Remember that time when we couldn’t win an away Tuesday night game to save our lives? How the table have turned.
It was certainly a frustrating afternoon last Saturday when we fell to VCD and everyone at the club was looking to bounce back, and how we did, in some style as well. It was a good start made on a bitterly cold evening on the Isle, with Max Miller having our first chance. Sam Remfry found him at the far post with a lovely cross but he headed straight at Ites GK Aiden Prall. Moments later we threatened again, a loose ball fell to Kieran Rowe 25 yards out, he is yet to score for Hill and didn’t look like scoring here truthfully, lashing wide. Sheppey’s first chance almost led to the opening goal. Tommy Reid spilled an effort on goal which subsequently caused chaos, the hosts couldn’t scramble the rebound home before Reid redeemed himself by making a cracking save and this time held on. The opening stages of this one was full of chances, a neat Hillians short corner saw Lewis Finney find Dan Perry but Hitman scooped over from 6 yards. Back and forth we go and Sheppey threatened again. A free kick from fully 25 yards gave Tommy Reid a right scare as the young stopper flew full stretch but luckily the ball dipped narrowly wide of the post. It was quite literally, you have a shot, we have a shot type of stuff at Holm Park. Hills next chance was a goodun, the excellent Kieran Rowe found Sam Remfry who cut inside and bent an effort inches wide of Pralls post. Lots of chances for both teams but no goals as yet, we let a Sheppey defender maraud forward into our territory and unchallenged he let fly and wasn’t far away from breaching Reid’s net. Just as the hosts were starting to take the upper hand, the Hillians won a penalty. Truth be told it was utterly daft from Jono Richardson, Dan Perry was going nowhere really in the box but the big defender stuck out a leg and tripped him and the referee didn’t hesitate. Lewis Finney missed the Hills last spotkick so up stepped Dan Perry to smash the ball down the middle to give the Hill the lead. 3 minutes later, that lead was doubled. Kieran Rowe glided down the right hand side and pulled a dangerous cross which landed for Sam Remfry who swept it first time into the bottom corner to open his Hill account and send the travelling Hillians cockahoop! You know things come in threes? Well. Yes. Just 4 minutes after we had walloped in our second, we had a third. Max Miller whipped a delightful ball in, Dan Perry was in acres of space, he took a touch and smashed it past Aiden Prall to make it an astonishing 3-0.
Sheppey were only going to come out playing one way and that was to get an early goal. The first test for Tommy Reid in the second half was a mishit cross which he had to tip away. The game plan was clear from the Ites, get the ball out wide and cross it. A barrage of crosses were being thrown at the Hillians but they were standing firm, helped by some shoddy finishing as a Sheppey man fired high, wide and not very handsome from inside the box. Even though we were 3 to the good, a 4th wouldn’t go a miss and new signing Ashley Elson looked to do this. He used his rapid pace to get in behind the back line but his effort was saved by Aiden Prall. Hill weren’t just sitting back, Max Miller did well down the right but when he got himself into a shooting position, he lashed his shot wide of the target. With 25 minutes to go, the hosts pulled one back. A plethora of crosses bombarded the Hill back line and we simply didn’t clear the football, with Luke Frost eventually punishing us, smashing home on the turn to spark the game into life. Suddenly it was Sheppey. A long ranger from the hosts was a whisker away from making the game really interesting. With 10 minutes to go, the hosts won a cheap free kick and the end result was disastrous for Hill. Up stepped the Sheppey CB Tom Hanfrey to absolutely thunder an effort past a helpless Tommy Reid. In fairness to Jay Lovett’s boys, the remaining 10 minutes were defended and managed superbly but there was 6 additional minutes to be played. Hill almost sealed it when substitute Hayden Skerry found Lewis Finney who dropped his shoulder but his goalbound effort was saved by the legs of Prall. Not to worry though, as we did seal it moments later. Another of Lovett’s substitutes, Charlie Kelly had his shot well saved but the rebound looped up for Sam Remfry who bulleted his header into the net to seal the deal and get his double to extend our unbeaten away league run to 6 games.
That is how you bounce back. Dan Perry and Sam Remfry at the double to rocket the Hill up 6 places and into the top half for the first time this season. Come On You Hill.
Next up, we travel to Eden Park Avenue to take on Beckenham Town at the weekend, with a 2pm kick off time.