Half Season Review....2018-19
Ide Hill finished the 2017-18 season in blistering form, climbing from second bottom to 4th, 3 points away from second....And they begun the season in similar form, winning 5 out of their first 6 games to force their way to the top of the league....
The highlight was undoubtedly beating top team Club Langley 1-0 in September, a mature and controlled performance and George Kensell's first of the season fired in to take Hill top and let the league know we were there to compete for the title this season.
Goals were shared around in the early season - Bunn, Heath, Jackson, Piper and Pearson all weighing in with crucial goals whilst the defence was tight and meant teams rarely got too much of a sniff.
Ide Hill's two big losses came against local rivals Chipstead, going down heavily in both, missing key players in both games but not letting the defeats alter the course of the season or demoralise.
They bounced back from their first league defeat by winning 5 games on the spin through November and early December, again putting a strong Langley side to the sword 3-0 at Wrotham, Boyle came back into the side for a strong set of cameos through November - with 3 key goals in 2 substitute appearances.
Speaking of cameos, club legend Baz Pennells climbed off the bench to fire in a memorable goal and provide 3 assists in the mauling of local rivals Igtham in the Sevenoaks Cup. Kensell also rattling in a hatrick on the day.
Ide Hill lost once more to Chipstead to leave them second and then fought out a draw against other title rivals Sydenham to check the season somewhat. But 3 subsequent wins on the bounce in January, coupled with Chipstead dropping points see Ide Hill sitting 5 points clear, Sydenham and Chipstead 5 and 6 points back respectively with a game in hand each.
The most recent win over Halls was perhaps most satisfying, coming back from 2-1 down, having missed 2 penalties, to snatch the victory at the last thanks to a Ben Holder penalty, earned by possibly the player of the season so far, Callum Heath.
Ide Hill have 5 league games left to play, if they win them all they win the league. Although it is unlikely to be so simple with tricky fixtures still to come. They are also into the quarter finals of the Sevenoaks Cup against Southborough, a cup they have a good recent history in. They are also the furthest they have ever been in the Kent Shield, with a semi final date against South East next week, with Kent Premier runaway leaders Staplehurst probably ominously lurking in the final for the victors.
This could be a season to remember for the firsts - still some way to go
Results of the season:Wins and clean sheets over Langley, comeback win against Halls, Crushing win over Igtham
Goal of the Season contenders: Piper's rocket against Sutton, Kensell's hat-trick volley against Ightham, Pennell's memorable strike in the same game
Goalscorers: 11 - Jackson, 10 - Bunn, 5 - Heath, Kensell, Edmeads
Assists: 11 - Heath, 10 - Grant, 6 - Heasman, 5 - Bunn
Team Clean Sheets: 5
Most wins in a row: 5 - 3rd Nov - 15th Dec
Saturday 9th February
Ide Hill 5 – 6 South East Athletic
Semi Final Kent Intermediate Shield
Ide Hill missed out on the chance to advance to the Kent Shield final by squandering a two goal lead in a thrilling encounter with South East Athletic.
Welcoming Joe Baker back into the defence after a lengthy absence through injury and Jamie Holder deputising in goal, Ide Hill started fast, scoring after a minute; Ben Holder floated in a corner which Jack Edmeads met and headed into the far corner for his 6th of the season. And they quickly doubled this lead after 5 minutes, Matt Bunn tricking his way into the box; his clever centre across the 6 yard line was turned into the South East Goal by a defender for 2-0.
South East pulled one back in a frantic opening 20 minutes through Darren Wynne before Callum Heath burst down the right wing, cut into the box and squared for George Kensell to fire in from close range. Ide Hill were attacking with real menace in the opening half, cutting through South East with every attack, Kensell drew a good save from the South East keeper when through on goal and Grant rounded the goalie only to see his effort cleared off the line.
