16/09/14 The Wells v Phoenix Sports

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 19:45
Culverden Stadium
Tunbridge Wells FC
HT Score: 
Phoenix Sports
Perry Spackman

With Saturdays planned fixture with big spending Greenwich Borough postponed due to their continued success in the F.A.cup our attention turned to Tuesday evening and a visit from Phoenix Sports.

Residing in Bexleyheath Phoenix came to the Culverden unbeaten and in 3rd place one position above the Wells. Phoenix represented a tough test and another chance to see how Mr Larkin's team could compete with one of the leagues in form sides.

With them they brought 2 F.A.Vase heroes in the shape of Hooley Cornell and Man Mountain Scott "whibbles" Whibley who in the absence of regular skipper Russell Bedford captained the visitors on his return to his old stomping ground. Unfortunately there would be no playing return for Cornell who was unavailable for selection due to suspension.

An evenly matched first period saw few chances for either side. The Wells going closest when a Jake free kick into the box saw Nick Davis' shot go agonisingly close and well saved by the visitor’s keeper. With both sides looking to counter attack but rarely doing so with any effect the first half played out scoreless. Although attention was drawn to the young Phoenix full back Myles Kezer-Burrows who was looking to challenge for the title of longest throw-in currently held by Aaron Lacy.

The evenings events livened up 4mins into the 2nd half when Phoenix number 9 Ricky Freeman broke the deadlock with an unconvincing effort that managed to squirm its way through both Aaron and Perry and beat Steve at his near post. The goal celebrations in front of the south stand faithful were worth the £7 entrance fee alone, with Freeman and his team mates celebrating as if they had just won the World Cup! With the game restarted the south stand didn't have to wait long for their new pantomime villain to make himself known again when Steve mishandled and took 2 attempts at a cross into his area and was set upon by Freeman and while with clearly 2 hands on the ball the Wells number 1 had to endure 3
kicks to the head which went unpunished by a referee who was quickly losing control of the game.

With proceedings now decidedly fraught the Wells were forced to finish the game with 10 as Tom Bryant saw red for a second bookable offence.
With Phoenix not offering any real threat or using the extra man to their advantage Larkin rang the changes and the welcome return of Tom "Franco" Davey was made, as that of George "Vienna" Benner.

With only the final minutes of the game remaining the Wells showed the urgency the south stand had been craving and some good pressure was rewarded when a Perry header across the oppositions goal mouth was met by Cass who managed to pounce and get the ball into the net. Whilst not the classic the billing had promised, the "never say die" attitude that Martin instils into his side paid off again and earned what could prove to be a valuable point against one of the leagues so called tougher opposition.

Report by Graeme Fussell