Match Date: 16 October 2016
Bearsted began their Challenge Cup campaign against Phoenix Sports who came to Honey Lane having lost two out of their opening three games in their respective league. Bearsted were looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat against Hollands & Blair.
Bearsted started the game well and were able to find a direct attacking rhythm which was excellent to watch. The link-up play from the attackers was causing Phoenix problems from the very beginning. Bearsted would break the deadlock around the 20 minute-mark as Albert Courtnell made a striding run forward and was found brilliantly by Edoardo Cammarano. Courtnell proceeded to link-up with Tom Lindsey, who played a delightful one-two with the full-back which released Courtnell into the opposition box. Courtnell was able to beat the onrushing Phoenix keeper to the ball as he slotted home extremely well.
Bearsted would continue to apply pressure to the Phoenix side and this almost resulted in them adding a second had it not been for some outstanding goalkeeping by the Phoenix keeper. Bearsted would break through their defensive line and the ball would fall to Harry Hays and much to the amazement of everyone around the ground the Phoenix managed to keep his effort out.
Bearsted knew that they had an advantage in the air so corners were becoming an important part of the game. Cammarano was on corner duty and he was playing in some quality balls which Bearsted were winning every time. However, yet again the Phoenix keeper was there to save the day again as he pulled off a brilliant double save to deny first Kieren Patel, and secondly Callum MacGregor.
Phoenix were coming back into the game in terms of possession, although they weren’t able to force through the Bearsted defence and they began to lose interest in the game. Bearsted would finally add a second in the shape of Kieren Patel with around 15 minutes of the half to go. Cammarano swung an exceptional corner in to the middle and Patel was in the right place at the right time to nod the ball home.
Bearsted weren’t finished there and they would add a third before the half-time whistle. Courtnell – who was having a class game – burst down the left-wing and advanced inside; only to be tripped by a Phoenix player. Luke Snazel would step up for the resulting free-kick and - much to the joy of the Bearsted squad - rifle the free-kick into the roof of the net in stunning fashion.
Bearsted would go in at half-time with a 3-0 lead, nevertheless, the boys were determined not to become complacent and it was made clear at half-time that there were to be no sloppy mistakes. Unfortunately, around 30 seconds into the second-half, the Phoenix striker would capitalise on a rare defensive error from Patel. This goal clearly gave the visitors the boost that they so desperately needed. However, nothing really came from this goal and once Bearsted had woken up, they were able to add a fourth goal.
Fraser Lee would launch the ball forward into the path of Snazel who kept pressing the Phoenix defender which forced a mistake from the centre-back. Snazel would round the opposition keeper and finish emphatically. This was great play from Snazel which means that he now has 11 goals in all competitions this season.
The second-half was relatively even and neither side were really playing good football so it looked as though the score would stay 4-1. However, Phoenix would add a second which meant that the game would end with Bearsted moving into the next round of the Challenge Cup with a 4-2 victory over Phoenix Sports.
Bearsted Team: Fraser Lee, Harry Hays, Kieren Patel, Callum MacGregor, Harry Whitfield, Albert Courtnell, Edoardo Cammarano, Chris Carcary ©, Tom Lindsey, Luke Snazel, Will Richards.
Subs (used): Joe Sturrock.