Ide Hill continued their exemplary start to the season on Wednesday evening, recording their second win and clean sheet in a few days to grind out a deserved victory over Kings Hill.
Following a solid win over Crockenhill, the visitors welcomed defensive lynchpin Ben Pearson back into the heart of the defence as well as a first appearance for the tireless Sam Heasman at wingback.
The opening of the game was frantic; Ide Hill wasteful on the ball and Kings Hill showing decent composure in playing out from the back and out wide, which it took the visitors a while to get to grips with.
Yet throughout the game, where Ide Hill perhaps only had 30% of the ball, it was always the visitors who looked more dangerous in possession, especially with the brilliant Kanan Fitton running the Kings Hill defence ragged down the channels and in behind. He created the first gilt edged chance of the game, charging down the right into the box and winning a penalty from the helpless defender. Unfortunately, Craig Jackson spurned his second penalty in a week, the keeper palming the spot kick away.
The game settled into a pattern thereafter; Kings Hill rolling the ball around the back and advancing up the pitch but struggling to get in behind and Ide Hill looking to attack quickly on the break. Kings Hill created their best chance in the first half, their forward flashing a volley wide from the penalty spot.
But Ide Hill carved out at least two other better ones before the interval; Callum Heath flying down the right and pulling back to the penalty spot, with the advancing Jackson’s shot blocked in the box; Columb Grant also arrowed a shot just wide from 12 yards, Fitton just unable to divert a point blank header goalward.
Ide Hill went in to the break in a similar position to the weekend; they should have been ahead and were wary of being caught and giving themselves a mountain to climb. To their credit, they have shown an impressive steel in the opening fixtures thus far, in games where they would have conceded and gone under in years gone by, the strong collective defensive performance and cool assurance of 16 year old Lewis Wilkins in goal, belying his tender years, meant that Kings Hill never really created a chance in the second half for all of their possession.
Ide Hill got the breakthrough they deserved on 70 minutes, the excellent Jamie Fearn feathered a peach of a free kick into the box which the powerful George Kensell met with a brilliant diving header at the back post to essentially win the game.
Ide Hill ran the rest of the clock down well and could have added more, Fitton racing past defenders once more, seeing his one on one blocked by the keeper and Ainsworth and Fitton both having follow up shots cleared on the line.
So Ide Hill open with two excellent wins and two clean sheets and see themselves sat in fourth place, joint top but for goal difference, in a start which couldn’t have gone much better. Ide Hill host Farnborough OBG at the weekend looking to build further on their fantastic opening.