Ide Hill’s towering new striker Barry Ryan got off to a flying start on Saturday, netting a brace to down Crockenhill and deliver Ide Hill’s first ever non-league win, fittingly at their Camberwell Lane home ground in front of a Bank Holiday crowd.
Ide Hill began with a few key absentees in Philippe Alteirac, Columb Grant and Callum Heath, but such is the increased squad strength the starting 11 was still strong, with Ryan coming straight in up front and Jack Edmeads coming in for his first start in the midfield.
After starting the season unbeaten with two strong draws, the home side understood how important it was to start to turn these single points in to three if they don’t want to find themselves at the wrong end of the table. And Ide Hill started with much the same intensity which had unsettled Otford on Tuesday night, although the opening was patchy for quality as both sides felt their way into the game.
It was the visitors who took the lead after 20 minutes, the excellent Crockenhill forward Michael Fenn capitalising on some hesitation in the Ide Hill backline to steady himself from 10 yards and calmly slot into the corner to give Crockenhill the lead, somewhat against the run of play.
Yet before the goal and certainly after, Ide Hill had begun to find some of their quick passing rhythms and were springing through the midfield, Kensell and Randall beginning to add threats down the side and Howard cleverly and powerfully running the channels.
But it was the unorthodox challenge of Ryan that was really beginning to set panic through the ranks of Crockenhill. A tall, powerful forward who scored 16 goals for South East last season and often tormented Ide Hill last term, was now in the black and white stripes, his excellent link up play and powerful aerial threat causing untold problems for the visitors and providing a vital outlet for the Ide Hill midfield and defence.
And he scored a sumptuous goal to open his account after 30 minutes, Craig Jackson drove from midfield and lofted a high through ball over the top for Ryan, with the big striker doing the rest in startling fashion. 20 yards out he hooked the ball from the sky with his first touch and bent his second in to the top corner to send the home side in to raptures.
Ide Hill kicked on from this and started to run the game, Edmeads and Holder opening up wide spaces in the midfield with their quality and the defence of Pearson, James and Steggle holding firm and providing the foundation.
The second goal came from an adventurous surge from the growing Randall on the flank, foraying forward and firing a shot which the keeper managed to palm wide. Edmeads picked up the rebound, though, and steadying himself, curled a delightful cross to the back post which Ryan, clearly seeing as his bread and butter goal, eased the slight full back out of the way and nodded in his second in 10 minutes.
The visitors had shown their grit to fight back in to the lead, yet the game had echoes of their previous 2-2 draws and the Hill were determined to push this one through for a win. Ryan almost scored a hat trick with a volley blocked by his own player, and Steggle saw a certain headed goal from a corner miraculously turned over the bar by the Crockenhill keeper.
Unfortunately, after a sloppy passage which encouraged the visitors, Fenn pulled the visitors level after 65 minutes with a piece of magic of his own, taking the ball 25 yards out with his back to goal, turning quickly and bending his own wonder strike in to the top corner.
Ide Hill were hit by the equaliser and perhaps wondering about another 2 points lost, yet they showed mettle to turn the game in their favour again. Kensell had by now been moved up front and was proving a menace to Crockenhill, whilst Heasman provided energy and quality from the bench. And it was this combination which would fashion the historic winner for the club; Heasman breaking down the right and threading a lovely slide rule pass through to the onrushing Kensell who, steadying himself, fired in to the bottom right corner first time and sealed the victory for the club.
Mcdonagh was once again happy with the showing, and this time, the result “another strong performance, but this time we got the win we deserved. We played well in patches and what is encouraging is we can still improve as we get fitter and better, the season is looking bright and we look forward to Peckham on Monday” and on new signing Ryan “He was fantastic, what a debut. He took his goals brilliantly and was a constant threat and gave us a brilliant outlet. Really happy. And Kensell was excellent as well, moved around from wing back to forward, he had a great game and ended up the match winner”
Ide Hill need to quickly rest as they go again, visiting a strong Peckham Town side on Monday afternoon. However, the opening three games have shown we have nothing to fear and with Ryan in the ranks, the sky is the limit.
PLEASE NOTE THIS MATCH REPORT WAS SUPPLIED BY IDE HILL FOOTBALL CLUB AND HAS ONLY BEEN EDITED BY SEVENOAKS SPORTS.