Hill edged out against Faversham in last 15 minutes

KENT COUNTY PREMIER DIVISION: FAVERSHAM STRIKE FORCE SENIORS 2 IDE HILL 1

Ide Hill surrendered a half time lead for the second week running on a rain sodden afternoon out in Faversham, slipping to fifth in the league as a result.

Sat second in the league at the start of the day, even after the chaotic loss to Farnborough last week, Ide Hill were looking to bounce back against more strong opposition from the top half of the league in the shape of Faversham. The slippery conditions added to a frantic, intense start where both sides tried to feel out each other’s contrasting formations and struggled to muster any fluidity in their passing through the midfield.

Ide Hill looked dangerous on the break and top scorers Columb Grant, Barry Ryan and the raiding threat of Callum Heath were getting in behind without carving out strong chances. Ben Pearson headed straight at the keeper from close range when meeting a free kick in the 6 yard box.

Regardless of the grinding performances, Ide Hill did snatch the lead just before the break; Grant twisted in to space on the left flank and arcing a lovely cross in to the penalty box towards Ryan who, with lots still to do and 15 yards out, met the cross and headed in to the top corner for a brilliant 8th goal of the season.

Ide Hill were buoyed but wary at the break, having been in a similar position against Farnborough the week before and ultimately going under in the second half. Mike McKay saved from a goalmouth scramble in the 50th minute and the Hill were lucky to escape unscathed. The Hill should have extended their lead from a host of set piece chances, with Pearson, Philippe Alteirac and captain, Craig Jackson, all guilty of squandering good openings from corners and crosses.

And the Hill were made to pay for these missed opportunities and a disrupted second half of multiple substitutions when Faversham levelled on the hour. A tired but soft foul was given away by Jackson 25 yards out, for which Luke Steggle was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for remonstrating, the misery was further compounded when Radi Davidov fired a precise free kick in off the post to bring the scores level.

Ide Hill battled gamely with a man down but were by now facing waves of attacks with an unfamiliar looking side and a man down, this period of attrition took its toll in the 80th minute, when an exhausted Hill conceded from a corner, Alistair Wren steering in for a late, demoralising winner for the second week running.

A distraught dressing room will need to move on from this quickly, The Hill now slipping to 5th in the league following tight, back to back defeats. Next week they have an even tougher challenge as top of the league Bromleians visit Camberwell Lane where the hosts will be hoping for a positive response and performance.