A dominant performance away at one of the title favourites. We should be talking about a famous Hill win. How have we let that happen?
The Hillians, once again kitted out in Purple and Gold, made much the better start in Kent. Darren Budd had the first couple of Hill chances, he poked an effort over the bar before being teed up on the edge of the box but he curled straight at Josh Bexon. Some of the football on display from the Hill was even getting oos and applause from the home supporters. Rob O’Toole was next to go close for Hill, a ball was flicked over the top for Chief, he brought it down superbly but slipped at the crucial moment and allowed Bexon to pounce. Another minute, another chance for Hill! Kieran Pamment whipped a wicked corner to the far post, the GK missed it but Reece Hallard could only head wide. After a dominant opening 30, Hill almost gifted the opener to the hosts. A slack back pass was pounced upon, the Bay jam rounded Seymour and squared it but the Bay player smashed high and wide in a big let off for Hill. Back down the other end as this game resembled a yo-yo, Reece Hallard broke down the left and found O’Toole, he could’ve shot but set up Pamment but his effort was straight at Bexon. How this game was 0-0 beyond me. This time it was Bay’s turn to produce a truly awful back pass, Josh Bexon managed to stop it going in but Kieran Pamment had an open goal 6 yards out, somehow Bexon recovered and made a ridiculous save to keep the scores level… but not for long. A long ball was flicked on by O’Toole and Finney pounced, volleying in at Bexon’s near post to give the Hill a throughly deserved lead. With the last chance of the half, Herne Bay whipped a corner in that Hill didn’t clear, it pinballed around but Bay poked it wide to bring the end to a thoroughly entertaining half.
The expected onslaught from Herne Bay to start the half just never happened and it was the Hill who looked more likely to add a second, Reece Hallard having 2 attempts on goal as we pushed to double our lead. We didn’t have to wait long for that illusive 2nd and the Chief made it 3 goals in as many games since his return. Reece Hallard whipped it in from the left and Rob O’Toole is unstoppable in the air, bullying his man before absolutely thumping a header past Bexon, who couldn’t do anything but check the net was still behind him after that thunderous 2nd. Still, the expected Bay revival wasn’t forthcoming and still the Hill pressed. Marcel Powell came off the bench and what a talent he is, he picked the ball up in his own half before just running and running and running before firing an effort just wide. The next chance came and went when Kieran Pamment whipped another beauty off a corner and in flew Nic D’Arienzo but his header flew wide. Hill were still the ones pressing for even more goals and again it was Marcel Powell leading the charge, this time he curled straight at Josh Bexon. With just 7 minutes to go, the hosts finally started to show some signs of life, a lucky rebound set them away down the left, Seymour saved the first effort before the rebound was blocked on the line and gleefully claimed by the Sussex Cat. Marcel Powell just couldn’t be stopped by Herne Bay, as the clock struck 90, he raced away again before getting himself into shooting range but he leathered the side netting and not the back of the net. I wish I didn’t have to tell you what happened next, but sadly it wasn’t a bad dream, more like a nightmare. Our arch nemesis Gil Carvalho continued his ridiculous goalscoring streak against us, pulling one back for the Bay after we failed to clear our lines. No panic, only 60 seconds to hold on for a deserved victory. That was the plan, anyway. Hill just had one final set piece to defend, but we just couldn’t get a foot or a head on the ball and it fell to Archie Burnett who slammed home, to the disbelief of absolutely everyone in the ground.
FT: 2-2. One of the best performances in recent times, marred by 2 additional time goals to gift Herne Bay a point.
Quite how Hill recover from something so bizarre so early on in the season but they will have to remember how well and dominant they played and were for the vast majority, against a very good team. We turn our attentions to FA Cup action next Saturday when we host Erith Town.