It’s hard to believe that Chipstead’s Picturesque ground is only a few minutes from the M25, and like ours ground it’s not that close to the main conurbation and that was reflected in the small crowd of 70, quite a few coming from Sittingbourne.
Sittingbourne had another new signing making his debut in Keanu Williams who has signed from Margate and he had a sensational start to his Sittingbourne career by scoring with just over 1 minute on the clock. The goal came from another recent signing Kane Phillip who ran down the right and crossed inside to Williams who bundled the ball past a couple of defenders and into the net.
Chipstead settled into the game but there were few chances for either side in the next half hour, although Simon Overland was just the busier of the two keepers. The closest either team came to scoring in a subdued first half after the Brickies goal was when Chips Grivaldo Felix just failed to connect at the far post with a low hard cross.
The Brickies doubled their lead 16 minutes into the second half when a long throw was headed forward to Williams who had found some space and he cleverly turned the ball just to the right of the keeper.
Two nil has rarely looked enough of a gap for the Brickies in some games this season and 5 minutes after the Brickies second Chips were given a lifeline when the lively Jason Henry latched onto a long through ball and fired past Simon Overland. Chips took sustenance from this goal and pressed for an equaliser and nearly got it on 70 minutes, but my man of the match, Tom Brunt, headed the ball off the line at the far post. 12 minutes later substitute Gil Carvalho was adjudged, perhaps harshly, to have committed a foul on the edge of the Brickies box. The wall seemed to have lined up well but Chris O’Flaherty, who had scored the decider in Chips 1-0 victory at Woodstock earlier in the season, struck a brilliant free kick just over the wall and to the right of Overland to pull the Chips level.
Credit to the two sides as they went all out for a winner, and this made the last 15 minutes the most exciting part of the game. But it was the Brickies who looked the most likely to clinch it in this latter part of the game. Jono Richardson headed agonisingly wide from a corner and Carvalho had a wild drive go wide but in the end a share of the spoils was probably just about right.
Ken Medwyn's Photographs
Jason Henry 66 mins
Chris O’Flaherty 82 mins
Keanu Williams 2 and 61 mins
Referee: Steven Hughes,
Assistants: David Ellis, Darren Eaton
Tom Carlse (Sam Welch 78 mins)
Jono Richardson ©
Joe Loft (Yellow)
Keanu Williams (Josh Wisson 79 mins)
Connor Wilkins (Yellow) (Gil Carvalho 46 mins)
Subs not used: Hicham Akhazzan, Nick Davis
David Graves © (Yellow)
Subs not used: Steve Betancourt, Bradley Wilson, Conal O’Leary, Rob Kember, Tony Stone,
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