Whatever happens come the end of the season, both Ide Hill FC and Chipstead FC will certainly have had one to remember, as they are both challenging for the Kent County League Division One West title and also the Final of the Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup as well.
With just a few games to go in a very competitive league, both clubs have every chance of taking the league title, although the ball is very much with Ide Hill as they take a six point lead over Chipstead into their last two remaining fixtures, knowing that a win and a draw will see them promoted as Champions to the Premier Division for the first time in their 96-year history.
Chipstead have of course dipped their toe into the county’s top flight before, when they were the Division One West Champions in 2015, although after just two seasons they were relegated back down again. They enjoyed a very productive campaign last year, when they found themselves finishing a fine, but frustrated, second behind eventual Champions, Old Bromleians. Ide Hill by comparison had a league season to forget in 2017/18.
This season though, Ide Hill will be frustrated with themselves knowing that the two league games they have lost all season, have been to their local rivals. And in some very one-sided matches, it was difficult to see how Ide Hill had got into the position they found themselves, but a number of factors including some prolonged injuries meant that they weren’t able to compete at the same level.
Chipstead have the right of course to counter-argue this, sighting that you only play the team in front of you on any given day and that they are the results that really matter.
This was evident in late March when Chipstead overcame Premier Division team Farnborough Old Boys Guild to make it to the Final of the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup.
The final will be played at Rochester United’s ground on the evening of May 14th at 7.30pm. Chipstead won’t want to wait that long to get their hands on some silverware though.
Four at the top?
It has been rumoured for a while now, although unconfirmed, that there is the potential for both clubs to get promoted, dependant on other clubs not being able to fulfil their current positions.
So, should this happen, and Sydenham Sports would surely like to have a say in the matter first, then we would be looking at four teams in close proximity to each other, all within the Sevenoaks District, playing top flight county football together.
This is something that has never happened before and it would be testament to the playing ability of players at these local clubs, and the teams of volunteers behind them.
Crockenhill, Otford United, Chipstead and Ide Hill all battling it out for top local spoils would be enough to get even the most reluctant armchair football fan out of their seat surely?
Charity Cup Final?
It is surely the match every local football fan wishes to watch? A game played out between two top teams on a 3G pitch that regularly plays host to Bostik League action on the afternoon of Good Friday, Ide Hill made a late entrance to the Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup Final after defeating Farnborough Old Boys Guild Reserves at the start of the month, and will now meet their league rivals in the final.
We for one can’t wait to see how the season all pans out. League and Cup Final alike. We’ll be there supporting our local clubs, the question is, will you?
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