RESERVES ON THE RAMPAGE
Lordswood Reserves have reached the final of the Kent Intermediate Cup following an emphatic 5-2 victory over Snodland Town on Wednesday night.
In front of a crowd of 120, Lordswood headed into this semi-final full of confidence, coming off the back of a 2-1 win over Kent County Premier League side Hawkinge Town on Saturday in the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup. They were also on a healthy run of 11 games unbeaten, having not tasted defeat since losing to top of the table Thanet United back in September, which included a 4-0 away win over Snodland.
That being said, the game didn't pan out initially how many may have expected. Whether the team were suffering from the exploits of extra-time in Saturday's cup game remains to be seen, but their was a distinct lack of cohesion throughout the first half, with passes going astray and any chances upfront either going high and wide or straight at the keeper.
With 37 minutes on the clock, a mix-up at the back between Kari Creed and Charlie O'Neill allowed Snodland to break free and a clever chip from the edge of the box sailed over James Hare in goal and into the net despite the Lordswood shot-stopper getting fingers to the ball.
With the half-time whistle sounding it was clear that Lordswood knew things weren't right as they immediately ran off to the dressing room to await the next teamtalk.
Whatever was said worked wonders as they returned to the pitch for the second half and within 4 minutes were in front. An instant foray into the box saw Aye Ombo free, but his shot was well saved by the keeper at the expense of a corner. From Jake Creed's delivery from the left, Louis Payne rose unchallenged to glance a header across the keeper and into the far corner to level the scores on 47 minutes.
Just two minutes later and Lordswood took the lead. Kari Creed got away down the left wing and delivered an excellent ball into the box where Zach Jakubowski and Ombo were both waiting. The ball fell kindly to Ombo who made no mistake, sweeping the ball home from 6 yards.
It wasn't long however before Snodland stopped the surge and restored parity, firing home on 52 minutes. Three goals in the opening 7 minutes of the second half, and a number of people returning from the bar missed them all!
The action continued to come thick and fast and it was only a further 6 minutes until Lordswood took full control. Aye Ombo claiming his second of the night as he latched onto a throughball through the middle, taking a touch to get himself away from the centrehalf and sliding the ball under the keeper.
On 66 minutes, it was 4-2 and Ombo had completed a 17 minute hattrick. Kari Creed was the provider once again, haring down the left wing and putting in another pinpoint delivery to pick out the Lordswood No.9 to head into the bottom corner.
Just two minutes later and it was game over. Ombo once again on the score sheet to record his 4th of the match, and a breathtaking 6 goals in just 23 minutes of the second half. Substitute Stephen Munn providing the assist as he slid the ball to the left of the 6 yard box and Ombo was on hand to poke the ball past the keeper for 5-2.
As a contest, that was that and Lordswood deservedly stride into the final where they will face either Whitstable Town Reserves or Cray Valley u23's. They play their semi-final tie next Wednesday (12th February)
Photos courtesy of Allen Hollands