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HomeFOOTBALLHeath runs Otford ragged in 4-1 win for Ide Hill

Heath runs Otford ragged in 4-1 win for Ide Hill

Ide Hill moved back up in to second in the league with a first half blitz against local rivals Otford United, which saw them grab three goals in a frantic 20 minute spell and eventually run out comfortable 4-1 winners.

Ide Hill had a week off to stew over their tight loss against New Romney last time out and were eager to kick on against a side they had played out a tight 2-2 draw on a feisty summer evening back in August. Ide Hill boasted a close to full strength squad to help them along in a season when their squad depth across firsts and reserves has helped them to their excellent start and early successes.

When Ide Hill get their starts right, coupled with the tight home ground, they can be unplayable in spells, and it was ultimately this blistering beginning which won the Hill the game. Manager Paul McDonagh hoped this might be the case: “We caught them on the hop, our counterattacking was brilliant in that opening spell, some of our combinations tore through Otford in the first half”.

The opening goals came from just such an incisive break, Otford turned over possession in the midfield and the ball was ushered out to the unplayable Callum Heath, who drove past his full back for the first of countless occasions in the game, squared for Barry Ryan who, with plenty still to do, side footed first time in to the roof of the net to continue his stunning goal return of 11 goals in 12 games.

Ide Hill’s intense pressing was swarming Otford all over the pitch and the hosts sensed that the game could be won here as their tails were up; they duly added a second after 15 minutes, albeit in fortuitous circumstances; Heath again, finding more space out right, hoisted a hopeful, high cross towards the Otford goal which the goalkeeper, seemingly spooked by the imposing size of the onrushing Ryan, missed his catch and let the ball fall in to the net for 2-0.

Ide Hill weren’t finished there, they put more daylight between the sides on 20 minutes, Heath releasing Craig Jackson down the right who bustled through a tackle, arced a cross over to Ryan in the box. Ryan just missed the header, but the ball fell to Columb Grant in the area who fired a lovely rising drive in off the bar from an unfavourable angle for his impressive 7th of the season and a 3 goal advantage.

Otford are a good footballing side and probably went in to the break confused as to how they were so far behind having had a fair share of the ball and play, they subsequently came out and stepped up after the break, dominating the ball and pulling the Ide Hill midfield and defence this way and that in an exhausting defensive spell for the hosts.

However, the Hill’s powerful defence of Ben Pearson, Phil Alteirac and MOTM Charlie James held firm during this crucial 20 minute spell when Otford sensed a way back in, another period which was vital for the win as the visitors continually knocked on the door and were starved of chances by that backline. McDonagh was full of praise for them: “The whole defence and keeper were excellent today, really dug in and held on when we had to, Charlie James was fantastic, read the game well, was composed on the ball and saw the game out impressively.”

Otford did pull back one on 70 minutes, Jordan Lynch nodding in at the back post against some tired legs. But once again the Hill showed their spirit when against the wall, Matt Bunn went through in to a 50/50 with the goalkeeper 40 yards out, Bunn’s determination seeing him bounce through the tackle and slot in his first of the season and a goal that sealed the victory. McDonagh was delighted with the result and performance: “It gets us back on track ahead of some tough games, back up to second, although teams have games in hand, and once again shows that we belong near the top and how far we’ve come in a few months”.

Next Up, Ide Hill host title challengers Kings Hill, who have won 7 out of 8 played so far in another real test of Ide Hill’s credentials, they are relishing the challenge of proving themselves once more.

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