Simon Austin’s End of 2018/19 Season Review.

Firstly, Kane and I would like to say thank you for your support both home and away for the period we have been in charge. There are some games that stick out where the vocal support really has been a big lift, Forest Hill Park and Bridon Ropes, both away games, immediately spring to mind.

We came to the club in difficult circumstances, but with a very very clear objective. We started off and assessed a range of things: players, up-coming games, training, set up and professionalism. We were very aware given the situation the club found themselves in that we had to make a big and immediate impact. We made our decisions based on a variety of information as well as our own judgements on what was needed – data can only take you so far. We watched Snodland games and created player packs. Reviewed that with the current group we had at Kings Hill. Reviewed those against the first set of games and how we would work that best to start picking up points straight away. We both feel that as the seasons comes to a close our decisions were correct as ultimately, we’ve stayed in the division. That’s not to say that it played out perfectly. We did lose some players that we wanted to keep, and we dropped more points from winning positions that we would expect too.

We didn’t just want to stay up though, we really wanted to use the time to begin to look at and assess the league, the successful teams and why they are up there, players, officials, facilities etc. to start to build towards next season. We’ve tried a few things out in terms of shape, personnel, approach etc. which may have resulted in some of the dropped points, but it was a conscious decision made and one we could afford ourselves once we knew we were safe from relegation.

The current squad has shown it can compete at this level, there has been some really impressive performances, and stylish football played which is pleasing for this is how we want to set ourselves up. We cannot sit still though and want to continue to improve (on the pitch) as do the club (off the pitch). We will be looking to continue to work with our squad to develop and grow, as well as looking to add to the group with the right new faces. This is not just the playing side, we have to look at ourselves as a management team to develop and improve and will be looking to make some changes over the summer.

We have moved the club forwards and believe in setting ourselves up in the most professional way you can, which as been fully supported by the club. We all know what we’d do with a eutopia, but it is about ensuring we are tailored with the resources available achieve and maintain the highest levels you can.

We would like to thank our whole management team for the effort, support and excellence provided during the course of the season.

Kane and I and the whole management team have been made to feel very welcome by everyone associated with the club. During our original discussions commitments were made by both sides and as the seasons comes to an end, I can say that these commitments have been kept. Personally speaking the working relationship between the club and Kane and I has started very well.

Lastly and great news, a fantastic achievement by all behind the scenes with the development of the ground works. It will add to the already impressive facilities for a club at this level.

Thank you all for your on-going support and we look forward to seeing you all next season.

Austo and Kane

Saturday 16th February 2019             SCEFL Fixture
Snodland Town FC 2-1 Holmesdale FC
We returned to the Potyn’s Sports Ground, following our away victory against Phoenix Sports Reserves, hoping to earn back to back wins.
The away side started the faster of the two sides as they took the lead through their player manager, Andy Constable, who headed home in the 6th minute to give Holmesdale the lead.
Tommy Lee Judd netted the equaliser in the 26th minute from inside the box following a goal mouth scramble. The 30th minute saw Sam Ribbins make a brilliant reaction save to his left, denying a powerful downward header from Constable who met a cross from the right wing.
All square at half time but on 55 minutes captain Dan Melvin struck a volley into the left hand corner from outside the box comfortably beating the away keeper. Holmesdale went close to an equaliser but are denied by Ribbins, who at full stretch tipped the ball over the bar. Ollie Freeman had the opportunity to add to his impressive goal scoring form in recent weeks but saw his effort go past the far post. Into added time and Holmesdale went close as free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box narrowly missed the top right hand corner.
This was a hard fought but well deserved win that jumped us up to 12th place and put  an even greater points gap between us and the teams at the bottom.