South East had a goal disallowed following a scramble in the box before reducing the deficit to 3-1 with a goal from Barry Ryan. They then narrowed the lead further still with a second for Ryan after 35 minutes. A set piece brought Ide Hill’s 4th after 40 minutes, Edmeads and Jackson causing confusion in the box before Jackson rifled beneath the goalkeeper for 4-2 and his 12th of the season. Ide Hill couldn’t stem the bleeding at the other end though, conceding again through Padraig Biggane just before the half to take the teams in to the interval at 4-3 following a breakaway goal to end an entertaining first half.
The home team made a number of changes early in the second half regarding shape and personnel in an attempt to add extra impetus, but it was South East who started the stronger, equalising after an hour to bring the scores to 4-4, with Ryan with his second of the afternoon.
Unfortunately, it was South East who then accelerated away in the subsequent period, scoring 2 goals in quick succession to take the score to 6-4, running in behind the tiring defence to pull away as the game entered its final third, Ryan completing his hat trick and Wynne netting his second.
Ide Hill did pull one back in the final minutes, a Jackson cross headed into the South East goal by the defender but it proved to be too little too late, as South East rode out the final few minutes to see them into the final where Staplehurst await.
Ide Hill now have only the league and the Sevenoaks Cup to focus on, in which they meet Southborough next week hoping to right the wrongs of the weekend, put in a performance reflective of their abilities and to get their heads straight ahead of a crucial run in, in which they are due to meet South East again.
Ide Hill Team: J Holder, Heath, James, Baker, B Holder, Driver, Kensell, Jackson, Edmeads, Grant, Bunn. Subs: Boyle, Wright, O’Reilly, S Heasman, J Heasman
Man of the Match: Jack Edmeads
Saturday 27th January
IDE HILL COMEBACK TO PULL 5 POINTS CLEAR
Ide Hill recovered from two penalty misses and a goal down at Halls to extend their lead at the top of the league.
The team headed to Dartford with 6 games to play, Chipstead and Sydenham close in the chasing pack, aware they had to get a win against strong opposition who had bloodied the noses of a few of the top sides in the division.
And the visitors started promisingly, Matt Bunn cutting behind the Halls’ defence regularly, and one such venture won a free kick 20 yards out after 10 minutes. Jack Edmeads stepped up to rifle straight into the bottom left corner for his fifth of the season.
Ide Hill earned a gilt edged chance to double the lead on 20 minutes, Bunn again racing clear and cynically chopped down by the Halls’ centre half when clean through for a penalty. Craig Jackson fired towards the corner but the keeper palmed up onto the crossbar and clear.
And the visitors were made to rue this missed chance when Halls pulled level 5 minutes later. A corner was floated in from the right, with Halls causing aerial problems throughout the first half, and Ashley Cameron headed in, with the referee decreeing that the ball had just crossed the line. Halls hit the bar twice more in a frantic period, both resulting from chaos caused by high balls into the box.
Halls went one better and managed to sneak ahead just before the break, a backpass to Mckay causing problems, resulting in the ball squirting to Halls’ forward Lewis Tristram 30 yards out who expertly curled into the corner beyond defenders and goalkeeper. Ide Hill compounded this misery by winning their second penalty of the game and seeing this one saved as well, this time Matt Bunn stepping up to see his effort saved to the right.
Ide Hill went in to the break seething and wondering how they were behind, and knowing their title aspirations were in the balance. They came back out with much more control and poise after a helter skelter first period and pulled level on the hour, Jackson slipping Grant through in the box, whose effort ricocheted back off goalkeeper and a defender for 2-2.
Ide Hill spent the final half hour hunting for a winner and it duly arrived after concerted pressure in the 80th minute. The irrepressible Callum Heath, who terrorised the right flank all day, raced through and was brought down for penalty number 3. And it proved third time lucky as Man of the Match Ben Holder stepped up and guided a beauty of a spot kick in off the underside of the bar for a deserved but hard fought win.
