Came up to see this, my first Southern Counties East football league, (Premier Division), game of the new, 2021/22, season. The Scefl predictions for both sides as detailed on the SCEFL website at this link: https://scefl.com/scefl-premier-division-preview-2021-22 shows that Ksports under new boss, Barry Morgan, are aiming to get into the top half of the league. They had won their first league game at home against Holmesdale the previous Saturday.
Tunbridge Wells,under established manager, Richard Styles, are really aiming to be in the mix at the top end of the league. They had suffered a 1-3 defeat in their first league game, at home to one of the well fancied teams, Sheppey United.
The Cobdown stadium, positioned between Aylesford and Maidstone, has one small covered seating stand. It boasts a 4g pitch and has good access to a decent clubhouse and bar. Thankfully the rain this evening was light as there wasn’t a lot of room in the small stand!!
The teams went up on the matchday board before the game.
In the tenth minute after an opening period of pressure by K Sports, the Tunbridge Wells number 3, Nurden, mistimed a challenge and took out Isaac Bignell in the box. Victor Alyelabola stepped up, but saw a weak penalty saved by Lee-Wharton, in the Tunbridge Wells goal.
The final 20 minutes of the first half saw Tunbridge Wells come back into the game and apply pressure, through attacks largely led by Cornwell and Wells. On 40 minutes Froggatt, tried to lob the K Sports keeper from 30 yards seeing him off the line, but saw the chance go narrowly over. Alyelabola for K Sports, tried the same feat almost immediately at the other end, forcing a great save from the Tunbridge Wells keeper, Lee-Wharton.
Despite all the action, the first half ended goalless. The players went into the break with the points still there, for either side to claim.
On 47 minutes K Sports struck first, when Kane Butler found himself through on goal and finished neatly to make it 1-0.
Tunbridge Wells seems to find inspiration and began to fight back immediately. In the 54th minute they were rewarded when their number 10, Jordan Wells, hit a screamer from 20 yards which flew into the top corner to make it 1-1.
On 67 minutes K Sports had a second penalty awarded. This time it was taken by number six, Batten, although the result was the same, with another fine save from the Tunbridge Wells keeper.
On 69 minutes K Sports got the lead they had fought for, when the left back, Oshin, finished from a corner.
K Sports really turned the screw and it looked like despite their two penalty misses, they had secured a home win. Then in the 89th minute, Tunbridge Wells threw everything into a final attack. The ball was neatly crossed from the right and Harry Hudson, leapt high, to nod home the second equaliser of the game and secure a point, at 2-2.
While the K Sports players left the pitch disheartened. This was a great advert for Non-league football and all the players should feel proud of their performance tonight. It was well worth coming out, on a chilly Monday night, to watch.