Saturday 9th February 2019               SCEFL Fixture
Phoenix Sports Reserves FC 0-2 Snodland Town FC
The team wanted to continue their recent  good performances on the field in this potential 6 pointer at fellow strugglers Phoenix Sports Reserves. We  had only lost one in the last seven league matches and three points today would lift us up the table with other clubs around us not playing.
We got of to a good start with Ollie Freeman scoring after 8 minutes to settle us down. Freeman then converted again  on 32 minutes  and  that gave us a deserved half time lead.
Although our performance in the second half was not as hoped for from the management team we ran out 2-0 winners and the points lifted us up to 13th, giving some breathing space between ourselves and those below us.

Saturday 2nd February 2019             SCEFL Fixture
Snodland Town FC 2-0 Sutton Athletic FC
We returned to the Potyn’s ground against Sutton Athletic following our goalless draw away to Forest Hill the previous weekend. The home side started strong with an early attempt at the away goal with a goal mouth scramble following a corner dealt with by the away keeper. In the 18th minute Jack Mayhew converted from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way. Moments later Snodland captain, Dan Melvin, scored from distance. The away keeper was anticipating a cross but the ball found its way into the top left hand corner! Mayhew had the opportunity to add another as he met Ben Chapman’s cross but saw his effort go well over the away goal. The 39th minute saw the game’s first booking as the Sutton defender see’s yellow for a foul on Ollie Freeman.
Into the second half and in the 58th minute Freeman’s effort goes inches wide after some quick feet on the edge of the box. In the 62nd minute Liam Wilkins replaced Charlie Belcher and Sutton go close to getting a goal back as their attacker meets a cross at the far post from a corner but his effort narrowly miss the home goal. There was a second yellow card for Sutton in the 73rd minute and Bradley Marshall replaced Jack Mayhew on 85 minutes. Despite further attempts from both sides the game finished with a well deserved 2-0 win for us.

Saturday 26th January 2019                           SCEFL Fixture
Forest Hill Park FC 0-0 Snodland Town FC
This fixture saw a debut for goalkeeper Bradley Comins replacing the injured Sam Ribbins. It was an even well contested first half with few chances for either side with Oliver Muncey receiving a yellow in the 40th minute for a last ditch tackle.
Jack Mayhew starts the second half quickly as he beats his man before testing the home keeper from distance, his effort was well saved. The heavy pitch was clearly favouring neither side as chances were few and far between. On 62 minutes Snodland go close to taking the lead as Ollie Freeman’s rocket from 25 yards is met by the away keeper, who’s finger tips keep the score level. A number of changes were made as the Town made one last effort to take the lead with Kane Rice replacing Chapman. Rice didn’t take long to get involved as his volley from distance threatens to trouble the home keeper. On 88 minutes Comins makes easily the save of the game as he dives at full stretch to deny the Forest Hill attacker at close range, ending the game as a scoreless draw. Man of the match: Bradley Comins.

Saturday 12th January 2019                           SCEFL Fixture
Snodland Town FC 0-4 Kennington FC
We returned to Potyn’s Sports Ground today following a hard battled, narrow defeat, in South London to Fisher Athletic in our midweek cup tie. Kennington started fast, as they attacked down the left wing before a cruel deflection beat the home keeper at the near post making it 0-1 to the away team. Despite Kennington’s high possession Snodland went close to scoring an equaliser in the 29th minute as Lawson’s effort was well saved by the away keeper to maintain their lead. Just before the half ended Kennington had the opportunity to double their lead as they saw an effort rattle the home crossbar.
On 55 minutes Steve Haffner received a straight red for his over the ball lunge reducing the home team to 10 men. There followed half chances for the home side come to nothing as Kennington kept hold of the lead. In the 70th minute Kennington double their lead and scored another in a matter of minutes to make it 0-3. We conceded a harsh penalty on 78 minutes to Kennington following a coming together with the attacker and the home keeper Sam Ribbins. The penalty was converted to round off a horrible 8 minutes for the home side. We had a chance for a concilation on 87 minutes but Dave Sherwood’s weak penalty was easily saved by the away keeper.

