Scorers: Nathan ‘Vic’ Redman (3); Ollie Neal; Alan McKibben
MoM: Nathan ‘Vic’ Redman
Prior to Andy Murray lifting his Wimbledon Trophy in 2013; Fred Perry, in 1936, was the last British Man to win a men’s singles title at Wimbledon. A period of some 77years had elapsed between these two notable successes. In recent weeks, the interval between wins has felt on a similarly interminable scale to The Millers: their performances, at times, proving to be more Jeremy Bates (plucky ‘also-ran’) as opposed to potential grand-slam winner.
However, this week saw the metaphorical phoenix rising, triumphantly, from the ashes of recent defeats. Hosting a strong Sevenoaks side, The Millers were up to speed from the first whistle of this encounter and blew their opponents out of the water, with a relentless first half performance. A high-press won their first penalty corner 5 minutes into the match and Nathan ‘Vic’ Redman duly despatched a lovely drag-flick for 1-0.
When Neil Barnes slotted an inch perfect pass to him, Redman was on hand again to slot home from close range for 2-0. Before the interval arrived, the home side managed to move into a healthy 3-0 lead as Redman completed his hat-trick, again from a short corner.
The second half saw Oaks trying, desperately, to find a way back into the game and some lax defending allowed them an easy goal to reduce the arrears and give a faint glimmer of hope. ‘Apoplectic Alan’ McKibben told his defenders a few home truths and, as the latter half of the report will prove, they took his sage advice completely on-board. The home side though, refused to crumple and, continuing to play with the panache and guile of the current Liverpool side, created numerous opportunities to score.
The visiting keeper did well to deny a resurgent home side, on several occasions, but when a defender’s foot on the line cleared a sure-fire goal, Ollie Neal stepped forward to net the resultant penalty stroke and take Canterbury into a commanding 4-1 lead.
Another lax piece of defending gifted Sevenoaks a second easy goal on the break but this was very much an exception to the rule and Canterbury continued to dominate possession and create goal-scoring opportunities. An otherwise ‘quiet’ match for Alan McKibben saw him then race the length of the pitch, in the closing minutes, to deservedly seal the points with an emphatic 5th goal for an effervescent home side.
The match marked an impressive debut for Jonathan Adam, at right-back, and a welcome return to the fold for Chris Goulden. Club treasurer, and potential ‘Strictly’ competitor, Mark Batchelor was later heard to remark, post-match, that not since his Liverpool team had fought back on that famous Champions League night in Istanbul, had he seen such an impressive resurrection. Our thanks go to both Phil and Lee for umpiring