Chipstead 5-2 New Romney - We're disappointed not to get in that Prem because we showed tonight that we're capable of being in there, says Chipstead's double cup winning manager Fred Dillon

Tuesday 14th May 2019
Chipstead (Kent) 5 – 2 New Romney
Location Rede Court Road, Strood, Rochester, Kent ME2 3TU
Kickoff 14/05/2019 19:30

Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup Final
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Stephen McCartney reports from Rede Court Road

CHIPSTEAD manager Fred Dillon says celebrating winning a cup double is massive for the club.


Chipstead completed their campaign on an impressive 19 game unbeaten run after thrashing New Romney 5-2 to win the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup at Rede Court Road.

Dave Johncock’s side arrived in Rochester sitting in the top five in the Andreas Carter Kent County League Premier Division, having banked 52 points from their 29 league outings.

New Romney lost 2-1 to Beckenham-based Club Langley in last season’s final here but they were torn apart by an impressive Chipstead side that completed their 20-game Division One West campaign in third-place with 43 points on the board, finishing five points adrift of their local rivals Ide Hill, who claimed the title.

Chipstead defeated AFC Mottingham (3-1 after extra time), Wateringbury (4-3), Club Langley (4-1) and Farnborough Old Boys Guild (3-1) to reach the final, while New Romney knocked out K Sports Reserves (3-2), Sutton Athletic Reserves (7-5), Tudor Sports (4-0) and needed penalties to beat Hawkinge Town after the semi-final finished all square at 1-1.

New Romney’s goalkeeper Paul Egan – with Isthmian League experience at Margate, Hythe Town and Folkestone Invicta – suffered an awful game and conceded twice inside the opening 15 minutes through Chipstead right-back James Fitchett and Jonathan Shea’s penalty.

Former Crystal Palace youngster Kieran Woodley, 23, scored a hat-trick as Chipstead were deservedly 5-0 up after 63 minutes.

New Romney enjoyed their best spell of the game inside the final 20 minutes and they rallied to pull a couple of goals back through former Hythe Town pair Roy Godden and Billy Wier-Somervilee.

Chipstead beat Ide Hill 3-2 to win the Sevenoaks Charity Cup Final at Greatness Park on Friday 19 April.

“Listen, obviously to get into two cup finals, to win one and we came here tonight hoping we could get the same feeling we had a few weeks back and doing it tonight, we’re absolutely over the moon,” said Dillon.

“We’ve got a great group who really put a shift in. We were really unlucky with the league. We had a couple of draws towards the end, which sort of cost us, Ide Hill and Sydenham Sports pulled away and took the first and second spot ultimately.

“It’s some run that we’ve been on, taking into the first cup final and then tonight. I can’t fault the lads at all.”

Chipstead opened the floodgates by opening the scoring after only five minutes and 45 seconds.

Fitchett cut into the penalty area and bulldozed his way through New Romney’s poor defence and received a lucky ricochet as Egan closed him down at the near post before bundling the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from a couple of yards out.

“Listen, Fitchett has been great for us. He’s fitted in that spot really well and it fell for him in the box and I knew if he could just get a touch on it, he’s got a rocket foot that he could put it in the back of the net,” said Dillon.

Shea played the ball inside to the impressive Woodley, who cracked a right-footed dipping drive towards the top far corner from 18-yards, but this time Egan plucked the ball out of the air, although he spilt the ball and gathered at the second attempt.

The hapless goalkeeper was lucky to avoid a booking when he tripped Shea just eight-yards from goal and referee Martyn Staveley pointed to the spot.

Egan went down low to his right and Shea despatched a confidently taken right-footed penalty, which flew into the top right-hand corner to give Chipstead a commanding two goal lead with only 14 minutes and 24 seconds on the clock.

“Listen, Joff’s another top player. He played at Tunbridge Wells, he’s very experienced and clever and a bit of trickery got himself in and get himself a pen and no question of him scoring,” added Dillon.

“We’ve played a back four for the majority of our games, which has gone into a three at times during our games but tonight we just thought let’s put the game to them, we’ve got nothing to lose and we wanted to see how far we’ve come from the start of the season.”

New Romney’s wide-man Simon Rainbow floated in a cross into the Chipstead box for striker Godden, but Chipstead goalkeeper James Harrison rushed off his line and smothered the ball off the striker’s feet.