Tuesday 8th January 2019               SCEFL Challenge Cup Fixture
Fisher FC 2-1 Snodland Town FC
On paper this 3rd round draw looked a very hard task. With about 36 places between us, third from bottom of the first division, playing top of the premier, and it was away with seven team changes from the Kent Football match. However, although we lost, the gulf in positions was not at all it evidence as we produced some good football and took the lead when Jim Matthews slotted in at the near post from a corner, mid way through the first half. Fisher pressed for an equaliser which came fortuitously on the stroke of half time. Although Sam Ribbens made a good stop he couldn’t prevent the ball squirming over the line from the resultant scramble.
We continued to frustrate the opposition for the second half but didn’t create goal scoring chances and eventually Fisher scored a tap in with about 15 minutes to go. Substitutions were made in an attempt to get the equaliser but it wasn’t to be and our Challenge Cup campaign ended. A very good performance from all who played and the team was complimented by a couple of Fisher officials who said we had been the best side they had played this season.

Saturday 5th January 2019              SCEFL Fixture
Kent Football United 2-2 Snodland Town
Following our impressive 3-0 win against Greenway’s before the Christmas break, we return today against the recently rejuvenated Dartford based, Kent Football United.
Snodland started the game well with strong runs down either flank from Oliver Freeman and Rhys Lawson. In the 9th minute the town took the lead as Dave Sherwood met Lawson’s cross with a header beating the home keeper. Our lively start continued after the goal as we mount more pressure on the Kent Football United goal.
A scrappy first half comes to and end with Kent Football United growing into the game as they begin to take their hold on the possession. No notable chances created though despite an early effort from their centre forward who attempted to lob the keeper. Snodland take the lead to the interval. Technical issues saw our twitter match updates come to a halt.
A solid defence display from Snodland kept United at bay at the start of the half and we doubled our lead as Sherwood turns and strikes a half volley from outside the box, catching the home keeper by surprise. In the 79th minute United pull one back from the spot following a tackle by Dan Melvin. Then at the death in the 93rd minute the home side equalise as a free kick is whipped in from the right. Sam Ribbins was unable to hold the incoming ball and United stab their effort home. The game finishing 2-2.
Man of the match – Dave Sherwood

Saturday 22nd December 2018             SCEFL Fixture
Lydd Town FC 2-2 Snodland Town FC
Snodland threatened the home goal in the opening minutes as Tommy Lee Judd met a Harry Dawes cross but was unable to convert. Moments later Lydd came close as an effort from outside the box was deflected over the bar for a corner. Snodland were forced into an early substitution in the 19th minute as AaronSharp picked up a knock and was replaced by Oliver Freeman.
Early pressure for the away side was rewarded in the 21st minute as Harry Dawes ran through the Lydd defence and finished well into the right corner giving Snodland the lead 0-1. Moments later Dawes had an opportunity to grab his second of the game but his effort from outside the box rattled off the bar.
An unnecessary foul in our defensive third led to Lydd equalising with a well placed free kick in the 35th minute. An opportunity to take the lead before the half was missed as Freeman’s effort was dragged wide.
An end to end start to the second half saw Dave Sherwood substituted in 66th minute for Kane Rice. The 71st minute saw a controversial penalty converted by the home side making the score 2-1. However in the 77th minute Snodland equalise as Rice arrived late at the far post meeting Steve Haffner’s freekick with a header! An altercation between two players saw Lydd reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute.
Man of the Match: Harry Dawes

Snodland Town 4 – 0 Meridian VP (15/8/2018)
This fixture marked the second competitive game under our new management team of Kane Rice and Simon Austin. Despite the awful weather conditions bearing down on the Potyn’s Sports Ground the fixture went ahead as planned.
Early pressure from the home side was rewarded in the 6th minute as central defender Aaron Sharp stabbed home his first goal for the club following a scramble in the box. The home team continued to mount pressure on Meridian’s goal as Dave Sherwood was unable to convert two chances in a matter of minutes. The lead could have been doubled on 19 minutes, however, the goal was ruled offside. The two teams went in at the half with the score 1-0 to Snodland.
Finally, in the 56th minute Snodland were rewarded for their possession as Liam Wilkins low cross was met by Tommy Lee Judd at the far post to make the score 2-0. The 58th minute saw the away keeper produce the save of the match as he kept Haffner’s effort out. A few minutes later, the keeper’s efforts were undone as Haffner’s corner was headed home by the Meridian defender making the score 3-0. The 70th minute bought a controversial decision, as Haffner’s effort from outside the box was given as offside due to an interference in play from an attacking player.
As the game progressed, Snodland began to overpower Meridian having a number of chances that on another day would have been converted. The 86th minute saw the final goal of the game as Freeman’s chipped ball over the last man was coolly converted by Harry Dawes into the right corner of away goal.
Man of the match: Liam Wilkins

