Ide Hill got back to winning ways in the league with a strong 5-0 win against Halls to take them three points clear at the top.
Knowing that they had to right the wrongs of the Chipstead defeat, Ide Hill were went in to the fixture aware that their league campaign had to be realigned with a win against decent opposition, ahead of a top of the table clash against Club Langley next week.
Halls started strongly, keeping the ball well and pressing the hosts back for the opening 10 minutes without crafting a clear cut chance. But it was Ide Hill who took the lead after 15 minutes, perhaps against the run of play; Craig Jackson stepping through the midfield and firing into the top corner from 20 yards.
Ide Hill stepped into their attacking play thereafter with vigour, cutting through the opposition regularly with Callum Heath prominent on the right wing, bursting down the flank at every opportunity. The home team doubled their advantage after half an hour, with Columb Grant released behind the Halls’ defence and his placed shot was parried out to Matt Bunn who slotted in to the empty goal for his fourth of the season.
Ide Hill turned the screw and went in three up at the break, a long throw breaking to Bunn once more, who ran through and rounded the keeper to give the hosts breathing space and a deserved lead for their incisive forward play.
Halls were probably stunned by the turn of events; they hadn’t played badly, had enjoyed much of the possession, but were a long way behind as a result of some blistering counter-attacking football. Halls were given a lifeline on the hour, though, when Jack Edmeads, reacting to a tussle, raised his hands at a Halls player and was sent off.
Halls grabbed the initiative and dominated the ball for the next 10 minutes, but didn’t carve out any chances and it was Ide Hill who added to their lead; Tom Wright breaking down the left and squaring to Shaun Boyle who fired in to the top corner from the edge of the box for his first of the season.
Halls then went down to 10 men to even the numbers up, the right back picking up a second yellow following a wild lunge, and Boyle doubled his match day and season tally, bustling through on the edge of the box and driving a left footed shot under the keeper for 5-0. The defence kept a welcome third clean sheet of the season, and Ben Holder deputised ably in the goal for the absent Mckay.
Next week is a real test; a home fixture against league rivals Club Langley, whose only loss of the season came to Ide Hill in the reverse fixture; the game could go a long way to deciding who will win the league and will prove an excellent yardstick as to where the Hill’s title ambitions lie.