CARRINGTON SPARKS LILYWHITES VICTORY
By David Hollingsbee
DESPITE plenty of attacking intent from both sides, neither keeper is called into serious action throughout the 90. But a moment of inspiration wins the game for Faversham Town.
In a first half where defences ensured chances were difficult to come by, it was goal of high quality that gave Town a first half advantage.
Town start proceedings and early on George Monger brings the ball forward to the edge of the area, exchanges passes with new loan signing Harry Stannard before getting a shot on goal which is charged down for a corner. Danny Walder's corner is met by Ryan Cheek's head, but over the bar it goes. Cheek looks to the heavens as the early chance goes begging.
South Park attack down their right. Jack Mazzone in possession sweeps a ball into the path of quick wide man James McElligot. McElligot gets to the edge of the area and takes the shot on but skies it.
Wayward shooting will prove to be a feature of South Park's afternoon.
Lovell finds a neat ball for Luke Griffiths to attack the corner of the area. South Park keeper Callum Thomas comes to retrieve and should be favourite, but loses out and Griffiths manages to pull it back for Dan Carrington. Carrington and Griffiths between them conspire to engineer a shooting opportunity for Lovell, but the low shot is the wrong side of the right hand post.
And then the move of the half. The ball is cleared high and long from the Town area. Monger picks up possession and swaps passes in centre midfield with Lovell before driving on and sweeping a ball left for Stannard. Stannard delivers a ball to the far post which Carrington controls with his chest, bamboozles his defender with the right foot bringing the ball inside and on to the left foot which finishes the job by dragging it inside the post. Cross, chest, right foot, left foot, goal. Exquisite. (1-0 after 29 minutes).
Almost immediately, Mazzone and McElligot repeat the previous South Park move and from a similar position, this time McElligot slices his shot wide of the right hand post.
Monger in an advanced position rolls a ball inside for Lovell, a quick, clever ball through the South Park defence, releases Stannard one-on-one with the keeper, but the lino's fag bring the promising attack to an end.
Immediately from the free-kick South Park attack quickly, Stannard chases back deep into the Town half, but a push in a South Park back gives the referee little option but to award the free-kick. Dangerous position, 24 yards out and right on half-time. Collective breaths are held. South Parks's shooting woes continue as Kieran Lavery's strike cannons off the Faversham wall.
1-0 at H-T.
An early chance for South Park as Dylan Merchant launches a ball into the area, it comes out to Chris Smith on the edge of the area who swings at it but sends it wide of the left hand post.
Chris Barnard wins possession for Town on the right touchline and rolls it for Carrington who plays it inside for Lovell. Lovell's pass sends Carrington into space and the subsequent pull back from the byline is defended for a corner.
Walder's corner (retaken due to an infringement in the area), eventually finds it way to Stannard at the far post but the shot is stabbed the wrong side of the post.
Walder takes a free-kick from nearby the byline. It's deflected off the wall that has sneaked forward whilst the referee's back is turned. The deflection takes it into the path of Monger whose goalbound shot is deflected for another corner.
A ball launched into the Town area from the right is headed over by Cheek. It's a little too close to the bar for comfort, but over it goes.
Substitute George Batney breaks up a South Park attack, brings it forward and releases into the run of Stannard who attacks the area, beats his two men before being unceremoniously bundled over. Penalty.
Lovell's well struck penalty, low and hard, sends the South Park keeper the wrong way. (2-0 after 80 minutes).
Town's two goal cushion lasts barely 4 minutes as South Park push forward in search of a way back into the game. Carrington trips Merchant in the box and Smith calmly sends Simon Overland the wrong way from the spot. (2-1 after 84).
Callum Thomas launches a free-kick deep into Faversham territory, as Town defend deep and in numbers. Last-ditch blocks prevent a trio of shots. Still the ball pings about in the Faversham area and as Town struggle to clear their lines, the ball comes to McElligot whose half-volley is watched carefully past his left hand post by Overland.
Into the last minute and South Park pour forward in search of the equaliser. A deep cross from the right touchline into the area, and an angled low shot towards the post is tapped in from less than a yard. South Park celebrations are brought to an abrupt end with the realisation that the linesman's flag is raised. Offside.
2-1 at F-T.