Match Date: 08 April 2017
Match Report by Allan Hefferon
Although this was a well deserved win for them, Bearsted still had to produce a totally committed performance in order of securing a respectable league position in their first season at this higher level. The opening spell though saw Canterbury seemingly settling more quickly and with only 3 minutes gone they might well have gone in front when Gary Mickelborough found himself in on goal only for him to fire into the side netting. Further opportunities came their way, in particular when Sam Conlon shot narrowly wide and then when Scott Andrews needed to be at his best in denying Rob Lawrence from opening his account. However as the half progressed so the visitors were to come more and more into the game, playing with a smooth passing style coupled with plenty of energy whereby they were able to pressurise a back line who up until then had looked fairly comfortable. So much so they very nearly went into the lead when Reece Collins dispossessed Alfie Nunn just inside his own half to run clear and force a save from Darren Hawkes. On the back of this incident so the momentum of the game swung in favour of the Bears and with the link up play of Callum Croucher and Lucian Scarlet being of particularly significance as a series of real chances began to arrive, notably when Constantine Scarlet just failed to put the ball away and then when a goal bound Collins shot was blocked by Lawrence Harvey and concede a corner. However it was just before half time when they came closest to a breakthrough, when after being awarded a free kick on the edge of the area, Scarlat sent in a powerful effort which Hawkes responded to brilliantly, turning the ball away diving low to his left.
The resumption after the break signalled an interesting contest between the two teams,with the home side favouring a long ball strategy seeking out both of their flank men and that of their opponent’s preferred passing build up play. However the deadlock was eventually broken after 53 minutes when the simplest of through pass from midfield eluded the home defence leaving Constantine Scarlat to run on and lob the ball over the advancing Hawkes and into the net. With Canterbury now needing to positively respond they began to mount a series of attacks, during which time saw them hit the woodwork twice, first when a header by Gary Clarke flashed off of the bar and then when the same player sent in a rasping shot with this time for him to be denied by the left upright. In adding to this and with the clock running down, so the attacks continued to come and Beaersted had to be thankful to Scott Andrews for his positive goalkeeping display, as well as the fact of fortune favouring the brave, which could certainly be attributed to their defensive performance on the day. However at the same time, the hosts still had to be mindful of being caught on the break which still constantly continued to be a threat. So much so that just before the final whistle, following some neat link up play between Collins and Michael Holliday, Chris Carcary missed a wonderful opportunity of sealing the game, but on this occasion he was only able to drag his shot agonisingly wide of an inviting goal.
Team: S.Andrews, S.Flisher, A.Foster,G.Andrews, C.Croucher, M.Garner (C.Carcary) M.Holliday, S.Sage, R.Collins C.Scarlat (J.Coppngs) Lucien Scarlat (R.Golding)