Ide Hill stay out at the front of the pack, 5 points clear whilst both Chipstead and Sydenham have a game in hand. Next week Ide Hill have a huge game as they travel to Sydenham with 5 games to play, both sides know a win will put them firmly in the driver’s seat as we head down the home straight.
Ide Hill Team: Mckay, Heath, Steggle, James, Holder, Heasman, Kensell, Jackson, Edmeads, Grant, Bunn. Subs: Driver, Brandon, Palmer
Man of the Match: Ben Holder
Saturday 19th January
AFC Mottingham 1 – 3 Ide Hill
IDE HILL STRETCH THEIR LEAD AT THE TOP
Ide Hill extended their lead at the top of the league to three points with a hard fought victory over Mottingham on Saturday afternoon.
After a comfortable win over Stansfield last week, Ide Hill looked to maintain their momentum in the final third of the season against a spirited Mottingham side. The visitors welcomed back defensive lynchpin Ben Pearson into the back three, whilst Man of the Match Sam Heasman slotted into an unfamiliar left wing back slot with aplomb.
Ide Hill started strongly, looking to get in behind the Mottingham back line and did so with regularity in the first period, creating chance after chance but to no avail. Matt Bunn saw a one on one saved well by the embattled Mottingham goalkeeper after 10 minutes. Minutes later, a foray down the right resulted in the ball falling to Jack Edmeads in the 6 yard box but his good chance was hooked just over the bar. Charlie James also saw a good chance from a corner headed wide from 10 yards.
So once more Ide Hill went into the break knowing that they had to do better in the second half if they were to stay clear at the top of the league. And the deserved breakthrough finally came on the hour; the adventurous Callum Heath once more stepping up when needed, the winger being brought down when surging forward in the box for a penalty. Craig Jackson stepped up and slotted just beyond the keeper’s reach for his 11th of the season.
Ide Hill hoped to build from this long sought breakthrough but were pegged back 5 minutes later, a Mottingham breakaway from an Ide Hill corner resulted in Christian Akinlade running through and deftly firing past Mckay for the equalizer.
Ide Hill once more showed their new found steel though to take the lead once more after 75 minutes, Sam Heasman providing the first of his two assists, releasing Bunn on the left who fired in a calm and composed finish past the onrushing goalkeeper to give Ide Hill a deserved lead and take him into double figures for the season.
The win was rounded off and given a deserved sheen on 80 minutes, created once more by Sam Heasman with a wonderful dragback in the box for George Kensell to rattle in his 5th of the season and cap a good day’s work for the league leaders.
The result means Ide Hill improve their lead at the top of the league to three points courtesy of Chipstead dropping points. But there is still a long way to go and a strong chasing pack means that the title probably has a few twists and turns to go before the end of the season. Next week Ide Hill visit Halls, who have an excellent record against the top teams and will be looking to avenge their 5-0 reverse at Wrotham from earlier in the season.
Ide Hill Team: Mckay, Heath, Pearson, James, Steggle, Heasman, Holder, Jackson, Edmeads, Grant, Bunn. Subs: Kensell, Wright, Brandon
Man of the Match: Sam Heasman
Saturday 12th January
Stansfield O&B Reserves 0 – 4 Ide Hill
IDE HILL GO TOP
Ide Hill climbed back to the top of the league with a workmanlike victory over Stansfield on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors welcomed Jack Edmeads back into the starting line-up after his lengthy suspension absence and knew that a win, when there was little other league action, would take Ide Hill back to the summit of the division with only 7 games left to play.
And they started with intent, Callum Heath constantly driving down the right and Matt Bunn running with intent to stretch the home defence. The opening goal arrived after 15 minutes from the right; Heath venturing down the wing and squaring across the edge of the box to Craig Jackson, who rattled in his 10th of the season beyond the Stansfield goalkeeper.
This was not the start of the straightforward procession Ide Hill had perhaps expected though, toiling for the remainder of the half against game opposition and offering Stansfield constant encouragement through a lack of concentration and individual errors. Columb Grant had a free kick pushed wide just before the break and Charlie James saw a good chance from a corner sail off his head and over the bar.
