City Bring Down High Flying Lords
By Martyn Sexton
Canterbury City storm into third spot in the Southern Counties East League, writes Eddie Alcorn
Canterbury City stormed up into third spot in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division with an impressive 4-0 demolition of high flying Lordswood. After a cagey first half where both sides cancelled each other out, City began the second half like a team possessed and never let up in their relentless march towards their sixth straight win in all competitions.
Lordswood made the brighter start early on but lacked quality in the final third. A soft cross into the arms of Delo summing up their lack of cutting edge. At the other end the best early chance for City saw a dangerous long-range header by Casey parried by Coxhall on 5 minutes.
City threatened again on 10 minutes, but the low cross cum shot was thrashed across the face of the goal. Three minutes later Casey put over an inviting cross but it was lashed over the bar. Lordswood should have broken the tight deadlock on 17 minutes but Mahon fluffed the chance, he was put through and rounded Delo but dithered, took the wrong route away from goal and saw the opportunity snuffed out by an alert City defence.
City Man of the Match Froggatt had the next chance but his shot from the edge of the box was deflected wide. A smart City short corner routine on 30 minutes nearly worked but the final header ended up in the keeper’s arms.
Lordswood then wasted another glorious opportunity on 34, Mahon capitalised on some hesitancy at the back, nipped in and toe-ended the ball past Delo, but then dithered and saw his space and opportunity closed down. City countered two minutes late via a brisk break by Casey but his inviting ball into the box eluded everyone. City then survived a few nervous moments at the back to go in all square. Lordswood had undoubtedly shaded a tight first half that was very nil-nil…
Whatever was said at half-time worked for City. Perhaps it was the lucky black cat sat behind the touchline at the Lordswood end because they got on top from the off. The deadlock was broken on 49 minutes, a fine run down the right saw a snappy cross in by Lawrence and the ever-alert Froggatt touched it home first time with panache. 1-0 to the City.
There was some comedy gold as Mr Morgan went in search of the Golden Goal winner (£45) only to find, having conducted a full circuit of Salters Lane, that the lucky chap in question, (Croydon Jon) had been stood next to him all along!
City’s pressure continued to build and on 57 a slick move was repulsed but sixty second later Griffin lunged in on Jamie Turner, missed the ball and got the man. Pilcher confidently slotted the penalty away for 2-0. A minute later it could have been three but keeper Coxhall made a fine save at the feet of Pilcher when through one on one on goal. Pitcher then thrashed a rocket shot inches over the bar from outside the box as City went for a killer third just after the hour.
Woollcott was the next City player to miss, blazing over after an inviting set up, whilst at the other end a rare Lordswood foray saw the offside flag deny them when in the area. The third goal for City duly arrived on 74 minutes, a cracking cross by Froggatt in from the right found Casey unmarked in the middle, he had enough time and space to take a nonchalant touch before tapping into the net.
Substitute Phillip nearly added a fourth but having rounded the keeper was shepherded away from goal. Michael Turner then put in a lovely cross but Quinn headed wide on 85. City continued to push forward but were thwarted three more times, on 88 the final ball after a swift break let them down, on 90 Lawrence saw his chance cleared for a corner and on 90+2 Phillip was deemed offside.
City did make it 4-0 in the third minute of added time, a simple goal, a measured cross by Lawrence and a cool finish by Woollcott topped of a fantastic half for City. Clearly the 4-0 scoreline suggests a night of attacking verve and invention, but most pleasingly of all it was built on such a solid performance at the back. The City defence were magnificent and kept winning the ball back from a frustrated Lordswood side to set off another attack. One goal conceded in six games, and that a messy consolation one in added time by Sheppey, illustrates the fact that City’s strength at the back is paying dividends all over the pitch and long may it continue!
City next play AFC Croydon Athletic on Saturday before they return to Salters Lane for the visit of Croydon on Saturday the 6th of October.
CCFC Jack Delo, Michael Turner, Gary Sayer, Laurence Harvey [c], Liam Quinn, Dan Keyte, Adam Woollcott, Dave Pilcher, Jordan Casey (Desanges 81), Jamie Turner (Kane Phillip 71), Joshua Froggatt (Rob Lawrence 81).
Unused subs. James Nurden, Liam Middleton.
LFC Tony Coxhall, Frank Griffin, Jason Hollick, Joe Matthews, Peter Huggins [c], Freeman Rogers, Bradley Webb (Tom Carter 80), James Huggins (Adam Hooper 63), Jake Mahon (Wooldridge 66), Michael Freiter, Ricky Gundry.
Unused subs. Jordan Wells, Jake Creed.
Referee Josh Smith, assistants Chris Cannon & Graham Scott.