City Dominant in Fine Victory at Tunbridge Wells
By Kevin Olver
Three goals and three points for City as their unbeaten run extends to five games.
Canterbury City 3 Tunbridge Wells 0
City achieved their fifth consecutive win today with a superb victory over Tunbridge Wells away at the Culverden Stadium - a run that has also seen them concede only one goal.
In a very similar performance to last week, City dominated the game, got themselves into a two goal lead and thereafter never let their opponents get the merest sniff or hope of any sort of comeback.
In some very wet and slippery conditions it was the hosts that had the first efforts on goal. Danny Powell saw his shot deflected out by a City blocking tackle while from the resultant corner John Shea's effort was fired straight at City keeper Jack Delo.
That was almost as good as it got for the hosts because once City had taken the lead just a minute or two later, they completely controlled the game with some composed and measured play that their opponents just couldn't match or better. The opening goal arrived on seven minutes when after some nice play down the City right, Michael Turner found Dave Pilcher who controlled the ball with his first touch and got a low shot away that seemed to carry through a defender and the keeper either of which probably should have blocked it but the ball still ended up in the back of the net for 1-0.
There was an early forced change for City as an injured Joe Nelder was replaced by Rob Lawrence but it was seamless and City continued to dominate. The home side were seeing some of the ball but their play was laboured and lacked the more decisive and productive football of City. Wells sent some balls forward into the City box, but none reached their targets and on a couple of occasions, there wasn't even a target to hit.
City in contrast were moving the ball quickly and purposely and soon doubled their lead when in the seventeenth minute a quick throw won and taken by Kane Phillip found Jordan Casey in the box. He chested the ball down and in an instant, turned and lashed the ball into the opposite side of the net from a narrow angle to make the score 2-0.
Wells were now already chasing the game and with City defending tightly and quick in the tackle, the home side just couldn't get any sort of attacking game going. It wasn't a problem for City however. A wide free-kick just failed to prise Wells open for a third as the ball bounced around in the box, Casey then shot straight at home keeper Cameron Hall, while a cross from Lawrence found Liam Quinn and Pilcher at the far post but neither could get a good enough touch to put the ball on target.
The visitors continued to be the only side looking likely to score as Wells were being hurried and harried out of the game by an assured looking City. Casey broke down the right and cut inside but could only find the roof of the net with his next effort while James Turner volleyed well over for City. A couple of first-half late corners for Wells were easily dealt with by City but these couldn't hide the fact that the home side were producing little by way of attacking football and were being out-played and out-manoeuvred all over the park by a confident City.
With the home side looking lost and toothless and far from the Wells of previous seasons, City were comfortably in control at the break and had a deserved two goal cushion as well.
The second-half began with a procession of further City chances. It started with a 'should have scored' moment when a long throw was flicked on and Lawrence, with the goal at his mercy could only volley over from eight yards out. City followed this with Casey shooting straight at Hall after Lawrence and Michael Turner had combined well to set him up and then a Lawrence Harvey far post header from a Pilcher corner drifted just wide of the Wells angle.
The chances came and went for the visitors as a brilliantly delivered free-kick from Pilcher saw Casey charge in and glance a flying header just wide, while an excellent low cross from Adam Woollcott - right in the zone - was just inches away from being slid home by James Turner. Wells sent a couple of high balls into the City box, but they were just catching practice for the under employed Delo and then a rare home corner was well defended by Quinn.
A double change by the hosts failed to affect the game as the home side at times looked lost and bewildered, misplacing simple passes and committing several unforced errors in front of an ever- increasingly frustrated home support. City continued to command the important periods of the game and areas of the pitch and were winning the vast majority of the tackles and the loose balls, while all the attacking chances were still coming from them as substitute Josh Froggatt headed just wide and Casey struck another effort over the bar.
On eighty-three minutes, City capped a dominant display with a cracking third goal. A simple build-up down the left saw Lawrence slip the ball out wide to Froggatt. He went past his marker and slid the ball infield to Pilcher who looked up and from thirty yards struck a beauty which flashed past Hall and into the top corner for 3-0 - a terrific strike worthy of winning any game and prompting a frustrated shout from the home terrace of 'that's how you do it!!'
On ninety minutes a low, long distance effort for Wells from Josh Biddlecombe had Delo moving smartly across his goal to make the save, but it was far too little far too late for the home side and as the game moved into stoppage time, substitute Arlie Desanges fired straight at Hall as he hit his shot on the run, while in the last minute, as the City bench even then were urging their men forward, a ball curled over to the far post by Pilcher saw Quinn sneak in at the back and hit the ball just wide off the outside of the post.
A complete team performance from City, they controlled the game from back to front and everywhere in between fully deserving the three points and capping it off with a thumping third goal.
Final score: Canterbury City 3 Tunbridge Wells 0
City: Jack Delo, Michael Turner, Gary Sayer, Laurence Harvey, Liam Quinn, Adam Woollcott, Kane Phillip (Josh Froggatt), Dave Pilcher, Jordan Casey (Arlie Desanges), James Turner, Joe Nelder (Rob Lawrence)
Unused subs: Dan Keyte, James Nurden