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Bly Spartans 0-0 Phoenix Sports - We were the better side and deserved to win, says Phoenix boss PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 January 2012
Kent Invicta League
Saturday 28th January 2012
Paul Parkinson reports from Rede Court Road

BLY SPARTANS remain top of the Kent Invicta League tonight courtesy of a hard won point against a Phoenix Sports side who dominated the second half, and could, probably should have taken all three back to Barnehurst had Alfie Harris found the net in stoppage time.

Bly Spartans’ boss, Matt Hume admitted: “I thought that was a really good point, because after the second half, Phoenix deserved to win the game.

“I thought first half was very even and we matched them, but second half they deserved to nick it. The whole team dropped a bit and we didn’t compete. The quality on the ball wasn’t what I expect from our midfield and when Phoenix got on top, we didn’t deal with it.”

And his opposite number, Phoenix Sports’ Scott Saunders said: “Before the game, I’d have taken a point, but after the 90 minutes I thought we were the better side and deserved to win.

“I thought we had to weather the storm really, we were a bit slow, but I think the wind was in their favour in the first half, it seemed quite difficult to get out, so we knew they would have the same problems second half. We wanted to get at them early, which I think we did, but just couldn’t put one away.””

During the opening exchanges, neither team was able to gain the upper hand, and it wasn’t until the mid-point of the first half that either goalkeeper was really tested, with Sports’ Stuart Harvey comfortably saving Anthony Uden’s drive from the edge of the box.

On 24 minutes, poor defending by Rob McMahon saw Uden pick up the ball and run across the front of the Phoenix defence and, although Uden was brought down by Luke Cuthbert, Mr Baker played a good advantage with the ball running to left winger Matt McHugh. Tom Dennington brought down McHugh, earning the full-back a caution, but with Bly supporters crying out for a penalty, a free kick was awarded on the edge of the box. From this, McHugh’s shot was parried away by Harvey.

Just after the half hour, Bly worked the ball well across the pitch out to Sean Hetterley, who took on Dennington, but pulled his shot wide of the post.

Then with the last chance of the first period, Hetterley’s corner from the left was met by Uden’s back flick, only for Billy Lawson to head clear from inside the back post.

After a relatively cagey half, the second period was more open, but dominated by the visitors.

Within the first three minutes, poor headers from both Peter Hawkins and Ricky Mitchell presented a chance to Sam Prett, who fired straight at Luke Watkins, who followed up with a good save from Gary Phillimore, after Prett broke free down the right.

Dom Websdale nearly broke the deadlock with a speculative effort from 35 yards that had Watkins backpedalling, only for the ball to skim the top of the bar.

After the hour, both Spartans’ central defenders had to be alert to stop chances, with Hawkins blocking Adam Cuthbert’s effort, then Mitchell beating Prett to a header with the goal at his mercy.

Watkins did well with Phoenix’s next effort, clawing away Alfie Harris’ back post header after good work by McHugh created the opportunity. But from the clearance, Bly broke quickly and Uden, arriving late at the back post fired Hetterley’s cross from the left wide.

With eight minutes left, Stuart Zanone, currently being watched by a couple of Ryman League clubs, but who otherwise had a relatively quiet game, managed to pick up a through ball from Hetterley, wriggled free in the box, but had his shot blocked by McMahon’s challenge.

Then with three minutes left, the game suddenly exploded with Bly’s Ryan Robinson seeing red following a late challenge on substitute Callum O’Sullivan that also saw the Bly bench get involved with some of the Phoenix players.

Both managers were quick to defend Robinson though, with Saunders adding, “I’ve known Robbo (Ryan Robinson) for years; it’s the first tackle he’s ever made. He’s a good lad, maybe a bit late, but I don’t think there’s any malice in it. Whether he deserved to go or not, I don’t know.”

Hume added:  “I’m really disappointed with the red card. The way the whole game went, I feel the ref has got this wrong. Ryan didn’t go in with any intent, and we’d seen strong tackles around the pitch from both sides, so I think Robbo has been unlucky because there’s only a minute or two left. I know Robbo as a lad and he doesn’t go in to hurt people.”

Bly’s ten men were relatively untroubled in the remaining minutes, apart from the chance that fell to Harris.

The ball of the game, from Websdale, floated over Mitchell and dropped to Harris in the middle of the area. With time to pick his spot, somehow Harris managed to steer the ball wide of the right hand post, and the chance was gone.

Bly Spartans:  Luke Watkins, Scott Beale, Andrew Forster (Martin Difede 82), Ricky Mitchell, Peter Hawkins, Ryan Robinson, Anthony Uden (James Alderman 90), Stuart Zanone, Kevin Penfold, Matt McHugh, Sean Hetterley (Craig Beckwith 90).
Sub: Shane Uings

Sent Off: Ryan Robinson 87

Phoenix Sports:  Stuart Harvey, Tom Dennington, Billy Lawson, Rob McMahon, Luke Cuthbert, Adam Cuthbert, Gary Phillimore (Callum O’Sullivan 78), Danny Frost, Alfie Harris, Dom Websdale, Sam Prett.
Subs: Richard Hamill, Chris Whitehouse

Bookings: Tom Dennington 24, Adam Cuthbert 60

Attendance: 75
Referee: Mr Rob Baker (Maidstone)
Assistants:  Mr Pat Murphy (Strood) & Mr Andy Samways (Sheppey)

Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 January 2012 )
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