Stansfeld 4 – 2 Snodland Town (8/12/18)
The first game under the new management team unfortunately did not end on a positive note. It was always going to be difficult for the new players to bed themselves in, but it was an encouraging display and showed signs of what could be to come.
Stansfeld opened the scoring after five minutes, but nine minutes later Dave Sherwood slotted home an equaliser. Ten minutes later Kevin Everest put us 2-1 up and we were looking good. However a minute before half time the prolific Billy Shinners equalised for the home side.
In to the second half and it was even-stevens until the 73rd minute when we conceded again, only to do the same two minutes later. Perhaps a learning curve for all those new to the club but also many positives that we can build on.

Snodland Town 0 – 0 Rochester United (17/11/18)
Rochester United were our opponents this week in a game that we needed to get something out of. We started the game quite comfortably and knocked the ball around well but were not really threatening too much in the first 10 minutes. Then we had a couple of decent chances in front of goal that we failed to take advantage of. The same could be said of the opposition. We kept plugging away and the Rochester keeper was called on a couple of more times as we ended the half the better side but couldn’t get the decisive goal.
We started the second half very loosely and had to call on Joe Wilkins to make 2 very good saves in goal to keep us on level terms in the first 10 minutes as Rochester started to put the pressure on. But after the shaky start we had a very good chance that the Rochester keeper did well to save on a one on one. Then 5 minutes after that we had another great chance that the keeper did well to turn around the post again. In the 75th minute Rochester were reduced to 10 men and we created some decent chances that we just failed to convert. We could have won it with the last move of the match that produced a header flashing just wide. The lads grafted very hard for each other and we were more than worthy of the point that we got. Ok, so we should have won the game but on the positive side we gained a point and kept a clean sheet. This was a very gritty performance and on another day we would have taken our chances and won the game. This is a performance we can build on and to start gaining some points to get up the league and finish as well as we can.

Snodland Town 0 – 3 Forest Hill Park (3/11/18)
Erith & Belvedere 6 – 2 Snodland Town (10/11/18)
These are two results we did not want and have landed us at the foot of the table. In both games we played some good football at times but fell away towards the end of the second halves, perhaps flattering our opponents with the final score lines.
On top of this, our injury list lengthens by the game and as is reported in the chairman’s welcome message, goalkeeper Simon Vanderhook suffered a broken leg against Erith last Saturday. We all wish him a full recovery and should you be able to donate to his collection please see Terry in the tea hut.
Our season needs to improve starting from today against local visitors Rochester United. We have some games in hand and it is tight amongst the bottom three so therefore it is imperative maximum points are gained this afternoon.
Results are not going our way at the moment ,we know and we need to improve our performances. But your continued support for the team is very much appreciated by all the players.

Snodland Town 1 – 2 K Sports (Kent Senior Trophy) (20/10/18)
Our last fixture was against K Sports in the cup at home. After a poor performance in the league the week before we changed things about a bit to see if we could get a result. It was a nervous start but after the first 10 minutes we got into the game and began to cause K Sports some problems down the lines. Every time we went forward we looked a threat. We kept creating chances and eventually we got the goal our football deserved when a good ball saw Harry Dawes set free who produced a smart finish. The first half continued to go our way and we should’ve scored another goal but went in at half time 1-0 up.
We started the second half just as strongly as we finished the first and had two or three great chances to extend our lead. But we didn’t take them and were made to pay in the 50th minute when K Sports got on the scoresheet to make it 1-1. We still pushed forward and played the better football and were awarded a penalty that unfortunately we missed. We conceded again to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute. Still we created chances though and our play deserved an equaliser, but just couldn’t find the goal. This was frustrating as we were the better side and on another day we would and should of won this game.

