Lydd Town Defeated 4-2 in Kent Senior Trophy
By Kevin Olver
City are made to work hard to ensure progress through to the next round of the Kent Senior Trophy
Canterbury City 4 Lydd Town 2
A brace apiece from Tom Barton and Remell Davis eventually saw City safely through to the next round of the Kent Senior Trophy away at Lydd Town. They were made to work hard for it though as their lower league opponents battled them all the way, despite being down to ten men for most of the second half.
It was a scratchy and scrappy game overall with City pretty much in control on the scoresheet and the pitch but Lydd refused to be shaken off and it needed a late fourth for City to just about make the result fit the game.
There wasn't too much for the purists first-half with the game littered with offsides, stoppages and misplaced passes and clearances but despite that, we did see three goals.
City took the lead on twelve minutes but prior to that there had only really been Barton's mishit shot rolling through to home keeper Jamie Kelly and Dale Morton's hoisted long ball into the City box falling nicely for keeper Stefan Lawrence to pouch neither really being hardly worthy of note. The goal came though when a City shot from the right took a couple of deflections in the Lydd box and ran loose to Barton loitering and he stabbed the ball home from close range for 1-0 amid much argument from the home side that there should have been a flag.
Lydd were a little unlucky not to equalise almost immediately when a firm shot from Guy Connolly took a heavy deflection sending the keeper the wrong way, but the luck was on City's side as the ball ricocheted wide of the post.
The game was beginning to settle down a little and there were chances at both ends, although the keepers were rarely tested. For City, Davis miskicked in front of goal having originally first-touch controlled the ball really well and then found himself though on goal in another City attack but could only stroke the ball wide with just Kelly to beat. Lydd responded with former City favourite Matt Martin's ball into the box comfortably taken by Lawrence before Bradley Baker charged forward and shot early but past the far angle and then he curled a ball in which Connolly just failed to make contact with right in front of goal.
Another former City player Ryan Philpott then fired well over from distance, while City's Ollie Lee forced Kelly into a save at his near post as he almost forced the ball home from an acute angle.
On forty-one minutes, Barton struck again to double City's lead when he broke down the left before playing the bell inside where debutant Brett Ince dummied the ball through to Davis. He in turn pin-pointed it back to Barton and the City youngster lifted the ball over the advancing Kelly with a very neat and clever finish to make the score 2-0.
All seemed well for City going towards the interval, but Lydd had other ideas. A long ball forward saw Philpott flick it on for Baker but his first time shot on the run was far too high and the ball disappeared well into the distance. That was just but a warning shot however for City because just a minute later and right on the stroke of half-time Lydd grabbed a goal back when another long ball found Philpott himself running through this time before firing home despite Lawrence getting a good hand to it to make the score 2-1, with City now having their turn at looking for a non-existent flag.
So City went into the break in front, but for the second game running they had conceded right on half-time and had given their opponents a foothold in the game.
City were quickly out for the restart and they were quickly out of the blocks on the field too as in the forty-sixth minute, a shot from another debutant Chris Valles-Sangenis was deflected out for a corner from which they managed to retain the ball and a cross from Ince found Josh McCallum but he couldn't quite get his feet sorted to stab the ball home from close range and Kelly was able to snaffle the ball and claim it.
On fifty-one minutes, chaos broke out when a poor tackle on Clty's Lee was followed by a melee involving most of the players. After a protracted discussion between all three officials, Lydd's Robbie Dolan was shown a yellow card and then another one and a red card all in the space of a few seconds and City's Dan Keyte was also shown a yellow. Amidst cries of 'you've got the wrong man' the original main protagonist quietly managed to just walk away without sanction!
However, with the play now hotting up and just getting a little ill-tempered, Connolly also then saw yellow for Lydd while Lee was replaced by Liam Middleton for City.
With the hosts now down to ten men and a goal behind, it should have been fairly straightforward for City but they were still made to battle and fight for the win and for every opportunity. Davis curled a decent ball in, but it just eluded the newly arrived Middleton and floated wide of the far post, before on sixty-six minutes, an incisive move down the left from Middleton opened Lydd up and the ball inside found Davis in the box. He made some space with a little shuffle and drilled the ball home past Kelly for 3-1.
The game was far from over however, as Lydd sought to get themselves back into it. A Philpott free-kick found Baker who looped a cross towards goal from a tight angle that dropped dangerously close to the City goal but spun away while for City, Barton almost got through for his third, but the ball just ran away from him as he was clean through and was cleared.
On seventy-three minutes, Lydd tightened the game up when Martin was bundled over in the box by a clumsy challenge from Michael Turner and Philpott stepped up to squeeze the ball past Lawrence from the spot for 3-2. Despite getting themselves back into the game the man disadvantage began to tell and Lydd began to run out of steam. City worked hard to prosper from this and a host of chances came their way.
Neither Davis nor Middleton could test the keeper during their next attack with the only reward a fruitless corner while next a brilliant ball in from Davis fell to Valles-Sangenis and he will still be wondering how he didn't score as Kelly produced a remarkable point blank spreading block to deny him a debut goal.
City then introduced Kane Phillip into the fray and he was soon making his presence felt as he almost put Quinn through on goal, but again, a corner was all that was won. It was all City now and another corner saw Quinn head over the bar, Ince then had a shot charged down, while Quinn again won the ball and took a couple of steps forward before firing wide from twenty yards.
Pressure was mounting and it soon told when in the eighty-third minute, Phillip popped the ball over a leaden-footed Lydd defence and Davis burst through before steadying himself and firing the ball past Kelly for 4-2.
In the time that remained, both sides continued to attack and either could have added to the scoreline. Quinn headed wide from a corner, Davis screwed the ball wide when put through while Phillip curled another effort wide when set up by Davis. At the other end, Connolly volleyed the ball high over the City bar and Philpott saw a shot charged down before after a bit of keep-ball from City, Phillip fired over.
City continued to press forward and the hosts were lucky to survive twice in the last few moments. Firstly, from a bit of pinball in the box during which at least two City efforts were blocked in front of goal and then secondly, when a ball into the Lydd box glanced off the head of defender Alex Coyne deceiving his own keeper but fortunately for the home side falling just wide of the unguarded post.
A scrappy game still produced six goals, plenty of action and chances, but it was City that deservedly came out on top.
Final score: Canterbury City 4 Lydd Town 2
City: Stefan Lawrence, Michael Turner, James Nurden, Dan Keyte, Liam Quinn, Josh McCallum, Tom Barton, Ollie Lee (Liam Middleton), Remell Davis, Brett Ince, Chris Valles-Sangenis (Kane Phillip)
Unused subs: James Turner, Adam Woollcott, Laurence Harvey