Match Date: 18 December 2016
Bearsted travelled to Faversham Strike Force’s ground hoping to secure the three points which would position them at the summit of the Kent Youth League South Division over the Christmas period. This would be the Bears’ final fixture of the 2016 calendar year so ending it on a high was a must.
Bearsted started the first-half slowly with Faversham applying most of the pressure in the opening 20 minutes. Strike Force broke past the backline a few times but luckily for the away side the final ball wasn’t brilliant which allowed Bearsted to clear and relieve the pressure. Bearsted’s poor start was mainly due to their inability to keep hold of the ball which meant that the defence were tiring as they were constantly having to defend. With around 15 minutes of the first-half to go the home side were reduced to 10 men as their striker was sent-off for a second yellow following an altercation with a couple of the Bearsted defenders.
The sending-off allowed Bearsted more space and time on the ball which helped settle them into their typical passing rhythm. Callum West did brilliantly down the right-wing before being upended 30 yards out from goal. Luke Snazel would deliver an excellent ball into the box which Kieren Patel was able to guide home as he has done so well over the course of the season; his fifth in all competitions.
Bearsted started the second-half in a similar fashion to the way they began the first-half; sluggish and sloppy. Nevertheless, Bearsted were able to double their lead after Luke Snazel notched his second assist of the game from a corner which Callum MacGregor rose highest to head home. This was particularly important for the centre-back having missed a similar chance in the first-half alongside the fact that it was his first goal for the Bears this season.
20 minutes into the second-half Faversham were awarded a soft free-kick which they delivered into the box and an unmarked Strike Force player headed home which gave the home side hope and motivation to kick on. This goal prompted a reaction from Faversham and they settled into a good rhythm and they continued to pile pressure on the Bearsted backline. This provoked the Bearsted bench into making a change which meant Tom Lindsey was allowed freedom up front alongside Snazel. Lindsey’s pace proved a valuable asset as he broke through the Strike Force defence on numerous occasions and shortly after the tactical switch he was able to give the Bears a two-goal cushion and make it 3-1 to the away side.
Lindsey’s fine attacking performance would continue as some fine wing-play from Callum West meant he was able to slide the ball across the six-yard-box to an unmarked Lindsey who did well to keep the ball low and slot home to make it 4-1. Following the fourth goal Bearsted were essentially the only side in the game and were creating chance after chance but were unable to capitalise on some late pressure.
This win meant that Bearsted would sit 1st place on Christmas Day following a superb opening half of the season which saw Bearsted progress through two cup competitions at the same time which they will look forward to in the new year. The boys will take a deserved break over the Christmas period in which they can recharge and get ready for the fixtures in 2017.
Bearsted Team: Fraser Lee, Callum West, Kieren Patel, Callum MacGregor, Harry Whitfield, Harry Hays, Edoardo Cammarano, Chris Carcary, Tom Lindsey, Will Richards, Luke Snazel.
Bearsted Sub: Joe Sturrock