Match Date: 27 December 2016
Match Report by Allan Hefferon
With Bearsted looking to avenge a narrow defeat earlier in the season and eager to improve upon their current league position, felt they might get an early goal when Sam Flisher found himself in on goal only for him to collide with advancing goalkeeper Michael Elder and for both referee and linesman agreeing that a penalty should not be given. Elder indeed became the home side’s nemesis throughout the whole afternoon. However it took a smart save from opposing keeper Ben Donnelly to deny Alex Kendall from opening the scoring immediately after. Although at this stage the game was a pretty even affair, the real chances fell to the hosts, first when Andy Hart volleyed just wide and then when Andy Irvine saw his shot on goal saved by Elder and then heading over a great opportunity from close range. However it took a wonder save by Donnelly, keeping out a point blank shot from Rochester front man Dan Nash to keep the score level. Unfortunately for the home keeper, following some sloppy defending on the left, the ball was fed to Dan Parish to thrash the ball home from 15 yards in the 43rd minute. With half time looming at the other end and following a right wing corner, Rob Lyall emerged from a group of defenders only to see his headed effort come back off of the bar and then cleared off of the line to safety.
The early stages after the half time break saw some end to end play and chances arriving at both ends. For Bearsted it was Hart firing just wide of goal and then when Reece Collins was denied by the alertness of keeper Elder. For the visitors it took another smart save by Donnelly diving low to his left from Michael Hurcomb, after being put in following a pacey run by McDermott. As the half wore on though, so Bearsted seized more of the initiative and on several occasions they came very close to an equaliser, notably when Flisher through on goal, was denied once more by Elder and then when Reece Collins suffered the same experience soon after. However, the equaliser did finally arrive after 68 minutes when Keelan Mooney out on the left, delivered a sublime cross into the path of the incoming Flisher to force the ball home from close range. With their tails now up so the Bears went in search of a second goal, which may well have come earlier had it not been for the heroics of Elmer in his efforts of denying both Collins and Irvine achieving this. Soon after also, when Lyall once more hit the crossbar with a towering header. However the winner did eventually come on 79 minutes, when Mooney taking the ball to the edge of the box, sent in an unstoppable low drive which even Elder could not stop from hitting the back of the net. Although the final stages there on, did become a tense affair with Rochester now seizing most of the possession, so a resolute Bearsted defence marshalled by immense skipper Rob Lyall, managed to weather the storm and preserve the well earned result they deserved on the day.
Team: Ben Donnelly, L.Hughes, A.Foster, R.Lyall, A.HartG.Andrews , S.Flisher, N.Perkins (M.Garner) K. Mooney,(C.Carcary) A.Irvine , R.Collins (J.Hayes)