Ide Hill comfortably despatched Southborough in the Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup quarter-final under the lights at Rusthall FC on Wednesday evening.
Replaying the fixture after the first victory for Ide Hill was ruled out, Ide Hill hoped to book their place in the semi-final against Farnborough Reserves with a strong performance whilst also looking to set themselves for their key league run in.
The rare evening game at a floodlit ground from two leagues above meant the game had an added crackle of atmosphere and bite, with the match predictably starting in a tense and tight manner. Southborough quickly attempted to assert their physical prowess, pegging Ide Hill back with their missile long throws, causing constant problems in the box through a direct and muscular approach.
Once Ide Hill settled after 15 minutes they began to open Southborough up; Columb Grant pulling the strings with his clever link up play, first drawing an excellent save from the goalkeeper and teeing Jack Edmeads up who also saw a good effort tipped wide.
The opener duly came on 20 minutes, Grant once more at the heart of a signature rapid break, rolling in the effervescent Sam Heasman who fired in through the goalkeeper from the edge of the box for his 3rd of the season. The remainder of the half picked up the cagey nature of the first 15 minutes, fragmented by fouls, set pieces and a need on both sides to grind and not concede; one of Southborough’s troublesome long throws resulted in a player rifling against the bar from 10 yards after 35 minutes.
After the break Ide Hill stepped on the gas and took the game away from a tiring but game Southborough side, Josh Howard scoring his first goal for the club to cap some strong recent form since his return from injury, taking the ball down on the edge and guiding a side footed finish past the goalkeeper’s despairing dive.
Man of the Match Ben Pearson made it three, forced off in the first minute with a nasty facial injury, he recovered, returned and nodded in direct from a corner to give Ide Hill an unassailable lead and cap an impressive rear-guard performance for the side, who kept their second clean sheet in a row and their 6th of the season.
Craig Jackson made it 4-0 on the hour, meeting another pinpoint Ben Holder corner and guiding in at the near post. He added his 17th of the season shortly after; the mercurial Rob Piper appeared from the bench, showed some deft touches and played a defence splitting pass to Jackson in the box who controlled and rolled it into the corner.
Goal number six was added by Holder, Ide Hill still breaking and looking hungry for more, he was slid through in the box by Jackson, where he calmly rolled it into the corner to finish the evening’s goals and give Ide Hill safe passage into the next round.
Ide Hill have no league game this weekend; so they will watch Chipstead’s game against Club Langley with interest, knowing that their lead at the top could be cut to one point by the time they play Sutton Reserves a week on Saturday. However before that, on Wednesday Ide Hill meet Farnborough Old Boys Guild Reserves in the semi-final of this prestigious cup, knowing that a victory will set them up with a final showdown against none other than Chipstead themselves, who lay in wait for the victors at Greatness Park on Good Friday afternoon.