Sheppey United produced one of their best displays of the pre-season so far with a 3-0 victory over Larkfield and New Hythe FC, with new signing Taurean Roberts striking twice.
The Ites were missing a number of squad members, but managed to put on show most of the new signings that had been announced that evening – with only James Jeffrey and De Niro Pinto absent from the new boys.
In only the 3rd minute of the game right winger Kane Phillip found Taurean Roberts on the opposite flank, with the ball then knocked back to Danny Smith to fire just over the bar. Roberts was in the thick of the action and on 11 minutes he weaved past a few defenders before firing into the side netting. Two minutes later he scored – Having turned his marker inside-out he roofed the ball into the net for 1-0.
The dazzling winger was then bundled over on 17 minutes in which Ben Wilson hit the resulting free-kick into the Larkfield wall. A couple of minutes later Kane Phillip and Billy Bennett connected, with ball eventually finding Jack Midson who fired straight at the keeper.
The Ites pressure continued, on 24th minutes a slick back flick by Danny Smith almost found Tom Fitzgerald in a shooting position, and with the ball worked to Kane Phillip he tested the keeper. Roll-on a few minutes, Taurean Roberts touched the ball to Danny Smith who crossed over to Kane Phillip who rattled the crossbar with his effort.
Kane Phillip accelerated past the left back on 37 minutes and hit a low cross into the box which was initially cleared – Only for Larkfied to foul Tom Fitzgerald on the edge of the box with Richie Hamill having the resulting free-kick saved. The hosts best chance of the first half followed so after when they hit a shot from just outside the box inches over the crossbar.
Half-time: Larkfield and New Hythe FC 0 Sheppey United 1
Larkfield came close to grabbing an equaliser on 57 minutes but the attempt flew wide of Northwood’s goal. Tempers flared a couple of minutes later when a coming together between Billy Bennett and Larkfield’s West saw several players all bunch together. Once matters were calmed down both Bennett and West were booked.
Ernie Batten then rolled the changes with Michael Hagan and Ryan Freeman introduced in place of Richie Hamill and Kane Phillip. Not long after, Taurean Roberts grabbed his second goal of night with a great finish to make it 2-0 on 63 minutes.
Liam Northwood had to be alert 5 minutes later, while at the other end Ryan Freeman threaded a lovely ball to Billy Bennett who was called offside and then substituted for “A. Trialist”. The yet to be identified player showed quick speed as he darted like a train on 76 minutes to win the Ites a corner – which after a few passes was scored by Michael Hagan for his first club goal for the Ites. Hagan was then denied a second of the night when the Larkfield keeper denied him with his legs.
With the game closing Roberts worked his way into space yet again and with a hat-trick in mind he brought a save from the keeper with Jack Midson in space.
Full-time: Larkfield and New Hythe FC 0 Sheppey United 3
Sheppey starting 11: 1. Northwood; 2. Wilson, 3. Smith, 5. Sains, 6. Birch; 4. Hamill, 8. Fitzgerald, 7. Phillip, 11. Roberts; 9. Bennett; 10. Midson
Sheppey subs: 1. Irvine, 12. Hagan, 14. Freeman, 19. Trialist
Soundcloud audio interviews before the game were taken with: