Ites 0 Hastings 2 – FA Cup

Sheppey United -v- Hastings United (FA Cup Preliminary Round)

So the magic of the FA cup brought Hastings to the Embalming stadium, backed by a near 400 crowd including a fair few from Hastings, some looking like they’d actually fought in the original Battle of Hastings gave the day a nice spicy atmosphere.

With Luke Harvey Oswald unavailable it seemed logical that Remmell would just fit in up front in a 4-3-3, unfortunately it wasn’t that logical as Remmell missed his lift so we started with a 4-4-2 with the return of the colonel, Kwasi (I’ve got a hunch he’s going to do well for us) replacing man of the match Jim Huggins and Timmy back on the left.

The game started as a cagey affair, Hastings having the majority of the ball, they started carving a few half chances, the first of which saw or own playboy Ralphy pull off the biggest tackle I’ve seen since I found that old video under my mums bed to snuff out the threat, not to be outdone, the colonel then repeats the feat not once but twice which woke the Paddock up with cries of “You’ll never beat the Colonel” which not for the first time proved true.

At the other end Sheppey were trying to fashion their own chances, the Shrewsbury shifter chasing and harrying like a Jehovah’s witness, linking up well with Girty and the Pantomime villains pressing the midfield, it all looked promising, in fact Furious George was pressing the midfield that much the Ref showed his admiration by asking for Georges name after one such event.

Half time, honours even, the general consensus in the bar was that Hastings had been marginally better but both keepers were more unemployed than Stevie Wonders telescope.

0-0 HT

Ernie must have rustled his paper a bit loudly in the dressing room as the boys came out with more urgency, captain Batten driving the Ites on, and then came the ” Kennedy moment” Timmy found himself one on one with the centre half, his first touch was that bad it surprised the centre half who attempted to clear it but only succeeded in hitting it straight against Timmy who then reached the ball before the keeper giving him 3 choices

  1. A) Side foot it into the corner, giving the keeper no chance
  2. B) Round the keeper, making him look stupid and walk it into an empty net or
  3. C) None of the above

Well as you can guess Timmy chose C, the hero from the first round suddenly came back to earth quicker than Susan Boyle on a bungee rope was this our last chance gone ?

The wise old owls in the paddock were speculating that it would take something pretty special to win this game so as not to disappoint up popped their no.17 David Sonny who hit a peach of a shot that caught the wind and flew in the top corner of the net at the D.S.S stand end, a goal worthy enough to win any game to put Sonny’s side up.

To say the players looked gutted would be an understatement, the goal, against the run of play knocked the stuffing out of them but there’s a saying in football that you’re the most vulnerable straight after you have scored, this was proven to be absolute tripe as a few minutes after the first beauty up popped another one in the shape of no.10 Billy Medlock, who beat one, turned on his right and curled it round the keeper from 25 yards, 0-2.

Back came Sheppey on came Mahoney for Lyons, who had been quiet in the mane, the tireless Northerner not letting Hastings rest on their laurels disposing the left back, cut across the box with the shout of ” shoot” from the massed ranks of the great unwashed in the Botany end unselfishly squared the ball to Timmy who unselfishly blasted it so far over the bar the ball came down with snow on it. We’d run our race and the rest of the game was played out comfortably enough for Hastings.

0-2 FT

We played well, especially defensively, Girty is improving every week and aside the two great goals we looked comfortable against a team from a higher league with a bigger budget. If Timmy had brought his shooting boots we could be in the next round. To quote Ernie, after the game if we’d have won 2-1 they couldn’t have had any arguments.

So I’ve cancelled my holiday for May 19th (Sheppey had more chance of getting there than West Ham) and we can now concentrate on the league, local derby against Chatham next week just the game we need to get back to winning ways.

M.O.M Ralphy or the Colonel, there won’t be many better centre half pairings in this league.

 

I’d just like to wish Man of the match James Huggins all the best wherever he ends up, a great lad who will be sorely missed by the club and fans, hopefully we’ll see you back here soon

Deal 0 Ites 0

Deal Town -v- Sheppey United (SCEFL Prem)

Why did nobody tell me how far Deal was ?

Having agreed to drive the 3 Must get here’s set off for the hours drive, en route we were somewhat suprised to hear that the Chairman had taken a wrong turning at Stockbury roundabout and ended up in Darlington !!!! Clearly the Sat Nav in the Chairmans Vauxhall Viva is not up to much.

Anyway an age later we park up, a nice little ground and we’re heartily greeted by the 40 or so other Island mutants.

As the teams came out I was pleased to see the two Pantomime villains lining up in a much changed team which included a new keeper- Dean Highsted and yet another forward Luke Harvey Oswald, surely we must be the only club with more strikers than the Miners, anyway Tom Monty also making his debut two years after his whole body was replaced by pins clips and staples after attempting to leave his car whilst it was still moving, meant that Ites starting eleven contained 6 local lads and T’Bradshaw who is under Island arrest  for only possessing 5 toes per foot.

