Match report from Charlie Bradford for Non League Chronicles
The Potyn’s Sports Ground is decent for the level with a nice main stand and a smartly done up clubhouse. However, fifteen minutes before kickoff, the heavens opened and the game was played in a downpour but nothing like the biblical weather at Deal which got the game abandoned so a bullet well and truly dodged!
Snodland created the best opportunities in the opening ten minutes and went close in the fifth when a 25 yard free kick by Brad Webb was straight at Westside’s goalkeeper Hobson. However, Westside arguably had the best chance of the opening spell when Snodland goalkeeper Shaun Wicks came rushing off of his line to try and clear the ball, but Smith won the race to the ball and his attempt to chip the ball into the back of the net landed just wide of the right-hand post.
Snodland had a similar chance a minute later when Lee Friend saw Westside goalkeeper Hobson off his line and attempted to chip him from 30 yards but Hobson did well to paw the ball away for a corner.
It was a chance Snodland were made to pay for a minute later when they fell behind when Marlon Pinder found half a yard of room 20 yards out and made the most of it before getting a quick whipped shot away into the bottom left-hand corner to give the SCEFL Division One debutants the lead.
It was a lead however that only lasted two minutes, with Snodland getting an instant reply when Lee Friend ran in from the right-hand wing, jinked his way past one Westside defender and eventually lashed the ball past Hobson with his left foot from around 12 yards out.
Seven minutes later and Snodland took the lead when a loose ball was intercepted by Andre Trenton who unselfishly squared the ball across the face of the box from right to left for his team mate Omar El Mantawy to tap in to the empty side of the goal.
Lee Friend then had two good chances for the hosts to extend their lead with both chances hitting the crossbar. Firstly he headed a free kick from the right down into the ground from six yards out with the ball hitting the woodwork and four minutes later he brought down a free kick from the halfway line 10 yards out before swivelling on the ball and hitting the bar with his shot.
These two spurned chances however did not cost Snodland as they doubled their lead in the 39th minute when a neat team move eventually saw Ted Rosetti produce a delicious half turn before laying the ball on a plate for Lee Friend to tap home from six yards out.
With the second half not quite as lively as the first, the opening 25 minutes of it did not produce many opportunities of note other than Snodland’s Brad Webb having a 25 yard free kick fumbled on the goal line by Hobson which he eventually gathered, and Lee Friend shooting straight at Hobson from the right side of the box.
In the 74th minute a Snodland free kick from the left caught a wicked deflection off of Zack Johnson-Read with Hobson doing well to react and stop the ball from going in. However, Hobson was powerless to stop Snodland’s fourth goal in the 81st minute when a neat cross from the left by Omar El Mantawy found the head of Lee Friend six yards out who nodded home to complete his “perfect hat trick” of left foot, right foot and header – I mean you have to be good to pull of pink (or should that be fuschia?!) boots and he certainly was on the ball today!
Westside’s afternoon got worse in the 83rd minute when they were reduced to ten men. Already on a booking, Michael Tia was guilty of mouthing off at referee Jamie Turner who did not hesitate to show Tia a second yellow card and the consequent red. However, the damage was already done, with Snodland the comfortable winners.
MOTM: Only one choice of course and that is Lee Friend for his hat trick and dominant display up top.