LORDSWOOD v TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Date: Sat 14th December 2019 Kick Off: 3.00pm
Venue: Martyn Grove, North Dane Way, Chatham, Kent. ME5 8YE
Competition: SCEFL Premier Division
HT: 1-0 FT: 2-0
1. Rilwan Anibaba
2. Ola Williams
3. Taylor Fisher
4. Emmanuel Maja YC 45 SUB 69
5. Jai McKinlay GOAL 21
6. Rob Gillman SUB 16
7. Antwon McKenzie
8. Marlon Patterson
9. Daniel Pepple
10. Klaudio Krasniqi
11. Tyler Anderson-Parr SUB 38
12. Henry Dasofunjo SUB 38
14. Cameron Anderson-Parr
15. Alex Brefo SUB 16 GOAL 72
16. Owen Price
17. Luke Medley SUB 69
A 3rd consecutive clean sheet from Darren Anslow's young charges ensured that former Lordswood manager Richard Styles made an empty-handed exit from Martyn Grove on his first return following his move to Tunbridge Wells in the summer.
The Wells side boasted 9 former Lordswood players but they were unable to raise a smile for their manager who couldn't get away quickly enough following his side's second defeat in 8 days.
Anslow made 2 changes fromlast weekend's disappointing draw at Greenwich Borough, bringing in Tyler Anderson-Parr and Klaudio Krasniqi at the expense of Cameron Anderson-Parr and Luke Medley, as he sought to exploit the defensive frailties in the Wells backline.
It was the Wells who started the game the strongest, pegging Lordswood back for the opening 15 minutes of the game. The Lords were once again grateful to keeper Rilwan Anibaba who made a superb reflex save in the opening three minutes of the game to deny Danny Powell from point blank range. For all their initial efforts though, this proved to be the only shot on target for the Wells in the first half, and despite forcing 6 corners, a certain profligacy in front of goal meant that Anibaba remained largely untroubled for the majority of the game. Both Jason Thompson and Powell again fired wide or over when well placed, whilst the Lordswood shot-stopper commanded his defence and area well.
Things looked like they weren't going to go Lordswood's way on 16 minutes when experienced centre-half Rob Gillman was forced off with a knee injury following a collision when making a tackle, but Alex Brefo stepped back into the side and instantly resorted to the excellent early season form that had made the 18 year old one of the stand-out players for the Lords this campaign.
Lordswood had to wait until the 18th minute for their first sight of goal. Tyler Anderson-Parr showing the usual pace and trickery that leaves defenders tied up in knots was fouled 20 yards out and Emmanuel Maja's free kick whistled just over the bar under close watch by Simon Overland in the Wells goal.
Minutes later and it was 1-0. Anderson-Parr once again fouled out on the left wing, and this time Taylor Fisher's delivery into the box was met by captain Jai McKinlay who looped his header perfectly over Overland and into the top corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
This goal clearly settled the Lords down and they had arguably their best spell of the game as they started to confidently pass the ball around and the Wells were thankful to Overland who made a strong save from Antwon McKenzie following good work by Krasniqi and Daniel Pepple.
Lordswood's injury problems grew with Anderson-Parr suffering a hamstring problem on 38 minutes and so Henry Dasofunjo was brought on in his place.
Lordswood continued to build on their improving performance in the second half and Krasiniqi found himself well placed in the opening 5 minutes, however his left footed effort from the edge of the box was somewhat scuffed and bounced through to Overland with little threat.
The Lords defence were clearly going from strength to strength and Ola Williams had a superb game, half nullifying Euan Sahadow in the first half and then dealt excellently with Josh Froggatt in the second half.The ineffective Sahadow found himself hauled off within 8 minutes of the 2nd half starting.
The Wells were struggling to come up with a Plan B to try and find a way through the Lords backline who were comfortably repelling any balls into the box, with McKinlay, Brefo and Anibaba commanding their area.
With 20 minutes remaining Luke Medley was brought on for Maja and almost immediately the Lords thought they had doubled their lead when Overland made a stop of similar importance to the one Anibaba had made in the opening minutes of the game. Henry Dasofunjo skipped clear down the right flank and having reached the byeline, his cut back was met by McKenzie but his first time effort was well saved by the Wells' keeper's feet and away for a corner. From Marlon Patterson's cornerkick, McKinlay rose highest to connect with a header that looked like it was heading just inside the far post before a vital deflection by a Wells leg saw another corner conceded.
The pressure finally paid this time round, when the corner was cleared out of the box it was recycled to Medley out on the left and his cross was met first time on the volley by Brefo who crashed his shot against the crossbar and down into the net.
The Wells responded by sending centre-half Ryan Cheek up front but they were unable to find him with any meaningful passes and fellow centre-half summed up their poor finishing with a wild effot from 25 yards that cleared the crossbar and the astroturf pitch behind the goal.
Lordswood were finding gaps in the Wells defence and Luke Medley found himself with time and space down the left and he was able to push is way through into the area and smashed an effort at goal which narrowly whistled over the crossbar with Overland static.
Wells had a halfhearted penalty appeal turned down when Jordan Wells worked his way into the area and fell over, but the referee was having none of it and instead pulled the game back to an earlier infringement outside the area for which he was playing an advantage. Thompson's deadball delivery into the area was overhit beyond the far post and cleared with little fuss before the fulltime whistle went, giving the Lords an important 3 points and the Wells were sent home having failed to score for the first time this season.