Keeper dents title challenge

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Iden slumped to a 3-0 defeat against unbeaten St Leonards Social at the Park, Iden on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Luke Willis and Shane Ridgers started the game replacing injured Tim Oakman and unavailable Kyran Wall. At the start Iden were unable to string any passes together or even at times get near the ball. Ridgers saved well from Brett Patten, which was the only clear-cut chance during the decent spell from the travelling team.

Iden’s captain Tom Harris, solid throughout the period of pressure, settled the ship with Iden coming into their own good spell. From a corner Chris Gould found some space to play a defence splitting pass through to his side’s speed demon Sam Cooper who was denied by the feet of the goalkeeper. A little later Cooper’s shot was once again saved by the goalie and with the rebound falling to Richard “Alfy” Weller the goalie’s foot saved Social’s goal for the third time . . . the keeper was having a “worldy”!

Unfortunately for the home side, when the whistle blew for half time Chip Winton’s boys’ failure to score in their good patch was to prove costly. There were no team changes at half time but early on in the second half Iden should have been a man up when Dom Cruttenden made an awful tackle on Willis. The Social player was cautioned, and then salt was rubbed in the wound with Cruttenden laying the ball off for Sam Richardson to score with his right foot past Ridgers.

Winton needed to change things now so on came Liam Cobley, Rob Levett and Ben Heffernan, the team resorting back to a 3-5-2 formation. Iden pressed, huffed and lost the ball regularly and it was no surprise when they fell further behind with the “lucky” Cruttenden being clinical from half a yard from a defensive failure defending a corner. The home side needed a goal quickly but it never came, and more salt was rubbed into the wound when the Social striker Cruttenden scored a looping header.

A poor result and a game that could have been so, so different if Iden had notched a goal during their good spell in the first half. Winton’s daughter summed up his team’s performance saying “Daddy, your team are rubbish” – not a bad insight from a six year old! No man of the match but there were two women of the day, Charmaine Ridgers and Willow Winton, for their welcome refreshments after a poor team performance.

Iden team: Ridgers, Wilson, Willis, Harris, Walker (Levett), Wall (Cobley), Warne (Heffernan), Bryant, Gould, Cooper, Weller. Subs not used: Winton and Oakman.