Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Tunbridge Wells 2 Hollands & Blair 1

Match 122/17/1572 - Wednesday, 18th April 2018 - SCEFL Premier

Tunbridge Wells (1) 2 Skinner 35 Spackman 85
Hollands & Blair (0) 1 Capel 90+3
Attendance: 117

Admission: £4 Senior
Programme: £2.00
Mileage: 38/8,138

Tunbridge Wells are the only one of my clubs that can salvage something from this season and largely, given a backlog of fixtures, their build-up to the SCEFL Challenge Cup Final is going well. Jason Bourne is necessarily rotating his squad without results suffering, winning three and losing just the once in the six games since their semi-final success.

Whilst this result against a still relegation threatened Hollands & Blair might not have been as eye-catching as Monday’s win at Lordswood, it brought positives with the return of Perry Spackman who alongside Jake Hampson negated the threat of James McDonald and a performance up top from Ian Parsons that at least gives Bourne another option. Spackman, I feel, will be important in the Final as somebody that will not be bullied by Shaun Welford whose physical presence in turn opens up opportunities for Ricky Freeman.

The game started slowly with neither side registering an opening until Ryan Nicholls saved at the feet of Jon Pilbeam after 18 minutes with Justin Ascheri firing just wide of the right hand post on the half hour for the visitors.

Tunbridge Wells had a good spell leading to their opening goal after 35 minutes. A free kick lifted into the box was headed on with the ball eventually falling at the far post for Greg Skinner to touch home.

Cameron Hall was brought into action in the time-added before the break with a fine parrying save to deny Ascheri with his defenders clearing away the rebound.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Harrison Pont and Ascheri stretched Hall whilst Nicholls saved well from Parsons.

The Wells had a strong appeal for a penalty turned away when substitute Josh Biddlecombe was floored by what appeared to be a blatant push in the back and on 70 minutes Hall excelled with a great save.

Pont hit the bar for the visitors before Spackman sealed the points for the Wells heading in at the far post from a Biddlecombe corner.

Time-added became a little nervous when Eliot Capel was afforded space at the far post to leather a shot into the roof of the net but the final, somewhat excessive three minutes, were successfully negotiated.

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