Snodland Town 1 – 4 Lewisham Borough (13/10/18)
Lewisham Borough were our opposition last weekend and after playing well the previous couple of weeks away and not getting results, a good start to this game was required to secure the win. We started with a new shape of playing wing backs to go for the points. But right from the off we were not at the races and conceded two poor goals in the 5th and 9th minutes. The formation was changed to a 4-3-3 which helped but we were still playing too sluggish and our shape was still poor. However, we grabbed a goal back from Dave Sherwood on the half hour to go in at the break 2-1 down.
The second half started the same as the first we were trying to play but the football was too slow, our shape was still poor. We just looked tired and out of ideas. Some poor balls and touches compounded a very frustrating and poor performance from everyone, from back to front. We just weren’t good enough and ended up conceding from a corner which was totally avoidable in the 70th minute to make it 3-1. In the 90th minute after pushing to get back in the game Lewisham hit us on the break to seal the win.
This was definitely a game to forget, from the start we just were not good enough in all areas of the pitch. We have to compete to be in with a chance of winning any game and we didn’t do that. We must learn our lessons from this game, pick ourselves up and go again.

Welling Town 2 – 0 Snodland Town (29/9/18)
Another tough away fixture as we travelled to top of the league Welling Town. Again, we had a few selection problems with injuries and a few away so we had to shuffle the starting 11. With a few of the lads not playing together before and some out of position we started the game very slowly and our shape was very loose. Welling had the better of the first 10-15 minutes hitting the post and forcing a few corners which we dealt with well. After that we started to get on the ball a bit more but were forcing our play a bit. We had a couple of chances that tested the Welling keeper and forced a few corners, hitting the bar from one. 0-0 at the break.
We started the second half on the front foot playing some decent football and creating some good opportunities in the final third of the pitch that we should’ve done better with. Welling were stretched, and we should have taken the lead, but their keeper made yet another good save. We were giving them a lot of problems but had to be careful not to be hit on the break like last weekend. We were dealing with their threat well enough, they really didn’t have a clear-cut chance. Then in the 62nd minute the game turned in Welling’s favour when we were reduced to 10 men after a moment of madness when Reece Gillies saw red. Then about 10 minutes later Welling were given a very soft penalty to take the lead and about 5 minutes after that they stuck again to make it 2-0. The lads again worked hard for each other till the end and we still created, hitting the post with about 10 minutes left but the score stayed the same. I think if we had kept 11 men on the pitch we could have gone on to win this game. This is also the case for a few others that we have lost this year due to having people sent off in games. We have got to look at our discipline as a whole as it is starting to become a real problem and is costing us games. Keep your heads-up lads on to the next one.

Sutton Athletic 4 – 1 Snodland Town (22/9/18)
This was our first away game for a while, travelling to Sutton who have started the season in fine form. We knew it was always going to be a tough game and to make things even tougher there were a few niggling injuries and suspensions didn’t help us in terms of selection. It was a nervous start but we had plenty of the ball. However, we got caught a few times and had to call on the back line and keeper to keep us level.
Although we tried to play the right way we were sloppy with our passing and trying to keep possession. The first goal came from when we were caught on the ball. Sutton broke and finished well to make it 1-0. The first half continued in the same way, we had a few chances to score but didn’t shoot and should have had a penalty.
We started the second half excellently and our passes found feet a lot quicker and sharper putting Sutton under a lot of pressure from the off. The opening 10 minutes saw several chances that we didn’t quite take. Then after some good ball possession and passing the ball a scuffed Sutton clearance sent it up in the air to the back of the area where Dave Sherwood fired it in on the volley. It was a goal that we deserved from our play at the start of second half. We kept the pressure up and continued to make chances that we should’ve done better with to put us in the lead. However, Sutton caught us on the break to make it 2-1 and again to make it 3-1. The lads kept playing and working hard for each other but then Sutton scored again with a great strike to make it 4-1. It was a harsh score line on the team and didn’t reflect the game in my opinion.

