Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeFOOTBALLIde Hill stifle league leading Monarchs

Ide Hill stifle league leading Monarchs

Ide Hill turned in a heroic performance against runaway league leaders Staplehurst Monarchs on Saturday, finishing their run of 10 wins out of 10 in stirring fashion.

Ide Hill went in to the game missing at least five senior and regular starters, but the strong squad were not only able to deal brilliantly with the depletion, but might have earned a historic win, leading as late as the 80th minute.

Manager Paul McDonagh was suitably pleased with the resilience and the performance saying: “It was a much-changed line up with a slightly different formation so that we could focus on our counter attacking skills and let them have more of the ball. The grim weather and boggy pitch made the game pretty messy, with little football at times and lots of the physical stuff. We defended really well throughout and could have snuck a win”.

The game began in cagey fashion, with Ide Hill set up in a 5-3-2, looking to hit Staplehurst on the break wherever possible and use the dynamism of Callum Heath and Shaun Boyle which has served them so well in recent years. The visitors began with good intensity though and with the defence playing well, restricted Staplehurst to few chances; Staplehurst did hit the inside of the post in the first half and Phil Alteirac and Joe Baker both made crucial blocks to keep the scores level.

Ide Hill were content to soak up pressure and spring on the break, with Boyle leading one such counter, running from wide and having his shot well saved by the keeper. George Kensell dropped into the midfield in the second half and a more usual position for him, and the brave away performance yielded a goal in the 76th minute; the excellent Boyle causing the damage, dribbling across the edge of the box, firing a shot towards the corner which the Staplehurst keeper parried and Heath was the first to react, racing in to slide home for 1-0 and his fourth goal of the season.

Ide Hill’s Joe Baker put in a fine defensive performance for the Man of the Match award versus Staplehurst Monarchs in the 1-1 draw.

The chance to not only blemish the 10 wins from 10 record of Staplehurst, but inflict their first defeat had become a very real possibility, but it was not to be as the equaliser arrived five minutes later, with an attack down the left and low cross being turned in to the top corner by Sam Winch.

Ide Hill then held on for the final 10 minutes, with the collective defensive performance a real bright spot, led by a colossal man of the match performance from Joe Baker at centre half.

McDonagh took the point with much to be proud of adding: “George [Kensell] had a really good chance from an excellent late run in to the box, slotting wide when everyone thought it was in and Joe Baker was immense today, he won every tackle and everything in the air all game. Staplehurst had quite a few shots, but our defending and blocking was heroic, the whole defensive performance was superb”.

Ide Hill take a brilliant point from a game many assumed they might lose, especially with so many players missing, once again illustrating the heart and depth of squad within the club nowadays. Next up, Ide Hill host 14th placed Stansfield next Saturday, and will be looking to pick up a win at Wrotham.




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