So to the game, Ites started superbly against a bigger Deal team, puppet master pulling the strings in the midfield ably assisted by Girty and Furious.

Everytime we attacked we looked dangerous, some fine interplay between the Impressive Tom Brunt and Lee Harvey Oswald cut open their defence only to be foiled by a tremendous late tackle from their impressive centre half.

Then on 20 Mins T’ Bradshaw gets the ball on t’right beats two and curls it with his swinger, the keeper, who to be fair could have done with the exercise was rooted to the spot as the ball hit t’bar and rebounded to safety. The various Ites purred with delight, surely they were there for the taking.

Furious George who of late has received worse press than Ian Brady was relishing the battle in midfield, the extra movement of the front 3 providing the perfect outlet for some of the superb balls that he and young Girty were spraying around like a Tomcat on heat.

Then Deal turned up, created a couple of half chances manfully dealt with by the defence superbly marshalled by Ralphy who as we know deals with everything that comes his way, The Deal forward somehow finds himself free on the penalty spot only the keeper to beat but he pulled off a save every bit as good as Jordans on Saturday to keep the scores level at the break.

0-0 HT

At halftime I had a Bovril which along with ringworm and unusual games of hide and seek with ” Uncle Bill” reminded me of my childhood.

2nd half we come out with purpose, Man of the match Huggins finding plenty of room down the left and combining well with the midfield meant we were well on top.

The threesome in the middle were winning most tackles and headers, this was impressive. One such move put Lee Harvey Oswald away who beat the defence but sadly not having the shooting accuracy of his namesake also beat the near post.

Then the Shrewsbury shifter wriggled free of the defence but also put wide of the post, surely it was coming , then another great move LHO gets free and plants it in the net, the adolescent ref who was obviously doing “Grown ups jobs” looked at the Lino who was waving more than Ralphy’s hair in the breeze and promptly disallowed it for offside, Ites protested and at one stage it looked like the ref would take a few names but luckily he wasn’t old enough to have a pen licence yet so we escaped, Deal came into the game with a succession of corners which we dealt with superbly although one such looked to have beaten the keeper but Brunt cleared.

Ernie decides he needs fresh legs but that’s enough about him for now, Remmel replaces the tiring LHO and on comes Timmy for…erm possibly Girty as Ites throw the kitchen sink at them, Timmy finds himself in the area challenging with the keeper who looks like he’d only get off the ground if there was a hovering doughnut, Timmy wins the ball and from the ground puts it in the net. Justice at last …..Nope, again young snotty decides he doesn’t like any nasty icky contact and disallows it.

Their keeper then picks up a lengthy injury which should have given us another 5 minutes but I can only assume the ref had to be in by ten as he cut it short but not before the 3rd sub Tom Loynes nigh on demolished the bar  quicker than the Blackmore family after his corner was returned to him.

Then as Thomas the Tank reached the 90 on the refs watch so it ended, honours even.

0-0 FT

Summary, a brilliant game and a great credit to both sides and a good advert for the SCEFL Very impressed with the keeper and new striker, both fitting in well.

MOM, well obviously Jim Huggins but George and Ian certainly responded to the criticism levelled at them, George shading it for me, Girty improves every game, Brunt and Tom Mont both impressed but on the whole a brilliant team performace.

Ites 1 Rusthall 2

Sheppey United -v- Rusthall (SCEFL Premier)

Well it seems after last weeks superb performance a game against newly promoted Rusthall including our old favourite Big Andy Constable should have been a game we should have won at a canter but we’ve also come to realise that like Colonel Saunders we shouldn’t count our chickens.

Talking of which, the Colonel was replaced by man of the match Jim Huggins with the puppet master replacing Hiccham in the midfield.

The game started well Sheppey settled in early playing nice neat football despite the early efforts of the Rustic midfielder who was given 17 final chances by the referee for repeated fouling, then 20 mins in Ites get a corner, ball comes in T’Bradshaw was up quicker than Peter Sutcliffes hammer 1-0. Great assist from Jim Huggins, ok it was 8 minutes after he last touched it when we scored but it’s still his in my book.

We were on easy street, then all of a sudden we switched off, passes went astray, T’Bradshaw dropped deeper trying to get the ball leaving Trey more lonely than a nun at an Ann Summers party then it happened, a hopeful through ball bisected the defence, the keeper who happens to have the same initials as Julian Clary chased after his man with the same gusto as his initial sake making the forwards mind up for him, chipping into an empty net 1-1.

Sheppey look lost of ideas, Rusthall then Take Hart and morph into the better team big Andy covering every blade of grass, though that’s more down to his size than his energetic display leaving Ites to start long balling it much to the delight of 5 ft 4 striker Trey.