Snodland Town 2 – 1 Rochester United (Challenge Cup) (15/9/18)
This was a break from the league with Rochester United the visitors for the second round of the SCEFL Challenge Cup. We had only played them away a couple of weeks ago and lost a tight game 3-2 with a few decision’s not going our way, so the lads were up for getting a result this time around. We certainly started that way and got the ball moving forward straight away with some good football, controlling the pace of the game and playing out from the back. The middle field was working hard and playing well and the lads up top were lively from the off, working Rochester United’s back line. We created some decent chances that the keeper had to deal with and forced a few corners and on 39 minutes Curtis Riley rose the highest at the back of the box to nod a great effort over the keeper into the roof of the net.
The second half started with us still getting in down the lines but didn’t really created the clear-cut chance that our football deserved. Rochester pushed on a lot more after that, making in roads to find an equaliser. We had to ensure we didn’t concede any sloppy goals and defended solidly from front to back. This was frustrating Rochester as they were finding it hard to break us down. Then in the 69th minute Liam Gillies struck after a decent run and cut back from Jason Harrison following a Dave Sherwood dummy that sent him clear. 2-0 up with 20 minutes to play and now Rochester had to come out even more to try and get back in the game. We probably should have scored a couple more goals to put the game to bed, but then with about 5 minutes left Rochester got the goal they were looking for to make it 2-1. This set up a tense last 5 minutes but all the lads stuck to their tasks really well and we saw the game out. It was another decent performance from everyone, well done lads and on to the next round.

Snodland Town 2 – 1 Phoenix Sports Reserves (8/9/18)
Phoenix Sports reserves were our visitors last weekend in a game where we really needed to get the 3 points on the board. We got off to a great start when skipper Curtis Reilly nodded home in the opening 3 minutes to put us 1-0 up. We carried on playing some positive football and had a few half chances that the keeper had to deal with at the other end. Phoenix did manage to get in behind our defence once after a long ball caught our back line a little flat footed. Other than that we seemed pretty much in control of the game in the first exchanges and put more pressure on their back line getting in some decent positions down both flanks. However our final ball was not quite there or our finishing in the final third let us down. But we kept plugging away and just before half time went 2-0 up. Dave Sherwood finished in the top corner after some good play in the middle of the park sent him through on goal. So we headed in at half time deservedly in front.
In the Second half the game followed a similar pattern to the first we were playing some good football in the first 20 minutes but it was only in patches. Phoenix were pushing for a goal to get them back in the game but we defended well and the midfield were working very hard as well to keep a clean sheet. I think we would of done so but in the 80th minute after a clumsy challenge that was outside the box the referee somehow pointed to the spot and they scored the penalty. We were still working very hard all over the pitch to get another goal to settle us back down but it didn’t come and we looked nervy in the last 10 minutes. But credit to all the lads as we carried on grafting hard to get over the line with a 2-1 win.

Snodland Town 2 – 3 Newhaven – FA Vase (1/9/18)
Sunny dry weather was the order of the day for our second ever fixture in the FA Vase. We new we would be in for a tough game against similar ranked opposition as last year.
However we got off on the front foot and more than matched Newhaven with good football, creating several first half chances. With half time approaching the game swung for us and then against us. On 42 minutes Dave Sherwood popped up for his fourth goal of the season. We were looking good but within a couple of minutes of the re-start Tom Cackett was sent off with the ref giving him a straight red. Having been on top we were suddenly under pressure by the loss of a man.
The second half started badly. Unfortunately on 47 minutes Joe Wilkins spilt the ball and it was snapped up and slotted in to the goal for Newhaven’s equaliser. The lads dug in though but  Newhaven had their tails up. They soon went two one up and shortly afterwards added a third. Despite being 10 against 11 the whole team did not let their shoulders drop and continued to push the Newhaven defence. A double swap of bringing on Greg Smith and Aaron Chilies, for his first game following a long injury lay off, gave fresh impetus. It was obvious Newhaven were not comfortable but it took until the 89th minute before Tom Webb popped with a good header from a corner to make it 3-2. Despite making every effort to score a last second equaliser in what was quite an amount of extra time, the Newhaven defence stood firm and ran out winners of a very close game.

