Thursday, 25 April 2013

Tunbridge Wells 1 v 1 Woodstock Sports

Tuesday 24th April 2013
Kent League Premier Division
Culverden Stadium, Tunbridge Wells
Admission: £6.00
Programme: £1.50
Attendance: 132
Match Rating: 3

At the conclusion of my early evening game at Hawkenbury, I then drove across Tunbridge Wells to watch the second half of FA Vase finalists Tunbridge Wells game against Woodstock Sports. Indeed, this would be my first visit to The Culverden since watching both home and away legs of the heroic FA Vase semi-final win over Shildon.

Unsurprisingly, the FA Vase run and chronic fixture backlog – for example, last week, Tunbridge Wells had to play league fixtures on three consecutive evenings after a day’s rest after lifting the Kent Senior Trophy, and they also played a league fixture last night - has really taken its toll on Tunbridge Wells league season. They have lost their last five league games since the Kent Senior Trophy and went into this game in seventh place in the division. Woodstock Sports were one place and three points behind Tunbridge Wells, having played two games more. They have been in great form recently, the exact opposite in fact to Tunbridge Wells, having won their last five league games, which followed a run of six consecutive defeats. When the two sides met in the league back in September, Tunbridge Wells triumphed 0-6, and when they met in the League Cup, Tunbridge Wells won 2-1 in their home leg – when Woodstock Sports had three players sent off - before the second half finished 1-1.

When I arrived at the Culverden Stadium at half-time, the scoreline was goalless, although the Tunbridge Wells keeper, Chris Oladogba, had saved a tenth minute penalty. Soon after the second half started, there was a considerable delay to the game when Tunbridge Wells’ top scorer, Andy Irvine, received lengthy treatment and eventually had to be replaced. On 67 minutes, Tunbridge Wells converted their slight dominance of the game into a lead, when Brad Large hit a powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area which dipped over the keeper and into the net. Woodstock Sports were back on level terms eight minutes later with a well-taken goal, Lewis Taylor curling a lovely low shot from the edge of the box and the ball went in off the far post. Neither side really threatened to take the lead after this, and from what I saw in the second half, a draw was a fair result.

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