Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Bearsted 1 Crowborough Athletic 0

Match 124/17/1574 - Tuesday, 24th April 2018 - SCEFL Premier

Bearsted (1) 1 Ryan Croucher 45+1
Crowborough Athletic (0) 0
Attendance: 52

Admission: £4 Senior
Programme: Inclusive
Mileage: 15/8,191

Any lingering hopes of promotion harboured by Crowborough supporters were extinguished at Bearsted as the home side found a goal with a great strike and then defended resolutely through the second half.

As the fixture backlog has taken its toll there are many clubs virtually running on empty with the Crows among them.

With only a win of any use to the visitors they naturally started on the front foot and had a good opportunity after seven minutes when Henry Muggeridge jinking run ended with him firing over when a pass inside might have been a better option. Tom Phipp put a header from a corner over the top and Sam Cole shot over as Crowborough continued to take the game to their hosts.

On the half-hour the referee started preparing himself for a long night on his report with the booking of Bearsted’s Cameron Croucher, quickly followed by that of Reece Collins and Crowborough’s Phipp.

Bearsted went ahead in the first minute of time added when a cross from the right found Ryan Croucher who drove the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The first action of the second half saw Crowborough’s goalkeeper, Ryan Burbridge, acrobatically claw away Tom Boddy’s misdirected header that was goal bound.

After 55 minutes Muggeridge’s corner directly struck the near post and a great saving tackle from Edas Vannonis denied Adrian Stone.

Crowborough’s frustration with their own efforts and the referee led to a foul by Cole that sparked a 20-man melee from which Cameron Croucher and Crows’ Jack Walder saw red.

Bearsted had the ball in the net going into the final 10 minutes after Reece Collins' shot had been saved by Burbridge’s feet with the follow-up deemed offside.

Another melee ensued after Zak Attwood had kicked out but he amazingly avoided a caution after the referee had gone into overdrive booking three in quick succession.

The door is now absolutely wide open for Whitstable Town to join Sevenoaks in Bostik South next season needing just one more win from their last three games including a visit to already relegated Rochester on Wednesday.

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