Drew 6 – 6
Scorers: Neal (2), Fox (2), Redman, Cholerton
MoM: Vic Redman
A great game for the neutral this week as The Millers travelled beyond the Kent county administrative boundary (and edge of the known world) to South London.
As the score-line suggests this was an end to end game with a laissez-faire attitude towards defending and both teams adopting an ‘all-out’ attacking style of play. The home side took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, but Canterbury were quick to equalise through Ollie Neal and then take the lead, through a Nathan Redman short corner. With Nathan ‘Vic’ Redman and James Rollins dominating the midfield, there were further opportunities to extend this lead but several last ditch goal-line clearances from the home side prevented this.
Blackheath subsequently managed to equalise, through a questionable penalty stroke; goalkeeper McKibben’s claim that “a strong gust of wind must have blown the wee fella over” was evidently not accepted by the umpires. The home side then had the audacity to pinch the lead with a quick break against a high Canterbury line. Ollie Neal, again, restored parity with a well taken reverse stick strike high into the net.
With everything square at half time, it was the Canterbury side who took the initiative after the break with a goal from debutant Nathan Fox, followed quickly by another from Craig Cholerton. Advantage was only momentarily with them though. Travelling with just eleven players the visitors found themselves, with 20minutes still on the clock, having to finish the game with ten men as a result of injury.
A combination of well-taken goals and an overwhelmed defensive line saw the home side pull into a 6-5 lead. However, this proved not to be an unassailable position and, despite the reversal in fortunes, Canterbury continued to press forward and, rightly, got their reward when Nathan Fox scored his second of the game with barely seconds remaining to play.
In the post match debrief, The Millers voted (overwhelmingly) that responsibility for two points lost, must lie with their regular captain: currently taking on some of the toughest blue runs at an undisclosed location in the French Alps. Every story has a silver-lining though and this result saw Millers caretaker manager (9year old Archie Barnes), appointed shortly after Christmas, stretch his unbeaten run with the team to three games. Having already been awarded Kent Division 2 – Manager of the Month for January, he continues to make a case for his permanent appointment to the post.