It was a dry and relatively mild November afternoon when I travelled down to the East Kent coast, to see this Isthmian League South East Division match between Herne Bay FC and Sevenoaks Town.
Both sides are well placed in the Isthmian league presently, with Herne Bay sitting comfortably on the fringes of the play offs, in sixth place, while Sevenoaks are in 12th position on 13 points, after a fine win last week, against Corinthian FC.
The MBS Stadium (Winch’s Field) holds 3000 fans at capacity, with seating for 200. The ground was opened on the site of the Winch’s brickworks in 1953 and has covered standing on all four sides.
The ground boasts clubhouse, bar, refreshment stands and a grass pitch in decent condition. The range of stands makes it have a real old school feel and with a big crowd there would be a proper atmosphere. Today’s crowd was enough at 281 to generate a good level of support and noise.
Herne Bay’s team showed the goal machine, Zak Ansah, with eight league goals in eight games, started at number 9. Manager Ben Smith was looking for his side to bounce back from Tuesday evening’s 1-3 home defeat to Ramsgate.
Sevenoaks Town came into the game on the back of a recent bounce themselves after what had been a dismal run of four defeats to claim two wins in the past three games, including a hard fought 1-0 victory against Corinthian. Manager Mickey Collins will want them to push on and secure a win against a resurgent Herne Bay side this season. Lewis Collins, who has been so crucial to the side this year, was in the side.
As this game was played close to the Armsitice Day fixture there was a minutes silence and the Last Post sounded. All fans players and officials showed the upmost respect.
The opening twenty minutes were evenly fought but then some tough tackling from Sevenoaks, upped the intensity and led the referee to issue some stern warnings and a couple of bookings.
There was then on 40 minutes, an injury that led to a Sevenoaks’s defender being stretchered off, after seeming to fall badly in a simple challenge.
The restart triggered a goal rush. First of all on 42 minutes, Freeman Rogers, for Sevenoaks Town, headed in clinically from a corner.
Two minutes later and the scores were level again when Aaron Millbank levelled, for his first Herne Bay goal.
Sevenoaks had another chance when number ten Lewis Collins, was clean through, but fired the ball over the bar. However at the break, the game was very much anyone’s to win with the score at 1-1.
The second half saw a lot of Herne Bay pressure with Sevenoaks hanging on and creating their own break away chances.
On 65 minutes, Bode Anidugbe scored a fine goal from the edge of the box, to make it 2-1 to Herne Bay.
The last twenty minutes saw both sides throw everything into attack, but Sevenoaks Town although with more of the ball, than earlier in the half, lacked the finishing touch.
At the final whistle Herne Bay celebrated another three points, while Sevenoaks were left to rue a missed opportunity in the first half, leaving “the Bay” with nothing.