Shea threw the ball short to left-back Mikey Mullane, who took a touch before whipping in a cross towards the near post but captain Alfie Coates hooked his volley past the near post from six-yards out.

Chipstead centre-half James Porter launched a long ball down the right channel, which wasn’t dealt with by New Romney’s left-back Dale Harding and this let in striker Mitchell Hill, who clipped the ball over to an unmarked Shea, who hit his right-footed half-volley over the top of the crossbar from 10-yards.

Chipstead fully deserved to be three goals in front when their next goal arrived with 31 minutes and 50 seconds on the clock.

More poor defending from Harding let Hill in charging down the right and he cut the ball back for Woodley to sweep his first-time right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from 10-yards.

Dillon said:  “Listen, Kieran is a clever player. He’s been a real stand-out player for us and he sees those things. He’s a clever player and has good movement in the box. If the ball gets delivered I bank on him scoring and that’s exactly what he did.”

Porter cleared his lines from within the right-channel and rolled the ball up to Fitchett, who hit a long ball down the right channel again to release Woodley, who played a crossfield pass over to Shea, who was left unmarked inside the box on the left-hand side but his right-footed chip was caught by Egan.

New Romney failed to turn up but they were almost gifted a consolation goal in the 41st minute.

It was a comedy of errors as New Romney’s centre-half Wayne Rogers hit a long ball forward and Chipstead keeper Harrison rushed out to the edge of his penalty area and allowed the ball to bounce over his head and Wier-Somervilee drove in his right-footed shot on the angle from eight-yards, which crashed down off the underside of the crossbar with an open goal to aim at.

“I said to the lads at half-time, they’ll always get a chance.  They got a good chance, really they should’ve scored. Maybe if they scored to make it 3-1 it’s a different game second half but literally we got lucky with it and responded in the right way and carried on,” added Dillon.

Shea swung in Chipstead’s third corner of the night and holding midfielder Chris Steadman nipped in front of his man to plant his header just over the crossbar from six-yards out.

A poor clearance out from Rogers gave Chipstead a chance to increase their lead on the stroke of half-time.

Fitchett gathered the low ball before releasing Woodley down the right in space and he whipped in a cross across the face of the goal and Hill’s first-time shot from 10-yards was blocked by Egan’s legs.

“I felt for him (Egan) a little bit. We put a lot of pressure on him and I think scoring early, it’s difficult for him. Every time we went forward we looked potentially like we would score but he done well then and stopped Mitch from scoring, he’ll be frustrated,” added Dillon.

Chipstead went into the break with a commanding three-nil lead.

“Listen, I just said this group of lads, we’ve got a lot of top players. Some can’t commit higher because of work etc so we’ve managed to build a good group.

“I just said character wise they’re a great, great group, got great character and I just said listen 3-0 is brilliant but it’s got to be 0-0 and we’ve got to start how we started the first half.”

Woodley drove through the heart of the New Romney defence and played in William Dembigh, who steered his left-footed shot past Egan, who was relieved to see now left-back Josh McCue slid in to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Chipstead scored their fourth goal of the night with seven minutes and 59 seconds on the clock.

Woodley released Hill down the right and he played the ball back inside to Woodley, who took a touch before whipping his right-footed shot sailing into the top left-hand corner from 20-yards, leaving poor Egan rooted to the spot.

“Again, listen Kieran’s got loads of natural ability. Any chance you give him, 99% of the time he’ll score, so I’m well pleased for him,” added Dillon.

New Romney created an opening just 80 seconds later when Harding, who was pushed further up the pitch on the left-hand side, floated in a cross, which was flicked on by Godden and Warren Smith lashed his shot into the side netting.

Chipstead scored a classy fifth goal with 17 minutes and 8 seconds on the clock, courtesy of Woodley’s hat-trick goal and his 15th goal of the season.

Dembigh played the ball inside to Woodley, who drilled a beautiful right-footed volley into the top left-hand corner from 30-yards.

Dillon said:  “Again, listen, what a way to finish it! I’m really pleased for Kieran. He fell out of love with the game at a higher level. He was at Crystal Palace so I knew him as a youngster when I was there and to get him to come down to us was a massive, massive change but he’s come down and he’s fitted in so well with the lads and he’s got back to what he’s good at.”