The visitors knew they had to perform much better after the interval as Stansfield had their tails up going into half time. And the half time messages clearly landed with Ide Hill doubling their lead after 50 minutes. A slick breakaway was completed when Kensell fed Grant in the box who steadied himself and fired into the corner from 15 yards for his 4th of the season.
The comfortable lead allowed Ide Hill to relax into their play a little and Man of the Match Heath deservedly bagged himself the 3rd, a break down the right led to Grant pulling the ball back from the by line to Heath who arrowed a first time shot into the top corner from the cut back.
The victory was completed by the returning Tom Wright, again owing to great work by Heath, who raced down the right to square into the box for Wright in the 6 yard box who flashed beneath the keeper with all of his customary poaching nous.
So Ide Hill climb back to the top of the league with 7 games to play and know that if they win those games they are pretty much guaranteed the league, irrespective of what the strong chasing pack do. After a loss and a draw though, it was simply good to get back to winning ways; next week they will hope to go to Mottingham and win in order to solidify their position at the top.
Ide Hill Team: Mckay, Steggle, James, Holder, Heath, Driver, Edmeads, Jackson, Kensell, Grant, Bunn. Subs: Wright, Heasman, Butt, Brandon
Man of the Match: Callum Heath
IDE HILL STAY SECOND AFTER ENTERTAINING DRAW WITH SYDENHAM
Saturday 5th January
Ide Hill 1 – 1 Sydenham
Ide Hill missed the chance to climb back to the top of the league with a hard fought draw against a strong 3rd placed Sydenham side on Saturday afternoon at Wrotham.
Welcoming Luke Steggles and Charlie James back in to the heart of the defence, Ide Hill fielded a strong starting line up and started quickly in another game which would potentially have a large bearing on the title race.
And following a number of encouraging openings down the right flank, the opening goal came from that same source, albeit with a huge slice of luck. After 10 minutes the Sydenham left back woefully underhit a backpass to his goalkeeper, allowing Matt Bunn to steal in and accurately slot beneath the advancing keeper for his 9th goal of the season.
Ide Hill smelt blood and a chance to pull away in the game, but managed to miss a number of gilt edged chances before half time. George Kensell was played in on the right for a one on one but fired straight at the keeper. A frantic goalmouth scramble resulted in two goal line clearances from the Sydenham defence, with a number of Ide Hill players unable to apply the killer touch following a Ben Holder shot from the edge of the box. And just before half time Matt Bunn fired over the bar from 6 yards after excellent work once more by Grant and Heath down the right hand side.
Ide Hill went in to the break concerned that they would be made to rue this host of missed chances, and so it came to pass; Sydenham made a few changes at the break and came out in the second half with much greater attacking threat. On the hour they pulled level, breaking down the left after taking a quick free kick and squaring into the box for the Sydenham forward to fire past a helpless Mike Mckay in goal.
As the clock ticked down the game could have been won in either direction; a late breakaway from Sydenham resulted in a goalmouth scramble in the Ide Hill box, with an excellent save by Mckay and some last ditch defending keeping the visitors out, just.
In the final minutes Ide Hill went hunting for the win and almost snatched the victory, a late scramble from a corner resulted in Jackson firing goalward only for the Sydenham to palm over from close range. And with the final attack of the game, a lofted cross was floated towards Heath 6 yards out at the back post, who headed straight at the goalkeeper when he might have waited for the ball to drop and had a tap in.
So a draw was perhaps a fair result in an evenly matched contest, although Ide Hill will feel aggrieved to have missed out on the three points having misses a raft of excellent chances at critical points in the game. Ide Hill are now 2 points off the top of the league with a game in hand over Chipstead ahead of the visit to Mottingham next week; but the top of the league is bunching up, with conceivably 5 teams now having aspirations of topping the table come May.
