Thursday 01st September 2005

Wells explode out of the blocks
Sporting Bengal United 2-5 Tunbridge Wells
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
by Matthew Harris

Tunbridge Wells crossed the sprinting lanes of Mile End Stadium before taking the field and then exploded out of the blocks to race into a 3-0 lead within 20 minutes of the start of this crucial Kent League six pointer.

Stroking the ball around confidently from the start, Wells were rewarded when Lee Sturgeon curled a free kick into the top left hand corner of the net after five minutes. Sporting Bengal's defence never looked at ease and it was no
surprise when Sturgeon doubled the advantage after 13 minutes. He ran intelligently through a swarm of retreating players before taking his time to despatch a low shot past the helpless keeper.

Dan McGahan had an impressive game on the Wells left yet the third goal was the result of a neat move down the right. Drew Menzies provided the crucial final pass into the path of Dave Burren who finished clinically in plenty of time and
space. Once again Zaman in the home goal had no chance.

Further punishment might have been administered prior to the break but with Phil Lewis a virtual spectator, Wells were still visibly delighted to go in at half time with a three goal lead.

The second half began with Bengal frantically searching for a way back into the match. In the main the Wells defence dealt well enough with what was being thrown at them with Ricky Underwood having yet another strong game in its
centre. It was the towering youngster who got his head to a fierce drive to head clear a goal bound effort whilst Lewis was still dazed after receiving extensive treatment a couple of minutes earlier.

Wells new young striker, Benjie Agana won a free kick just a centimetre or two outside the box on the hour and McGahan went for goal forcing Zaman into a save.

However within a couple of minutes Sporting had reduced their arrears when Pipim somehow found himself with just Lewis to beat and made no mistake on 74 minutes.

Moments later Wells breathed a sigh of relief as the home strikers failed to get on the end of a dangerous delivery from a corner.

But there was to be no way back for Bengal and after their now empty bench was blown over by a sudden gust of wind, so were their hopes blown away in the 80th minute when their keeper was forced by Agana into an error. The striker was shunted out wide by an attentive defender but still chipped home accurately to make it a dream debut.

With the clock winding down Wells and their supporters were at last confident of victory and this might explain the benevolence shown to Pipim as he again found himself in acres of space before lobbing home for 2-4.

The last laugh fell to Wells however and James Macro was the second player to spring Bengal's offside trap before hitting a cool shot into the back of the net in stoppage time. Manager, Kevin Metcalfe's smile was as wide as the nearby
Thames at the end of the match and the Wells contingent was grinning in unison as it headed back south of the river having doubled its points total for the season.

Tunbridge Wells: Lewis; McLeod, Cox, Lind, Underwood, Skinner, Walsh, McGahan, Burren, Sturgeon, Menzies: Macro, Agana.