This mild, Spring like and very dry, midweek March evening, posed a great opportunity to return for my second visit of the season, to the Taray Group Community Stadium, the home of Larkfield & New Hythe FC.
This Southern Counties East Football League Division 1 match was played between Larkfield & New Hythe who sit in 4th place in the league currently, just inside the promotion play-off places, with 56 points. Westside FC sit in comfortable, mid-table 13th position, with 33 points.
The Taray Group Community Stadium is newly renovated, with Larkfield & New Hythe entering the Southern Counties East Football League Division 1 for the first time this season.
There is a seated, covered main stand which holds 50 and a covered standing area. The ground boasts good floodlighting and a decent grass pitch. The clubhouse is large and there was a food and refreshment stall.
Larkfield & New Hythe FC’s top scorers are Luke Baptiste and Jake Beecroft, both with seven league goals. Tevon Webster, top scores currently, for Westside FC, with 14 league goals.
The game opened, in front of a decent midweek crowd of 101, with Larkfield & New Hythe attacking from the off. Within the opening 15 minutes, Larkfield. & New Hythe had a free kick parried away by James Smith, the Westside Keeper, and another chance going narrowly wide, from a headed opportunity.
In the 21st minute Westside’s Darius Heravi broke away and against the run of play squeezed the ball home to put the visitors 0-1 up.
After the opening goal, Westside had much of the play and looked the more likely to score the second of the game.
In the 42nd minute, Larkfield & New Hythe sprang back into life, as Jack Bray’s header pulled the scores level.
The teams went in at half time with the scores 1-1 and everything was still to play for.
In the 59th minute, Larkfield & New Hythe’s Jack Nelson headed home, after a fine, late run into the box, to put the home side 2-1 ahead.
Two minutes later the score was 3-1 when Stuart West drilled the ball home from a crossed free kick.
At the final whistle, it was the home side that left with all three points, to keep their promotion ambitions alive.