Ide Hill Team: Mckay, Heath, Steggles, James, Holder, Driver, Jackson, S Heasman, Kensell, Grant, Bunn Subs: Boyle, Butt, J Heasman
Man of the Match: Craig Jackson
Saturday 17th November
Ide Hill 3-0 Club Langley
Kent County Division One
Ide Hill extended their lead at the top of the league to 6 points with a masterful and dominant win over title rivals Club Langley on Saturday afternoon.
Ide Hill beat Langley 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in the season thanks to a George Kensell goal, but Langley are still part of the chasing pack, along with Sydenham who have games in hand, so Ide Hill knew they needed to post another statement performance to stay in control of the league.
And Ide Hill started fast, something which was lacking at the start of the season but has gladly returned in recent weeks. Langley looked to play out from the back, but the relentless pressing of the home side resulted in two good chances within the first minute for Matt Bunn and George Kensell, with both being narrowly missed.
Ide Hill had a strong squad of 16, only missing Jack Edmeads through suspension and Ben Holder through injury and the whole squad is contributing to this impressive season, with quality all over the pitch and on the bench to call on to change the game or see out results.
The hosts continued to defend resolutely and attack with lightning speed, cutting through Langley time and again on the break, with Callum Heath driving down the right as well as Bunn and Columb Grant pressing and linking up with incision.
The Hill deservedly took the lead after 40 minutes of good quality football from both sides, Matt Bunn wriggling away from a Langley defender in the box and being brought to the ground. Craig Jackson stepped up to roll his 7th goal of the season in to the bottom corner.
Ide Hill were buoyed by grabbing a lead they had warranted and stepped up the pressure in the dying moments of the first half, adding a second just before the break. A Jackson flick on was squared in the box by Bunn to Grant who controlled, swivelled and fired the ball in to the corner as the despairing keeper watched on.
In the second half the technically impressive Langley team controlled much of the possession, without ever really carving out any chances of note beyond one shot from the corner of the box which was skewed in to the side netting. Ide Hill’s defending became more intense when they were reduced to ten men on the hour, with Heath picking up a second yellow for an innocuous incident.
This is testament to the increasingly strong defence, who have now kept back to back clean sheets and were marshalled excellently by James, Pearson and Captain Alteirac, with Mckay brave and calm behind them in the goal, they saw out the game even with the numerical deficiency. Mark Driver also put in his best performance of the season at left wing back, earning the Man of the Match through strong defending against a tricky winger, nicking the ball and pushing the team forward throughout.
With this solidity and control, it was Ide Hill who always looked like scoring again on the break, and so it proved, with Tom Wright skilfully releasing substitute Boyle who, fresh from his two goal cameo last week, slalomed through the defence, into the box and slotted beyond the Langley keeper in off the post for 3-0.
Ide Hill now have a 2 week break from the league due to cup commitments, but will go in to December at the top of the table, looking ahead to looming games with Sydenham and Chipstead full of confidence after today that they can hold their own with anyone in the league when on this form.
Team: Mckay, Pearson, James, Alteirac, Heath, Driver, Jackson, Kensell, Heasmann, Grant, Bunn. Subs: Wright, Boyle, Steggles, Piper
Man of the Match: Mark Driver
Ide Hill Reserves 3-1 Woodlands Reserves -
Saturday 17th November - Sevenoaks Junior Charity Cup
After last weeks David vs Goliath the undefeated Ide hill reserves found themselves in the position of expectation.
With a huge squad available to Peter slabhead Dance-Harvey, that head was aching. After selecting his 16 the camp was in a bouyant mood courtesy of a group chat banter fest courtesy of our resident William Shakespear archbishop of Banterbury Rado. Apparently he only had a few fantas nobody quite knows whether or not they came from arsehole yet....
