A last-minute decision to go to the Pilot Field for some hot Ryman League action on a coldish December evening was rewarded with a mediocre game of football enlivened by a few juicy moments of controversy.
The home side had one man sent off, two goals disallowed but ended the evening satisfied with three points. Which meant that the majority of the 350 crowd headed home suitably satisfied with their last football before Christmas: a chance to grumble *and* a home win.
The goal that split the sides came just before half time via Francis Collin. Hastings had had the better of the play before then, including the two disallowed goals, but had been reduced to 10 men when the referee showed Callum Emptage a straight red for his part in a foul/melee combo. The odd thing being that the officials did not talk to any other player despite around 20 of them being involved in the scuffle and shove.
There wasn’t much else going on. Hastings occasionally moved the ball well – and seemed more solid on the back than on previous viewing; Faversham showed greater purpose as the match went on, especially once their probing #7 increased his involvement. In the final stages of the second half the away team had three strong shots that all just went over the bar. But it finished 1-0 and that was that.
I brought along a child and he had a good time. I drank a Bovril at half time and reminisced about evening games with my Grandad who used to bring a flask of his own beef tea. My memory has it that it warmed a night game like no other beverage could. It would really have been useful tonight when the sparks of game clicked but did not ignire.