Iden returned to winning ways beating fourth placed Sedlescombe 5-3 courtesy of a fine first half hat-trick from Sam Cooper, a sublime long-range effort from Darren Warne and a cool collective composed strike from Iden’s “James Milner”, Rob levett.
With the pitch just fit to play, manager Chip Winton busy marking the lines, Iden were without skipper Tom “Risey” Harris. The clock was ticking so a player was sent to the Harris house to find the defender in a deep sleep.
Five players were missing for Winton so the player/manager selected himself to start and ended playing the full 90 minutes. On a heavy pitch the nearing 50-year old did extremely well.
Early on it was evident that the Sedlescombe back line would struggle to keep out the Iden attack; several times the defence was carved open either by a pass or a player running at pace. The first goal came in the twelfth minute, with Levett striking towards goal and the goalkeeper pushing the ball at the feet of Cooper who struck home from close range. A great interception from Luke Willis contributed towards the second, releasing Coops to run at pace at the defence to fire home hard and low leaving the Sedlescombe keeper no chance.
Darren Warne, nearing full fitness after his viruses, made his goal by winning the ball well and finding the opposing keeper off his line competently “dinking” the ball over his head into the net: 3-0 Iden in cruise control.
The back three of Iden were playing well, no dramas, the recently woken Harris playing a blinder conceded a sloppy goal with a back pass from the skipper sailing over the head of Shane Ridgers on to the post for the striker to tuck home for a gift of a goal 3-1.
Cooper completed the hat-trick with the goal of the game. Starting at the back Iden played patient football, knocking it around until the final third when Chris Gould beat two men to pick out Cooper in the six-yard box to nail his third. Great goal and 4-1 at half time.
A different Iden emerged for the second half. Cooper went amiss, the ball was at times a hot potato – maybe the home side thought the game was already won? Sedlescombe pushed but the goal not really threatened. Rob Wilson found some aggression deep within screaming at his forwards to help out and work from front. Even though the away side scored twice – one a decent header, the other poor defending from a corner – you felt Iden could still up a few more gears.
Iden scored the fifth when Levett raced through the away defence following an inch-perfect ball from the labouring Winton to coolly slide under the oncoming keeper: 5-3 and that’s how the game finished – decent first-half display, acceptable second.
Man of the match: Tom Harris.
Iden: Ridgers, Wilson, Willis, Harris, Winton, Warne, Wall, Bryant, Gould, Levett, Cooper. Subs not used Tiltman, Timothy, Paul Oakman
Some bad news though: manager Chip Winton has decided that this season will be his last. Iden are hopeful he’ll have a change of heart but are on the look-out for a replacement. Ridgers, a spoken candidate, has ruled himself out of the post. Anyone interested should contact Ged Say on 07901 673776.