The team relatively unchanged started well with clever interchanges in the midfield between Holdertron and Mcginn linking well with Scotty, Jordan and Tyler playing through the pain of a dodgy toe. The Hill just lacked that cutting edge. After a few shakey moments at the back from returning centre Half Luke the Chin Marchant Ide hill were looking like another dirty sheet with Dance Harvey in the back four but for some resolute goalkeeping and shitty finishing on behalf of the opposition, who rumour has it are still working on finishing last years xmas dinner.
On the half hour mark Sam Churchill Coleman (gaffa for the day) brought onnthe prodigal Son Jason Miles Lomas for his long awaited 2nd debut the boy did not dissapoint, after a rousing half time chat the hill we came out the blocks hard and fast. With a free kick CR7 would be proud of Jason found the inside of the side netting of the top right corner and a celebration only a true bellend would attempt. The domination continued in the shape of a well pounced upon back pass by Scotty to give us the cushion. Following what can only be described as a perfect spike in volleyball the opposition rightly had a goal disallowed.
Further substituions in the shape of Heasman, fitzer and pissed up Butterworth the hill continued to control the tempo, in a now advanced role Billy Whizz Hawkins began to run riot on the left wing and was rewarded with the goal of the season or so he tells it, how the ball ended up in the net is still baffling some of the greatest minds of the 21st century.
The Hill were now cruising toward a 10th game unbeaten and the ever coveted Dance-harvey clean sheet, with Will Punchline Martin in goal determined to stop that by skinning the opposition striker, the inevitable goal arrived much to everyone's annoyance however the game finished 3-1 but not before Rob Man of Steel Hawkins killed a man with seconds to, the same man that had already been nailed by slabhead.
The hill continued their undefeated march towards Trophies galore and another quarter final. The illustrious man of the match went to Skipper Craig Holdertron with another steller performance commanding the midfield with the efficiency of Andre Pirlo and Paul Scholes love child.
Ide Hill 4-2 Fleetdown ‘B’
Sevenoaks Charity Cup First Round
Ide Hill bounced back from their humbling defeat to Chipstead with a comfortable victory against Fleetdown in the first round of the Seveonoaks Charity Cup.
Manager Paul Mcdonagh welcomed captain Phil Alteirac back from injury as well as Craig Jackson and Ben Pearson, and the home team knew they had to put in a much better performance and not let their previous defeat undo their good start to the season. And Ide Hill started with real intent and purpose, carving through the Fleetdown defence with regularity and forcing the Fleetdown goalkeeper into a number of saves.
Ide Hill got the deserved breakthrough after 15 minutes, a Columb Grant inswinging corner was met by the rising Ben Pearson who guided a lovely header into the top corner for his third of the season. Ide Hill continued to dominate, Matt Bunn hitting the post with a powerful header as the home team searched for the second.
After much frustration and a plethora of squandered chances, the lead was doubled after half an hour; Jack Edmeads firing a rasping free kick past the stranded keeper from 20 yards to give the hosts breathing space as they headed in to the break.
Fleetdown worked themselves back into the game just after half time though, a long range drive was palmed out by Ide Hill goalkeeper George Dance-Harvey, but he could do nothing to stop the follow up being swept in by Freddy Hoare.
Ide Hill dusted themselves off and continued to press, with Grant bending a fine 20 yard shot against the bar after an hour. The hosts got their third via the penalty spot; Bunn pierced the back line and was brought down by the keeper, with Ben Holder slotting home the spot kick for his first of the season.
And Holder doubled his tally and put the game to bed with a second penalty with 10 minutes to go; Heath this time brought down, and Holder firing in to take Ide Hill to 4-1. Fleetdown did pull one more back in the final minutes, Sean Ryan following up a good penalty save from Dance Harvey to tap in to an empty net.
So Ide Hill move in to the next round of a cup that has been good to them in recent years; next week they return to league action against Halls knowing that a win will keep them at the top of the league ahead of the chasing pack.
