Match Report – Tankerton Seniors vs Tankerton Colts – 15th February 2015
On the back of a convincingly solid victory away to Pilgrims last week, Tankerton were going up against their other half, so-to-speak, as they faced Tankerton Colts amidst pleasantly sunny conditions at Herne Bay’s memorial park. With the February afternoon reaching highs of 13 degrees Celsius, it would be different conditions of which Tankerton Seniors would have to battle against during today’s match.
Tankerton lined up with the following eleven – Crane, Whyte, Rigden, Bardrick (C), White, Kupperblatt, Clements, Dale, Russell, Roffe and Radford – with 5 ready and waiting substitutes in Ginnaw, Hinchcliffe, Finch, Mearns and Agada.
Following their 9-0 demolition of their opponents last time out, Tankerton Seniors were warned not to take this game for granted and to pay the appropriate respects to the Colts. Terry Whyte’s comment,”Don’t take this as a walk in the Memorial Park”, stood firmly in the minds of the players as they shook hands with their opponents inside the centre circle.
Tankerton Seniors were awarded kick off and almost immediately opened the scoring as Kupperblatt’s lofted through ball found Roffe who’s shot was saved and put behind. However from the resulting corner, and with barely 3 minutes on the clock, Tankerton did indeed go in front via Radford; keeping up his impressive goalscoring form in recent weeks.
From then many expected Tankerton Seniors to go on and take control of proceedings however the Colts came back into the game. The visitors (adorning the Orange bibs to avoid any kit clashes), enjoyed a spell of around 15 minutes whereby they held a fair share of ball possession, protected their goal well and looked threatening particularly down their right hand flank. Tankerton Seniors were made to feel progressively frustrated by the solid spell of play the Colts were in for the majority of the first half of the first 45.
However, upon the 20 minute mark, Tankerton Seniors began to threat again and started to further increase their tally of set-pieces. It was another corner of which brought Terry Whyte and Dave Russell’s team their second of the afternoon. This time the Colts’ failure to clear their lines meant that Radford again had a clear shot on goal. This was saved however the re-bound went in off a Colts defender – further defining their bad luck they had experienced at times this season.
From then on in, Tankerton Seniors took full control. The Colts found it increasingly difficult to contain the constant attacks led by the home side – who soon made it three via Dale’s powerful long shot which found the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area.
The fourth wasn’t far away either, however it came via a Colts attack. The visitors broke away after defending yet another set piece and seemed as if they would pull a goal back. Unfortunately it resulted in another off target effort of which troubled the home side very little. It was the resulting Crane goal kick of which would cause yet more trouble for the Colts. The kick reached an unmarked Mearns after flying from the defence, over the midfield and into the attack. Mearns controlled well and finished superbly – 4-0 to Tankerton Seniors, a goal for Mearns and an assist for goalkeeper Crane.
The Colts, to their credit, continued to play good football throughout first 45 and had a couple of decent chances. However the quality of Tankerton Seniors’ attacking play was too much for the visitors to handle. The home side soon increased their lead to 5 – Mearns grabbing his second goal of the game.
At half time the game had more or less been decided. Tankerton Seniors had bossed the contest in terms of possession, chances but more importantly goals. However the second half was to be important for both sides. For the Seniors it was about maintaining control and possibly adding to their goal tally in order to further increase their advantage in terms of goal difference for the end of the season. For the Colts it was about keeping the score respectable and doing themselves justice for the next 45.
The half started fairly evenly when in comparison to the first. The Colts, after taking their kick-off, managed to maintain possession of the ball for a good 5 minutes or so within the middle of the park. They then managed to prevent Tankerton Seniors from extending their lead for a further 5 minutes after that. However this resilience didn’t last much longer. During the next 10 minutes Hinchcliffe, and later Finch, extended the leads of Tankerton Seniors; both goals following superb passages of passing play by the home side – making it 7-0. The remainder of the game played out in a similar fashion. Whilst the Colts had areas of play whereby they would control possession and have chances of their own to get a goal back, Tankerton Seniors were continuously on top. The Seniors soon made it 8 with yet another goal from Hinchcliffe – confirming his hat trick after another great passage of play involving pace, passes and perfectly timed runs.
The widely regarded goal of the game came via Radford’s hat-trick confirming finish. Finch beat the Colts’ left back with pace down the right hand side and lofted the ball in towards Radford. The Seniors attacker turned and used his heel to chip the Colts keeper and make it 9.
Further goals followed via Hinchcliffe – grabbing his fourth of the day after coolly slotting past a now frustrated Colts goalkeeper – and Radford – also getting his fourth of the day in a similar fashion to Hinchcliffe.
11-0 was the final score despite Radford being denied a fifth due to it being ruled out for offside. It was to be a day of eventual ease in the end for the Seniors however the Colts had no reason to be downhearted – despite the scoreline. The passage of play midway through the first half whereby the Colts prevented the Seniors from scoring for at least 15 minutes proved testament to the qualities of this Tankerton side when they work together and with confidence. Many a team when coming up against a side like Tankerton Seniors would have simply given up after conceding almost instantaneously. However the Colts did not do this. Even without their coach Tim Elgar and playing out the full game dependent only on the leadership of their vocal players, the Colts still managed to impress at certain areas of the 90.
Another positive was the sheer fact that they continued to play their passing football and maintain shape, strength and speed throughout; despite conceding, on average, every 8 minutes.
It’s fair to conclude that this was most defiantly not the Colts’ worst game of the campaign and the result shouldn’t be used to define their season.
As for Tankerton Seniors it was another performance which further justified their battle for promotion. With another clean sheet and another load of goals to aid their goal difference it was a very successful afternoon.
With a week off next week Tankerton Seniors take on Woodnesborough for the first time this season. After title rivals Herne Bay Youth Colts best Deal Town 5-0 this weekend it’s all building up nicely to the final day of the season when the two team meet again.