A bright, sunny spring afternoon brought both I and a friend to a first ever visit to the Wibbandune Sports Ground, home of both Colliers Wood United and Westside FC.
The Wibbandune Sports Ground is just off the A3 in Colliers Wood, and boasts a grass pitch, seated main stand, covered standing and a fine clubhouse. We had a warm welcome on arrival and found refreshments in the clubhouse at a decent price.
This was my second Westside FC match inside a week, having seen them lose 3-1 at Larkfield & New Hythe in their previous match. The Southern Counties East Football League, Division 1 table showed that prior to kick off Westside sat uncomfortably close to the relegation places, in 14th place and just three points above Lydd Town who sit currently in the 18th place spot. However reassuringly the PPG relegation proposal for this season, which takes the average points from across all leagues at this level, makes it very unlikely that the 18th place side would indeed be relegated.
Kent Football United sat even closer to the relegation space, in 15th place and just a point above the drop zone, although with games in hand on their near rivals. This ensured the game today had extra spice and guaranteed a competitive match, with the winning team surely feeling they had taken a huge step towards safety.
Top scoring coming into the match, for Westside FC, was Tevon Webster, with 14 goals from 28 games. Jerome Walker top scores for Kent Football United, with 7 goals from 18 games.
The game started well for the first half an hour with neither side able to dominate. Passing play was difficult at times, on a dry and bumpy pitch, even in good weather, with the sun shining.
On 33 minutes, a fine left footed finish, from Westside FC’s Kyle Henry, put the home team 1-0 up. This visibly took the wind out of the sails and immediately sapped the self belief, of the Kent Football United players.
Westside had two more chances, before the break, one from a free kick and another, from Henry again, in open play, striking the post. At the break, the teams went in with the score still 1-0.
In the 65th minute after having much of the play, Westside FC went 2-0 up when James Curran followed up on a loose ball, from a corner, to slam the ball home.
In the 75th minute, the goal of the game was scored by Luke Fenlon, to make it 3-0 after some fine one touch passing.
With just a minute left, Westside’s Ahyman Dahdough finished, after a neat one-two, to score the fourth for Westside.
The game wasn’t quite over, as in the 90th minute there was time for a consolation goal for Kent Football United, with their striker, Jerome Walker, scoring, with a fine shot from 25 yards out, to make the final score 4-1.
At the final whistle it was the home team who left knowing they had taken a huge step towards securing their league status. The visitors left, knowing the scoreline didn’t reflect their commitment today and they could be reassured that, with the points total they have, it would be hugely unlikely they would slip into relegation trouble.