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Bridge too far for Hawkinge Town despite spirited semi-final performance

Contributed by editor on Feb 13, 2018 - 11:35 AM

 

Bexley 3-1 Hawkinge Town
Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield Semi-final
Saturday 10th February 2018
Report by Rob Lawford

 

The Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield semi-final against Bexley proved a bridge too far for Hawkinge. Despite a spirited performance it was the home side that went through to the final 3-1 winners.

Hawkinge fielded a strong squad for the tie but as so often happens with cup football there were thrills and spills that would make a major impact on the tie.


Photo: Rob Lawford

The game had barely started before the home side took the lead through striker Tyler Norbert. To make matters worse for Town, Humphrey had to leave the field injured with a suspected fracture of the foot. Striker John Smith donned the goalkeeper shirt and gloves. Substitute Daly Sinclair came on to replace Humphrey.

 


At the other end a Damian Abel shot was just off target and then the striker was denied an equaliser when his spectacular free kick was pushed over the bar by Sam Armfield the Bexley goalkeeper. Two minutes later Smith made a great save to stop the home side increasing their lead.

The second half saw Bexley go on the attack and Town’s Ashley Easton made an excellent goal stopping challenge in the six yard box to stop the home side from scoring. In the 65th minute John Smith made a superb save when he turned a 25 yard strike around the post.

Things took a turn for the worse when Town were reduced to ten men in the 70th minute after midfielder James Gibson received a straight red card. Two minutes later Norbert doubled Bexley’s lead leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.

Hopes were raised when in the 76th minute James Everitt was brought down in the box and Damian Abel stepped up and converted the penalty kick.

In the dying minutes of the game Smith made another two great saves to keep the visitors in with a chance. Hawkinge did get the ball in the net but referee Liam Vitoria ruled it out due to offside and then with two minutes left to play the game was effectively killed off when Jimmy Rogers scored for the jubilant home side.

 


A great cup run finally came to an end but Hawkinge can hold their heads up high, plus the season isn’t over yet there is still the league title to contend.

Next Saturday Hawkinge travel to Hildenborough Athletic for a league encounter. The match at Racecourse Sports Ground, The Slade, Tonbridge, TN9 1DS kicks off at 2.45pm.

Hawkinge: Humphrey, Everitt, Foord, Holden, Easton, Heydon, Gibson, Miles, Hardwick, Abel, Smith. Subs: Jones, Sinclair, Walton, Jackson, Freeland.


 

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