It was a warm Tuesday evening, when I drove to the Rusthall FC ground, for the final of the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup 2021. The final was a contest between Hawkenbury FC of the Sevenoaks and District Premier League and Eccles FC of the Rochester and District Division 2.
The Rusthall FC ground was welcoming, with a bar and refreshment areas as well as lots of covered seating. The far side of the ground had raised standing and the floodlight facilities were useful as the game moved towards its close at 9.20 pm .
The match opened with Hawkenbury attacking for much of the opening half. Eccles, in blue shirts and black shorts, looked to be dangerous on the break but Hawkenbury had chances to establish a lead.
Hawkenbury continued to build well from midfield into attack, but on 35 minutes a chance was missed from close in and this spurned opportunity seemed to reinvigorate the Eccles FC side.
The second half began and the game felt like it had changed. Hawkenbury looked anxious going forward and Eccles FC began to look more and more confident on the break.
On 58 minutes Eccles scored when their striker hit a beautiful left footed shot, which curled well out of the reach of the Hawkenbury keeper, into the left hand corner of the net. Sadly the finish outpaced my video skills but I caught the celebrations!!
Hawkenbury went flat out from this point to score an equaliser but as they pushed forward Eccles began to look more and more dangerous going forward.
Somewhat inevitably, on 78 minutes, Eccles secured a 2-0 lead with a well finished goal from a corner.
The last ten minutes saw Hawkenbury FC fighting bravely to try and secure a consolation goal. At the final whistle it was the Eccles team who celebrated winning the cup with a 2-0 victory.