Team: Dance-Harvey, Pearson, James, Alteirac, Heath, Driver, Holder, Jackson, Edmeads, Bunn, Grant. Subs: Heasmann, Kensell, Piper, Wright, Randall
Man of the Match: Ben Holder
Kent Intermediate Shield
Ide Hill 3 – 2 AFC Mottingham
20 October, 2018
Rob Piper scored a last minute winner to complete a dramatic comeback at Wrotham in the Kent Intermediate Shield.
Manager Paul Mcdonagh had a strong squad available and welcomed Ben Pearson back in to the defence, as well as giving Rob Piper a start up front in a 3-5-2 formation. The manager’s words were ones of warning in the changing room; Mottingham had given us a good game earlier in the season and would not be pushovers.
And so it proved. Ide Hill slow starts have become something of a worrying tradition this season, and Saturday was no different as the home team turned in a miserable first half performance; full of errors and lacking in concentration, to almost lose the game.
Ide Hill did put together some slick attacks with Callum Heath raiding down the right flank, but it was Mottingham who took the lead after 20 minutes from a poorly defended corner. The ball ricocheting around the penalty area, finally falling to Jamie Cox 16 yards out who rifled a lovely volley in to the top left corner.
The home team were not playing well but are still usually penetrative in their attacking and almost drew level soon after, Heath once more released down the right and squaring to Matt Bunn, whose first time effort bounced back off the post in to the grateful arms of the Mottingham goalkeeper.
Things would get worse before they got better, though, a mix up from a throw in allowing Mottingham to string a few clever passes together, resulting in Joshua Reid bundling in at the back post to double the lead. Ide Hill almost and probably should have pulled one back just before the break; Rob Piper played clean through down the right and opting to square to Matt Bunn, with the pass just evading the striker and the chance disappearing as the half time whistle blew.
Following a few home truths at half time, Ide Hill were a different side after the break, pinning Mottingham back from the off and applying relentless pressure for pretty much the entire half. Ide Hill have become increasingly threatening from set pieces this year, and this avenue would provide their route back in to the game. A Callum Heath corner was met by Jack Edmeads at the near post who headed in his second of the season to provide a life line.
Ide Hill’s gratefully deep match day squad was tested to the limits, with no less than 3 injuries meaning a constant reshuffling of the pack was needed throughout; both Ben Pearson and Craig Jackson going off with hamstring injuries and Phil Alteirac succumbing in the second half as well.
From there onwards it always seemed a matter of time before another breach would be made, as Mottingham retreated further and the home team pressed and probed. The equaliser came from another corner, Ben Holder curling in an inch perfect delivery for Luke Steggles to nod home his first of the season.
As the game seemingly edged towards a penalty shootout, Ide Hill snatched the win at the death; a 20 yard drive by Jack Edmeads was spilled by the home goalkeeper, allowing Rob Piper to fire in from close range for the win. The victory gives Ide Hill 7 wins from 9 this season, although they will need to perform much better to beat local rivals and 4th placed Chipstead next week in the league
Team: Mckay, Pearson, James, Steggles, Heath, Randall, Holder, Jackson, Edmeads, Bunn, Piper Subs: Heasmann, Alteirac, Driver, Kensell, Howard
Man of the Match: Jaymes Randall
Welling Park 1 – 4 Ide Hill
Kent County Division One West
13 October, 2018
Ide Hill returned to winning ways and stayed top of the league after coming back from one down to beat Welling Park 4-1, following a flurry of second half goals.
Manager Paul Mcdonagh reverted to 3-5-2 and welcomed Captain Phil Alteirac back from injury to add steel to the defence in the hope of putting right the defeat to South East in the Cup from last week.
And the visitors got off to the worst possible start, an Ide Hill corner resulting in a swift Welling counter attack with forward Isaac Toney stealing in behind the defence to slot home for 1-0 to the hosts.
Ide Hill, although applying their own pressure, were struggling to deal with the breaks and almost went two behind, relying on some strong goalkeeping from Mike Mckay and last ditch clearances from the defence following a goalmouth scramble.
