HOLLANDS & BLAIR v LORDSWOOD
Date: Sat 24th August 2019 KO: 3.00pm
Venue: Star Meadow, Darland Avenue, Gillingham, Kent. ME7 3AN
Competition: SCEFL Premier Division
HT: 0-0 FT: 1-0
1. Henry Newcombe
2. Alexander Brefo
3. Michael Kuku
4. Marlon Patterson
5. Jai McKinlay
6. Rob Gillman
7. Jordan Samuel
8. Jamie Taylor
9. Daniel Pepple Sub 62
10. Klaudio Krasniqi
11. Tyler Anderson-Parr Sub 46
12. Luke Medley Sub 62
14. Shaike Kamara Sub 46
15. Sheriff-Deen Babatunde
16. Callum Edwards
17. Juljano Marku
In Lordswood's first derby game of the 2019/20 season, Darren Anslow's side will feel disappointed to return home from Gillingham empty handed.
Anslow was forced into two changes to his starting XI from the side that won 2-0 at home to Punjab United in midweek. Goalkeeper Henry Newcombe came in as cover for the suspended Rilwan Anibaba, whilst Michael Kuku returned to the starting lineup in place of the injured Sheriff-Deen Babatunde.
The conditions were far from perfect for a great game of football, with a largely unknown phenomena of a glorious and hot Bank Holiday weekend, whilst the Blair pitch was hard and bumpy.
It took some time for the Lords to find their feet and arguably Blair started the better side, Calum McGeehan going close with a free header from a corner but he could only find the midriff of Newcombe. Louis Valencia then tried his luck from range but saw his effort go harmlessly wide.
Lordswood's first effort came following a good run through the middle by Daniel Pepple. He was brought down by a combination of McGeehan and Ben Brown with Brown receiving a yellow card. The freekick from 20 yards was taken by Kuku but it was comfortably gathered by Adam Highsted in the Blair goal.
Blair found themselves with a freekick in a similar position with an identical outcome, Harry Goodger's effort comfortably gathered by Newcombe.
Newcombe showed his worth pulling off an outstanding save from a McGeehan piledriver that was heading for the top corner until the Lordswood shotstopper got a strong hand to the ball. Moments later and Highsted pulled off an equally important save. Pepple and Klaudio Krasniqi combined well on the edge of the area and Pepple's effort was well turned away for a corner. Jamie Taylor's subsequent delivery was crying out for any kind of contact but Alexander Brefo was centimetres away and the ball flew across the 6 yard box to safety.
Byron Walker then fired high over the bar when well placed and Lordswood then had Jai McKinlay to thank after Newcombe was dispossessed in the area and Goodger fed Sam Welch who saw his goalbound effort headed away by the Lordswood centre-half.
Jordan Samuel then ran through on goal but McGeehan was in the right place at the right time to block him and clear. The ball was recycled to Tyler Anderson-Parr who motored through to the byeline and cut the ball back to Pepple who with the goal at his mercy side-footed his shot wide.
Anderson-Parr and Pepple then combined to find Krasniqi in the area but he miss-kicked the ball and the danger was cleared by the Blair defence.
Lordswood continued to press and Pepple headed a Samuel cross from the right just wide. Then another excellent delivery from Samuel just needed a touch from Anderson-Parr but he couldn't quite connect as the ball flashed across the 6 yard box.
That was the last of the action of the half and for Anderson-Parr who had been nursing a hamstring injury from the opening stages of the game and he was replaced by Shaike Kamara.
Kamara was involved from the start of the second half and an excellent clipped pass by Krasniqi sent the youngster to the byeline but his cross lacked a little composure and was cut off by the Blair defence with Samuel lurking with intent.
Blair started to strengthen and a freekick on the edge of the Lordswood area for handball was struck by Goodger but he could only watch as the ball struck the post and out for a goalkick.
Samuel then went close as he jinked a way through on the left wing and his right-footed cross narrowly missed the top corner.
On 67 minutes the only goal of the game came via another contentious penalty decision against Lordswood. If it hadn't been bad enough that the assistant referee on the dugout side had kept the ball in play with his feet moments before, one can only imagine what he saw to wildly flag for a spotkick after Goodger seemed to be felled by an invisible leg in the area with no-one nearby. Goodger stepped up and took the spotkick himself, sending Newcombe the wrong way.
Lordswood looked to respond and had two good chances in reply. Rob Gillman heading over a Marlon Patterson corner before substitute Luke Medley saw a fierce volley from an acute angle beaten away by Highsted.
With the Lords pushing forwards they inevitably left gaps at the back and Blair had two efforts in the closing stages to extend their lead. Caleb Bearman-Dyce dispossessing McKinlay before firing over the bar under pressure from Brefo and then Newcombe was once again called into action saving from Valencia.