Match Photo's

First Team vs Abbey Rangers

Match Date: 05 January 2019
Score: 1-2 AET

By Allan Hefferon

Kent Sports News, Sponsored our Man of The Match

Presented by Darrell Harman he picked 
Graeme Andrews for MOTM

Bearsted have only themselves to blame for not going through into the next round after having to play the rest of the game reduced to 10 men after 30 minutes before gifting their opponents a goal a minute before half time. Interestingly enough they very nearly went in front themselves 3 minutes after the start following a goalmouth scramble and then when David Baranowski put in Lucian Scarlat only to see his effort blocked by Joe Macklin and falling to safety. However this early spell did see some positive play from their opponents, particularly in midfield where Robbie Kelsey was key to most of their moves and the movement up front by Sean Bradley and Alex Hendrie was causing some concern, but as the half wore on so the home side began to create several chances which fell to both John Rogers and then when Cameron Croucher sent in a shot forcing a great save by goalkeeper Liam Stone. But probably the best one came when Rob Lyall rose to head a Baranowski corner narrowly wide of the post. The real game changer though came when immediately, after skipper Lyall was to be sent off for picking up a questionable second yellow card. Unfortunately the outcome of this was to force the hosts now having to make a critical move by sacrificing one of their best key forward men in order to compensate for their defensive loss and as well as having face the long haul that lay ahead. Unfortunately for them though as half time loomed so a further catastrophe was to follow, when a perfectly innocuous back pass to a so usually reliable keeper Scott Andrews for him to misplace his pass to a grateful Alex Hendrie to give him the opportunity to send the ball into the net.

Following the half time break the response by the home side was a positive one as they went in search of an equaliser and with the runs of James Bessey- Sadanha showing great potential and on one particular occasion his cross found Matt Garner to send the ball over the bar from close range. But probably the biggest disappointment came when Peter Williams found himself clear on goal only for his timed run to be brought to an end by a hotly contested late linesman’s flag for offside. The momentum of play now with time running out saw Abbey now having to dig in and on numerous occasions their slender lead looked far from safe. However the equaliser finally arrived after 80 minutes, when a free kick from the edge of the box found the head of Reece Collins and for the ball to drop for Graeme Andrews to send the ball back into the net. Further then was to come when remarkably almost immediately after, it was Liam Stone who was to keep the match alive by preventing a fierce Scarlat drive, heading into the top right hand corner from entering the net and signalling another half hour’s play.

With all now to play for so extra time did produce a period of end to end play and with both teams looking for that all important winner, and at this stage Bearsted were still looking the team most likely to win the tie. Unfortunately this was not to be, as after112 minutes, following the breakdown of one particular attack, the ball found its' way up field to Michael Carey to run at a back-peddling defence to judge his pass to Hendrie to add his second goal of the afternoon and subsequently win the game. Although the final result for Bearsted was a bitter pill to swallow, at the same time they had to remain magnanimous in defeat by wishing their opponent’s success in the next round, whilst at the same time not dwelling on ‘What might have been?” But still not lose sight of the joy and experience that being in this competition had given them
Team S.Andrew,M.Weller,(S.Flisher,G.Andrews,R.lyall,C.Croucher,B.Baranowsk, (A.FosterJ.Rogers (C.Scarlat) J.Bessey-Sadanha P.Williams (R.Collins).Scarlat. M.Hathway