Ide Hill rattled off their fifth league win on the bounce at the weekend, taking a 3-0 first half lead at Fleetdown and hanging on at the end to move to second in the league with an impressive win.
Ide Hill boasted another strong 11 and bench, although this has not necessarily served them well in recent weeks, crashing out of both cups when similarly well stocked, so were looking for a response after a limp cup exit to Belvedere last time out.
And when Ide Hill get their intensity and cutting counter attacking play right, they are a very difficult team to live with, as they proved here and time again in their first year at this level.
George Kensell caused problems on the break, linking well with forwards Columb Grant and Barry Ryan, with Callum Heath bursting down the right flank on the overlap. And yet again set pieces were proving fruitful avenues of danger for Ide Hill; they opened the day’s scoring from a corner after 15 minutes; Ben Holder’s initial corner won by Phil Alteirac, with the bouncing ball steered back into his path by Craig Jackson, and the elegant centre half fired his second of the season in to the corner from 15 yards.
Ide Hill defended well against a threatening Fleetdown side who played cleverly on the break, the back line holding firm and leaving the hosts to feed from scraps in the first half. Columb Grant took the game further away after 25 minutes, Kensell again causing mayhem and forcing a good close range save before Grant slotted in for his fifth goal in seven games as a reinvented goal-scoring forward.
He added his second of the game after 35 minutes as well, Kensell running through once more after some lovely build up play from the back, unselfishly squaring for Grant to tap in and take the ecstatic visitors in to the break 3-0 up.
Ide Hill continued to play in short effective bursts after the break, as they have done so well over recent seasons, having a Kensell goal disallowed on the hour for a questionable foul on the keeper after a long throw was flicked on by Jackson. The Hill defence disrupted by losing Pearson and Alteirac to injury and began to cede ground and possession as Fleetdown looked for a way back, with much of their threat carried by a long throw that was hurled in from all angles at every opportunity in the second half.
Fleetdown caused a nervy end to the game, pulling one back after 65 minutes when a goalmouth scramble was poked home by Harry O’Brien after a long throw, and they caused further anxiety by getting another from the same source on 85 minutes, this time converted by Tom East. But Ide Hill just about held on for a deserved victory to take them second and keep them unbeaten in the league after five wins and two draws.
Manager Paul McDonagh was suitably pleased with the result: “We were much better today than last week, played with the right intensity, and we could still play much better which is a good sign. Columb took his goals really well and linked everything up brilliantly, and Jaymes Randall had another strong game at full back. Really happy to go second and keep our good league form going.”
So, Ide Hill register there first win against top half opposition, and face a string of fixtures against the better sides in the league which will go some way to seeing how far they can carry their magical early season form in to the winter. Next up, sixth placed Farnborough Old Boys Guild visit Camberwell Lane on October 5th.