo’ Higginson allowed Jaymes Randall to slide a cute ball to Dean Taylor, but the resulting shot was far from on target. Weald then caught Ide Hill on the break and their striker was brought down in the area by Mick Gregory. However the resulting penalty was dispatched far into the bushes to the left of a very happy Kenny Draper, who had been on the strikers case all match.


Minutes passed and Ide Hill were then stunned into silence when the Weald goalkeepers goal-kick found its way to the net, via their striker, after it was missed by the black and white stripes of Gregory andCharlie Bush, which also caught out goalkeeper Draper.


That goal sparked the game into life, with Rob Piper and Baz Pennells making chances and coming close. However, the Weald keeper could do nothing to stop Cornwell from putting Ide Hill back into the lead as the midfielder’s low strike hit the far post and nestled into the opposite bottom corner.


A hard fought win and three points were earned, but not until a few more chances were cleared out of the box. All Ide Hill players involved deserved the win, partly because they played as a team once again but more because they were the better team over 90 minutes. A few players were looking at a man of the match award this week, but the victor was Beardo for his relentless running and fine passing moves.


Ide Hill face the same opponents this Saturday at Knole Academy, and now know what is needed to accomplish a sweet double.

Ide Hill Reserves start marathon in fine form

Ide Hill Reserves 6 Kingsdown Racers 1

Ide Hill Reserves started their second season in the S&DFL Division Two with a comfortable 6-1 win over visitors Kingsdown Racers Reserves. Bizarrely, this was the identical scoreline over the same opponents in last year's opener.


A nervy start saw the reserves go a goal down in this fixture on Saturday at their new home ground, Knole Academy, and they were quick to note that a lack of concentration was to blame. The reserves new signing, Kenny Draper, could do nothing as the ball moved in all directions as it flew past him into the net.


Things then got worse for Ide Hill as their captain, Rob Giddins, was taken off shortly afterwards due to an injury. However, a fine replacement in Billy Cornwell brought some much needed pace to a dying game. Dean Taylor got in behind the back four to secure his first goal of the campaign and the reserves never looked back. A Cornwell free-kick was then met over the shoulder of Rob Piper who majestically volleyed home past the keeper.


Ide Hill, now in full flow, added two more from Cornwell either side of the break, the second from the penalty spot after Taylor was wiped out in the box. Two more goals came late on from substitutesSonny Croydon and Cameron Essam to secure a fantastic win. The match was only marred by the sending off of young centre back, Charlie Bush, who until that point, was looking at man of the match. However, the award went to Rob Piper for his volley and all round team play, not to mention the engine that keeps him going!


A great result to start the season, now let’s build on it by making ourselves available each week and continuing the team play that saw us score goals with ease.


Steve Rowley, Reserve team manager

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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