Ide Hill suffer third defeat in three league games

Kent County Football League Premier Division: Ide Hill 2 Faversham Strike Force Seniors 3

Ide Hill lost their third game in a row against another top side in the division, giving themselves too much to do in a torrid first half and were ultimately unable to claw back a result at the end.

The league has been heavily disrupted in the past few weeks due to the weather, and the fact Ide Hill hadn’t played in two weeks bore out in a sluggish opening that essentially cost them the game. The first goal arrived after 10 minutes, slack marking from a set piece allowed Adam Gates a free header at the back post to nod in for an all too easy opener.

Faversham doubled their lead after 20 minutes, Tom Gates sweeping in the second follow more poor defending and giving the home team a mountain to climb. This did, however, belatedly cause Ide Hill to wake up, attacking with more purpose and intensity. They halved the deficit after half an hour, Barry Ryan getting the first of his two assists, pulling back for Columb Grant who fired in to the bottom corner for his ninth goal of the season and reinstalled genuine belief in getting a result.

The positivity was short lived though as Ide Hill conceded a crucial third before the break, Dinu Catalin slotting home from close range when Ide Hill were in the ascendancy. Some home truths were aired at half time in an angry changing room and the words prompted a much better second half. Ide Hill made a number of changes, bringing on a wave of youth and the home side dominated the ball and chances in the second half.

Faversham awarded their man of the match to their goalkeeper Ben Buckingham, which tells its own story, he made a number of good saves and an excellent point blank one from Craig Jackson at close range, diverting a rising shot over the bar as Ide Hill continually knocked on the door. Callum Heath helped to provide the second goal for the hosts, driving down the right, pulling back to Barry Ryan who cleverly flicked around the corner to Kane Fitton who smashed beyond the keeper for 3-2.

Fitton had a number of good chances in another strong performance, James Humphries made an impressive debut along with a strong second half showing from the other recent young recruits in Jamie Fearn and Rob Ainsworth, who took the game to Faversham as Ide Hill hunted for an equaliser. In the end, though, the first half showing left them with too big a task in the second half, and they eventually ran out of time, Faversham holding on in the final minutes to see out the game.

Ide Hill man of the match Phil Alteirac put in a strong performance at the back but was understandably disappointed with the result, “we shot ourselves in the foot early on with a lack of energy and intensity. We dominated the second half but sadly couldn’t make up the difference. Shout out to the new youngsters who all played with no fear; there is a lot of exciting potential there for the club.”

And manager Paul McDonagh also cut a frustrated figure from the sidelines: “The sloppy start did it for us, we haven’t played for a few weeks and didn’t look sharp at all, although we kept the ball well as the game went on. We are discovering that a lack of concentration in this league is always punished and we need to address this. We created lots of chances in the second half but couldn’t convert enough of them. We have been conceding far too many of late but I want to take the positives in to the next game, the strong second half showing is the standard we need to build on next week”.

Next week Ide Hill will travel to Bromleians with a desperate need to tighten up and get a result to halt their recent slide, albeit against the top three sides in the division.