Ide Hill comeback to pull five points clear at the top!

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 just six games to play, 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 five 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 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 three. 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, five 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 five games to play, both sides know a win will put them firmly in the driving seat as they head down the home straight.