Greenways 5 – 3 Snodland Town (27/8/18)
Well where do I start with trying to explain this game! We travelled to K Sports to play Greenways on the back of a good result at home to Stansfeld on the previous Saturday. The lads started the game excellently, playing some nice sharp attacking football. Having created some decent chances in the 11th minute Harry Dawes finished nicely after a great bit of football through the middle of the park to put us 1-0 up. We continued putting Greenways under pressure playing some very positive football and Dave Sherwood scored a great goal in the 18th minute to put us 2-0 up. However 5 minutes later Greenways pegged us back to make it 2-1 after we let them take a quick free kick. We were still playing some good football and we scored again in the 30th minute. Dave Sherwood again this time from the spot. 3-1 and it looked like we were going to run away with this game until about 5 minutes later we were reduced to 10 men after the ref wrongly booked Reece Gillies for the second time, a case of mistaken identity. Greenways then had their tails up and scored a second after a ball in the box found them having 2 men over on the back post. However we still went in at half time 3-2 up.
The second half and down to 10 men we came out to try and get something from a game that felt like it was getting taken away from us by the referee and 5 minutes in Greenways got their 3rd goal of the game to bring it level at 3 all. They had the extra man and it was starting to show even though we were still creating the odd chance to turn their back line. All credit to all the lads out on the pitch, they never gave up and kept working hard for each other but 15 minutes in we conceded again. Then came another strange decision from the ref as he decided to award a penalty and send Ollie Bloss off even though he wasn’t last man or even the one who made the challenge. Joe Wilkins made another penalty save to keep it at 4-3 and give us some hope we could get something out of the game. Even being down to 9 men all the lads kept working hard and tried to get a goal, but it wasn’t to be and we conceded again in the 77th minute which was harsh. 5-3 was a score line that you couldn’t see coming but for a shocking performance from the ref. It was truly harsh on the lads, but everyone should keep their heads up. The work rate, effort and football we played was top notch it was just a poor poor performance from the officials.

Snodland Town 2 – 1 Stansfeld (25/8/18)
Stansfeld were the visitors last weekend as we were still searching for our first points of the season after 3 games. The lads have been a bit unlucky with some of the score lines in previous weeks but had all been working hard to get things right in training and we knew Stansfeld would be a tough test. We were a bit light on numbers with a few missing through injuries so started a back four that had never played together before. We started the game solid enough and had a couple of half chances but nothing really to trouble the Stansfeld back line and in the 15th minute Stansfeld took the lead after a long throw was flicked on from the front post for a tap in. Stansfeld kept putting the ball long and tried to get the ball in the box at every opportunity with long throws but everyone was putting in a great deal of effort and working hard for each other against a very physical side and we equalised in the 35th minute after a corner had popped around in the box it found its way to Ollie Bloss who finished smartly. We had competed well and deserved to equalise and started to get in behind the back line of Stansfeld. I think they were happy when the half time whistle was blown.
We started the second half where we left off in the first and made some chances to drive at the back line of Stansfeld keeping their goal keeper busy making some decent stops. The long balls kept coming and we did well to keep our shape and heads after a few heavy challenges. We were playing the better football but had to be careful not to get caught out and Stansfeld hit the bar with an effort from near the half way line. We kept plugging away and eventually got our rewards in the 82nd minute when Jim Beaumont scored with a header at the back stick. 2-1 up with 10 minutes to play and Stansfeld were looking for an equaliser, peppering the box with more long throws, corners and a few free kick’s that we had to deal with. This created a few more chances for us in behind when they were pushing on. It was a good solid performance from start to finish from the lads, no one gave up and everyone had to work hard till the very end and the lads should be proud of that.