The visitors did begin to turn the game their way after 30 minutes though, probing play down the right wing by George Kensell leading to Matt Bunn shooting from the edge of the box and drawing a smart save from the Welling goalkeeper.
Following a series of Ide Hill corners, the visitors deservedly and impressively pulled level before half time, with Craig Jackson releasing Callum Heath down the left wing; the forward, still with lots to do, drove in from the touchline, leaving two players in his wake and coolly slotted in to the far corner to bring the sides level going in to the break.
Despite sitting top of the league, Ide Hill still know they haven’t fully hit their stride this season, and this game was a case in point, and they knew they had to play better in the second half to secure the victory. After an unsteady collective start by the team, the central defence of Steggles, Alteirac and James had begun to exert their dominance and provide the base for the victory to come.
With the game firmly in the balance, Ide Hill pulled away with a slick goal after the hour mark. A break down the right led to the returning Columb Grant sliding a perfectly weighted square ball to the onrushing Jackson who swept goalward only for the keeper to get a hand to it. Luckily, substitute Sam Heasmann was on hand to turn the ball under the stranded goalkeeper to give Ide Hill the lead.
Ide Hill quickly added a third minutes later, with a Grant lofted through ball releasing Jackson out right; the midfielder driving in to the box and drawing a clumsy foul from the Welling defender for the penalty, which Jackson duly slotted home.
Joe Baker came on to add his vocal leadership to the defence, whilst Randall provided energy and thrust down the left flank once more. Holder and Edmeads helped to wrestle the centre away from Welling with strong tackling, driving runs and controlled passing.
The final goal was also impressively crafted, Ide Hill breaking down the right with Rob Piper, who arrowed a lovely defence splitting through ball to Heasmann; his attempt to round the keeper was foiled only for Bunn to gratefully tap in his third of the season.
Welling did miss a last minute penalty, the ball bouncing back off the bar to safety; but Ide Hill march on, now having taken 19 points from a possible 21 in the league to give the club their best start to a campaign in years.
Team: Mckay, Steggles, James, Alteirac, Kensell, Randall, Holder, Jackson, Edmeads, Heath, Bunn, Subs: Piper, Grant, Heasmann, Baker
Man of the Match: Sam Heasmann
Club Langley 0 Ide Hill FC 1
Kent County League-Division One West
22 September, 2018
Playing as wing-back George Kensell fired in a first half winner to lead Ide Hill to victory in the early season top of the table clash, and take the club 4 points clear at the top of the Kent County Division One-West.
In a game the Hill knew would be a good barometer of where they were for the season, the visitors were aware that they had to lay down a marker in this type of game if they were to give any substance to their nascent hopes of challenging for the league.
Ide Hill started brightly, as they do when they are at their best, pressing hard and letting Langley know they were in a game, with Matt Bunn and George Kensell making early positive inroads and setting the tone for the aggressive forward play which would lead Ide Hill to victory.
Ide Hill should have had the lead after 30 minutes, a Ben Holder inswinging corner was met in the 6 yard box by midfielder Craig Jackson who glanced a header off the turf in to the roof of the net, which the official failed to spot, much to the ire of the whole Ide Hill squad.
Luckily, Ide Hill weren’t outdone by the referee though, taking matters in to their own hands and getting the winner early in the second half. Foraging play by Jackson then Heasmann on the edge of the box resulted in the ball being shuffled out to the onrushing Kensell 15 yards out on the right who lashed the ball in to the nearside top corner for his first of the season and what would turn out to be the winner.
Ide Hill controlled the remainder of the game with a mature, powerful performance, recording their first clean sheet of the season, which was a testament to the dominance of the back six, and paves the way for a possible title charge, as Ide Hill take their 4 point lead to Mottingham next week.
Team: Mckay, Pearson, James, Steggles, Kensell (1), Randall, Holder, Jackson, Edmeads, Grant, Bunn, Subs: Piper, Heasmann, Boyle, McGinn
Man of the Match: Craig Jackson