Match Date: 09 October 2016
Bearsted went into the game top of the league and looked to add to their stunning 5-game winning streak, however, it wasn’t meant to be as they returned home from Blair with a 3-2 loss on their hands.
The game began with a fair few strong tackles going in which was nothing less than either team expected due to the fact that it was in fact first versus second. Bearsted got off to a slow start and Blair were pressing extremely high which meant that the Bears were unable to play their usual passing game. This eventually culminated into Bearsted going a goal down half-way through the first half as a Blair striker was played in on goal and - much to Bearsted’s dismay –
However, Blair would be awarded a free-kick on the edge of the Bearsted box following a foul committed by Fraser Lee. However, moments prior to this the referee refused to give a penalty for a similar offence which started with Albert Courtnell rising for a header at the far post in the Blair box and finished with the Bearsted defender being maimed by the Blair goalkeeper. Nevertheless, no foul was given and this was why Bearsted felt hard done by. Blair scored from the resulting free-kick and this gave the home side the motivation to press on. finished the chance.
Bearsted would go in at half-time 1-0 down in a game where most of the football was being played in the middle of the park with neither side threatening too much; although Blair were looking the stronger of the two sides. Bearsted knew that they had to start passing the ball around with more of a direct approach to their play.
The second-half began brightly for the visitors as Bearsted settled into an early rhythm and the boys started to create chances. Around 10 minutes into the second-half, Blair were obviously still asleep from the break and Bearsted thought they had equalised through Callum MacGregor but much to Bearsted’s complete shock the goal was disallowed for offside, although, the Bearsted players weren’t too sure why.
Nonetheless, Bearsted would continue to push on as they smelt blood after having a goal disallowed. This pressure would pay dividends as Will Richards played through Luke Snazel who beat a Blair defender and proceeded to slot past the onrushing Blair keeper. This equaliser was nothing less than Bearsted deserved and if any team looked like scoring a second – it was Bearsted.
Bearsted kept this attacking style of football going and they were beginning to test the Blair keeper on almost every attack. Bearsted were able to make it 2-1 as they won a free-kick a couple of yards in from the touchline which Ryan Golding would take. His lofted ball into the area was only half-cleared to Richards on the edge of the box who improvised extremely well and managed to hook the ball back into the box where Tom Lindsey was lurking at the far post. Lindsey’s header would crash against the Blair woodwork, only to fall back into the path of Lindsey who took the chance well. The Bearsted players were ecstatic and with only 15 minutes to go; you’d have thought the game was finished.
Bearsted almost made it 3-2 when a Richards free-kick evaded both sides and almost crept into the far corner but was denied by the post unfortunately. Going into the final 8 minutes of the game Bearsted were beginning to tire and the Blair goal seemed to suck some of the energy out of the players. Blair would play a ball over the top and as their winger cut inside and hit a shot, it would cannon off of MacGregor and unluckily go in off a Blair player. This meant that Bearsted would lose the game 3-2 despite being 2-1 up with only 15 minutes to go.
Bearsted can hold their heads high despite the result because every single one of them battled and fought in a feisty game between the two top sides in the league. On the other hand, they will feel extremely hard done by due to certain key decisions going against them at crucial points in the game.
Bearsted Team: Fraser Lee, Ryan Golding, Kieren Patel, Callum MacGregor, Harry Whitfield, Albert Courtnell, Edoardo Cammarano, Chris Carcary, Tom Lindsey, Will Richards, Luke Snazel.
Subs: Joe Sturrock, Harry Hays.