Rochester United 3 – 2 Snodland Town (22/8/18)
The first midweek fixture of the season was a local one with us travelling to Rochester United still looking for our first points of the season and we started the game very well playing some decent football right from the off with Liam Wilkins scoring to put us 1-0 up in the first 5 minutes. Rochester had started the game a bit disjointed and we were taking advantage as in the 10th minute Harry Dawes struck our second goal after a defensive error from the Rochester full back. We had a couple more decent chances which we didn’t take then Rochester got back in the game scoring in the 19th minute to make it 2-1 which was the half time score.
The second half started poorly for us and we conceded an equaliser not long after the kick off. We got back on the ball, but Rochester seem to soak up everything we tried. Despite a penalty shout when the goal keeper took out Harry Dawes we kept plugging away but didn’t really create the one good chance that we needed. Perhaps two more penaltys may have gone our way but the luck just wasn’t with us and in the 77th minute Rochester scored what would turn out to be the winning goal from a well struck free kick.

SC Thamesmead 4 – 3 Snodland Town (18/8/18)
We travelled to SC Thamesmead on the back of a heavy and disappointing defeat in the opening game at home. We started the game well playing some nice sharp attacking football. We had some good chances that we didn’t convert and could and should have been at least 3 or 4 nil up after the first 20 minutes. The lads were playing with a lot of confidence going forward, but we still had to be alert at the back as Thamesmead had two good chances themselves that Joe Wilkins made  good saves from. In the 33rd minute Harry Dawes got the first goal of the game, that he had been threatening to score, after some smart play to put us 1-0 up. Three minutes later Thamesmead were level after some poor decision making. Five minutes after that they went 2-1 up from a finish at the edge of the box so we went in 2-1 down at half time.
We started the second half a little off the pace but after 5 minutes we began to play the ball around again, then Thamesmead scored again after a good ball in from the left-hand side. At 3-1 we kept playing but we didn’t seem to be breaking them down as easily as the first half. We still created a few half chances, but they were snuffed out then a long ball down our right that wasn’t dealt with causing panic in the box and a penalty was given that Joe Wilkins saved to keep it at 3-1. We then started to get behind their back line again and started to cause a few problems and won a corner that was headed in by Dave Sherwood for 3-2. We pressed hard for an equalizer, but it just didn’t come then Thamesmead got their fourth. Straight away we scored again, Harry Dawes following up after a great strike from Sherwood. The lads worked a lot harder and on another day we would have come away with the 3 points, so we were a bit unlucky.

Snodland Town 0 – 5 Bridon Ropes (11/8/2018)
So, the time had finally arrived for us to kick our season off hosting Bridon Ropes at home. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy game as Bridon always give us a tough game. With a few players missing we could still put a decent side out albeit with a few new faces and a couple of changes. From kick off we looked slow, well off the pace and not working together. Bridon were dominating the ball, switching play far too easily and they took the lead in the 17th minute. They then got a dubious second goal in the 24th minute that looked off side. Bridon still kept coming and scored a third in the 38th minute. We had a couple of decent chances in between their goals and when we could get on the ball and turn their back line we looked a threat. But it was few and far between so we headed in at half time 3-0 down.
We made one change at centre back at half time but the story of the game stayed the same with Bridon pressing our back line early on in the half and 7 minutes in they scored their 4th, although there was a big hint of off side yet again. After this goal we started to get hold of the ball a little bit more, had a few chances in behind their lines, forced them into a few more mistakes and won a few corners. None of which we capitalised on. We should have had a penalty with about 10 minutes to play when Sherwood was fouled in the box, only for the linesman not to give it. Then in the 90th minute Bridon scored their 5th and probably their only good goal of the game. All in all, it was a very frustrating and disappointing performance and game from us. All we can do is learn from it, go again and work harder to put the things we need to right.