Dillon hopes he can keep talented Woodley at the amateur club.

“People watching him and seeing him, there will be a lot of interest in him but he's a good lad. What we do suits him at the moment so I’m hoping to keep hold of him for as long as poss.”

Shell-shocked New Romney showed character as they found some inner belief for the first time in the game.

Substitute right-winger Tristan Belsey played in a low cross from the right for substitute Matt Honeysett swept his shot just past the foot of the near post.

New Romney pulled a goal back with 25 minutes and 47 seconds on the clock through Godden’s 27th goal of the season.

Belsey delivered a great cross from the right towards the near post for Godden to head down and into the bottom right-hand corner from four-yards out, the ball creeping into net thanks to the goalkeeper’s hand.

Dillon said: “A little bit soft from us. I thought we backed off them for that last 20 minutes.  They put a lot of pressure on and they had a right go to be fair to them and just caught us for a little while and it was all them but he’s nicked in and scored and I just think we gifted them a little bit more than we should’ve done.”

New Romney took only 185 seconds to register their second goal of the night.

It came courtesy of a mix-up between Chipstead goalkeeper Harrison and centre-half Joe Gavin and Wier-Somervilee accepted the gift by slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner of an open goal from 18-yards out.

Dillon added: “I those situations wither Joe Gavin puts his foot through it earlier or the keeper gets out quicker! It’s one of them. It’s a soft goal but fair play they grabbed the chance and put the game to us.”

Woodley fed the ball into Dembigh, who stung Egan’s fingers with a left-footed drive from 25-yards, which the keeper caught at the second attempt.

Egan made two fine saves towards the end of the game as New Romney were caught on the counter-attack.

Chipstead substitute striker Sam Manktelow released fellow sub Jack Highwood through on goal but Egan held his low shot, getting down low to his right.

Woodley escaped past Daniel Binder to work Egan for a second time, the keeper making a fine block low to his right.

Dillon added: “We had a couple, which I felt score them and we completely seal the game and we put it to bed.  Even though it was 5-2, they were still on top for that last part of the game but we should’ve scored but we didn’t. Their keeper did well to be fair in the last few so a little bit frustrating.”

New Romney substitute Luca Corbo cut in from the left riding a sliding tackle before curling a shot towards the top left-hand corner from 22-yards, which was caught by Harrison at the death.

Dillon was delighted with his team after thrashing a side that play one level higher in the Kent County League.

There are some decent players at this level – Woodley being the prime example and Dillon faces a fight to keep him at the club.

When asked what it means to have completed the cup double, the Chipstead manager said: “Oh listen, I’m all about the lads and for me to see them doing what they’re good at and enjoying every moment.  For us as a club it’s massive. For the players it’s massive and I feel very happy.

“We’ve just got to keep the group together and show what we’ve got but we do need a couple more players to strengthen again.

“We’re disappointed not to get in that Prem because we showed tonight that we’re capable of being in there. We’ve got to try to start right (next season) and not have any slip ups and get ourselves where we want to be.”

Chipstead: James Harrison, James Fitchett (Alex McKenzie 63), Mikey Mullane, Chris Steadman, James Porter, Joe Gavin, William Dembigh, Alfie Coates, Mitchell Hill (Sam Manktelow 69), Kieran Woodley, Jonathan Shea (Jack Highwood 69).
Subs: Liam Burchett, Ryan Tierney

Goals: James Fitchett 6, Jonathan Shea 15 (penalty), Kieran Woodley 32, 53, 63

Booked: Sam Manktelow 89

New Romney: Paul Egan, Lewis Butler, Dale Harding (Luca Corbo 77), Josh McCue (Rhys Morrison 75), Wayne Rogers, Gavin Prowse (Daniel Binder 60), Billy Wier-Somervilee, Harry Carr (Matt Honeysett 45), Roy Godden, Warren Smith, Simon Rainbow (Tristan Belsey 61).

Goals: Roy Godden 71, Billy Wier-Somervilee 73

Booked: Harry Carr 44

Attendance: 225
Referee: Mr Martyn Staveley (Folkestone)
Assistants: Mr Paul Webb (West Kingsdown) & Neil Stevens (Ramsgate) 
Fourth Official: Mr Nick Cornwell (Maidstone)