Meridian VP were 4-1 winners, with Darrell Thompson scoring a hat-trick against Staplehurst Monarchs. Ben Eades got the other for VP while Pete West scored for their visitors.
Match Report from ‘ManyGameHaveISeen’ BLOG
On an overcast afternoon, Meridian looked lively from the start and came close to opening the scoring on five minutes, following an excellent turn of pace of run through the defence before crossing the ball and after a defender just failed to cut it out, the ball was struck goalwards but was cleared by a defender. But they did take the lead two minutes later following a corner, which was met with a flicked header turning the ball between the near post and the keeper by Darrell Thompson. Staplehurst got back on level terms on 18 minutes when the ball was crossed low from the left by Alex Bishop, and was tapped in from close range by Pete West, a real one-club man who has been at Staplehurst Monarchs for some 32 years now. Meridian substituted their goalkeeper on 21 minutes, and on 33 minutes, Staplehurst came so close to taking the lead, when a shot from a slight angle was parried by the keeper, and a follow up shot was parried onto the crossbar. Meridian had to make their second substitution of the first half on 43 minutes, and then the half time whistle blew with the scores level.
Meridian went back into the lead on 55 minutes when Ben Eades rose highest to head home a corner, and on 57 minutes, they opened up a two goal cushion when a free kick was played in and Thompson flicked the ball first time past the keeper and into the net with a good finish. Meridian were really cruising at this stage, and on 71 minutes saw a looping header go just over the bar, and on 78 minutes, a shot was parried over the bar. They did score their fourth on 80 minutes when a corner was whipped in and Thompson got a touch to guide it inside the far post, to seal his hat-trick. Staplehurst came close to grabbing a consolation in the first minute of added on time when a free kick was rolled to the right of the wall for a team mate to run onto, and his cross shot came back off the far post, and the follow up shot was blocked. But they were a well beaten side in the end, and a terrific result following a decent performance for Meridian, which surely gives them hope for a much improved season this time around.
The full Match Report can be read here
Main Photo Credit: @SussexBoy