Ide Hill finally grabbed their first points of the season on Saturday as the forward line of Columb Grant and Kanan Fitton ripped through the Faversham defence in a commanding first half that saw the visitors 4-0 up by the break.
On a Saturday afternoon that many thought would fall to the heavy overnight rain, Ide Hill were certainly glad it didn’t on what proved to be a sunny afternoon in more ways than one at Rochester United’s lovely home ground. Neither side had managed to register a win after seven games, so both would have been looking at the fixture against similar positioned teams as a chance to kick start the season, and it was Ide Hill who grabbed the incentive with both hands.
Barry Ryan’s fractured wrist meant Columb Grant and Kanan Fitton were paired together up front and tormented Faversham in a dazzlingly efficient first half display from the front two, ably assisted by the relentless Callum Heath down the right. Ide Hill had begun brightly, pressing and playing well in the midfield and combining in the final third well, opening vast spaces for their willing runners to expose the Faversham defence. The first goal came after ten minutes, clever play in the midfield found Fitton, who rolled in Heath out right who in turn slid under the advancing keeper for 1-0.
Ide Hill were up and running now, looking strong at the back, finding space in the midfield and full of energy up top but it was a moment of individual brilliance that brought the second; Ben Pearson firing the ball up to Grant 25 yards out, who used his first right footed touch to spin the defender and his second to rifle in with his left from 20 yards in a second successive MOTM performance that has seen him back to his devastating best.
A huge moment arrived on 30 minutes that was hugely fortunate for the Hill and showed that it was probably going to be our day; the Faversham forward running into the box out right, brought down by Pearson but unbelievably and to the understandable ire of the Faversham players, a free kick on the edge of the box was given. The free kick came back off the bar following a goalmouth scramble and Ide Hill went straight up the other end and scored to rub salt in to the wounds, Fitton receiving an assist back from Heath to race through and make it 3 in a brutal display of powerful running from the young forward that caused endless problems for Faversham all afternoon.
And Ide Hill nicked a fourth in a scarcely believable first half following a dire few months of performances from the Hill stretching back through the end of last season; lovely combinations down the right again saw Fitton pull back for Grant in the penalty box who curled in to the top corner with a rare right footed goal for his second to take the visitors into the break with the game all but won.
Manager Paul McDonagh used half time to make the use of a talented and large squad by making five changes to ensure everyone got minutes and was part of a good win; the changes naturally disrupted the rhythm and Ide Hill put in a more ragged performance in the second half that lost them their clean sheet. Faversham pulled one back on the hour when Tom Barton worked space in the box and fired in for 4-1. Then made it 4-2 through Kane Taylor with 20 minutes left to give Ide Hill a little more discomfort than they would have liked. But fittingly the triumphant visitors had the last word on an excellent afternoon that brings the mood of the club right back around. Jack Edmeads swung a free kick into the back post, George Kensell flicked on and defender Luke Steggle lashed in from 8 yards to add the fifth and final goal to the game.
McDonagh was happy to register the first win and looking to build a run from here: “It was good to get back to winning ways. We put in a solid first half performance all across the pitch, we still need to get fitter and work on some of the finer details. I’m looking forward to next week already and hopefully getting some more points on the board and moving up the table”.
The win sees Ide Hill climb off the foot of the table and to third bottom, a space above the drop zone. Next week Ide Hill welcome Otford United to The Bourne Stadium for a local derby; Otford sit one place below the Hill so both sides will be looking for a win to move up into the middle of the table in these early days.
Ide Hill Team: Mckay, Heath, Pearson, Steggle, Alteirac, Holder, Ogundemuren, Jackson, Fearn, Fitton, Grant. Subs: Kensell, Edmeads, Boyle, Baker, Ainsworth.
Man of the Match: Columb Grant