Sheppey get a free kick on the edge of the area, Ian curls it round the wall into the bottom corner, the crowd in the D.S.S stand jump as one only for their keeper to somehow keep it out.

1-1 HT

Second half ites come out after clearly having been to Macdonalds in the break, 2 mins in their centre half strolls though the defence who by now were showing as much urgency as one of Mr Havills clients 2-1 to the visitors.

Sub Furious George attempted to take the game and their centre half by the scruff of the neck adding to his impressive tally of cards from the referee who was ably assisted by a linesman who decisions were as baffling as a woman’s reverse parking.

Anyway Sheppey were now probing more than a short sighted Gaenacologist but still not creating chances, in fact big Constable, who has been around that long he must surely be considered for promotion to at least Sargeant finds himself with an empty net, he strikes the ball homewards only for the keeper to go down quicker than his namesake Jordan and pull off an incredible save to keep us in it.

For the rest of the game Sheppey pushed on but didn’t get that slice of luck you need when you’re not playing well and Rusthall saw the game out comfortably

1-2 FT

A definite lack of urgency against a well organised team, again we seemed to get out muscled in the midfield but in truth we have played worse and won.

A slightly disappointing crowd of 202, possibly the local beer festival affected this but onto Deal on Tuesday with the chance to make amends.

MOM…..Jim Huggins, who looks that in control he’s even had his suede patches down onto his shirts elbows.

Ites 3 Croydon 2 – FA Cup

Sheppey United -v- AFC Croydon Athletic (FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round)

So the eagerly awaited start to the season sees us pitted against Croydon in the oldest cup competition at the newly named Havill embalming stadium and what a game it was, played in near monsoon/heatwave conditions only ever seen on Nuclear Island.

The game started with both teams going at it like newlyweds, Croydon creating early chances and showing superior physicality in the midfield, then as the weather changed for the better so did Ites play, the midfield starting to win tackles and Luke Girt starting to show why he’s our most expensive acquisition by looking good, not just on the dance floor but making more passes than Harry Kane on mastermind, one such pass led to the goal of the game, out wide to Timmy, Timmy cuts in and curls it top corner from just outside Queenboro station 1-0, cue Timmys usual goal celebratory somersaults although I must confess this is the first time I’ve seen it having only watched just over a hundred games.

The game then became end to end exciting stuff, Ites keeper, who has the same initials as Jesus Christ ( coincidentally a phrase uttered by many every time Jordan leaves his line) came under pressure from more crosses than when the Pope visited Celtic attempting to punch anything/anyone who got within ten foot of his goal.

Then just as it seemed Croydon would get a foothold came the move of the match, Timmy superbly found their left back on the edge of the area who looked up then calmly rolled our Northern whippet Bradshaw in for a simple tap in 2-0.

Our great football and new found cutting edge seemed to be a bit contagious, pushing too far up leaving a one on one which they exploited

2-1 HT

The half time break came just at the right time, the lads had their halftime fag and came out all guns blazing, the excellent Remell finding t’whippet on the right who cut in and laid it on a Trey for Williams, 3-1. The paddock dared to sing Trey sera sera, with people carefully checking their diaries with only 12 games until Wembley, looking a nailed on cert for the final. Unfortunately Ites didn’t fancy giving us an easy afternoon as again the heavens opened leaving me wetter than a Haddocks bathing costume and again pushed up too far allowing their centre forward time and room to finish past Scary 3-2.

Ernie, who was later to describe the game as “squash buckling” then changed to a 4-4-2 bringing on my player of the year 2017/18 James Huggins who wasted no time in dispossessing their dangerous striker in another one on one with all the confidence of a schoolteacher on half term and generally shored things up in the absence of the colonel who had been cruelly struck down with a heady mix of sunburn and ligament damage.

Still Croydon huffed and puffed, possibly smelling blood which may have been the product of another wayward Jordan punch, and as the clock ticked into injury time, the forward wriggled free, his shot beat Jordan, heading for the net when the collective beer, fags and burger breath of the Botany road end blew the ball onto the post and away past the geezer expecting the tap in and away from danger.

All that remained was the helper from Bad Santa to blow the final whistle, and that was the last R….Ites for Croydon who were put to rest in Havill style.

3-2 FT

Overall a great team performance against a strong physical team who will be thereabouts this season, some of the movement and passing the like I’d never seen before (I’m a season ticket holder at West Ham if that explains it) some much needed steel in the middle, a slimline Ralphy, who looks like he’s lost a few grams and a strong bench point to a great season ahead.

Can’t pick a man of the match (other than Huggins) but the management team deserve a special mention for getting the balance of the team right especially considering so many new boys who seemed to gel straight off. Bring on the battle of Hastings.

 

Disclaimer – This is entirely made up of my opinions and may not even bear much relation to what actually happened. No animals were hurt in the making of this report.