Match Date: 29 October 2016
Match Report by Allan Hefferon
As has been the case so far this season the end result was far from a fair reflection of a game that really was not won until the final period of the game when two key Bearsted players had to leave the field with injuries, ultimately having to play to rest of the game with 10 fit men after the introduction of their substitutes prior to this. So it would be wrong to assume that this was a one sided match. Certainly it was a very close game up until this point and at one stage Bearsted equally looked as though they could have won it? With a Croydon side perpetually throwing forward long balls in seeking out the pace of their wingman, certainly it took a while for the Bear’s defence to settle. with Morgan Jenden and Warren Mfula being particularly prominent with the first real scare coming when Scott Andrews had to be at his best when making a great diving save low to his left from a goal bound header by Mfula . As the game wore on, so the home side were able to develop their own game and seeing front man Andy Hart finding himself in on goal, only for him to see his shot saved by the advancing Daniel Burnett. After 40 minutes though came the opener for the visitors, when a deep ball over to the left found Jendon who was able to exploit the situation to fire past Andrews into the not. Any rejoicing though was short lived as almost immediately after, Hart was able to manoeuvre past some flat footed defending by Adam Broomhead, before lobbing the ball over a stranded Burnett. However it was only another great save by Andrews that allowed his team to go in at half time with the score still even.
The start of the second half saw an early spell when Bearsted should have capitalised on two chances, when Bradley Webb might have scored, being denied by Bennett and then when Hart headed narrowly wide of the far post, each of these efforts being provided by strong Sam Flisher runs, making the most of a back-peddling away defence. However it as a result of a Bears attack that the ball broke for it to be swung over to the right to Chevan Xavier for him to run on and cross into the incoming Mfula to score high into the net. Immediately after saw another opportunity to increase the score when Bearsted conceded a penalty, the result of which seeing Scott Andrews making a fine save from kicker Carlton Murray-Price. This piece of good fortune for the home side saw them still in the game and an equaliser almost arrived when Keelan Mooney found himself in the clear down the left to steer the ball by Burnett only for him to agonise at seeing his effort come back off of the post instead of finding the net. The real game changer though came after 70 minutes, when Croydon substitute Bradley Wilson received the ball to score from the edge of the area. Unfortunately for Bearsted though, very soon after they found themselves in a position forced upon them by circumstances and being somewhat over-run and therefore it came as no surprise that their opponents were able to exploit their position to go on and add two more goals by Mfula, which by the end bore very little impact on the game’s result.
Team: S.Andrews, A.Foster (L.Hughes) G.Andrews,R.Lyall, S.Flisher,S.Sage (L.Hughes) M.Holliday, (O.Bartrum) ,J.Hayes (N.Perkins) ,M.Garner, B.Webb, A.Hart, K.Mooney
Subs: S.Sage, L. Matthews,