STANNARD NETS BRACE TO SEAL TOWN WIN
By David Hollingsbee
Harry Stannard's goals proved the difference as Town overcame an early setback to register a vital win.
Facing the daunting task of trying to arrest a seven-game winless run, Faversham Town got off to the worst possible start against strugglers Molesey.
Within three minutes Simon Overland dives low and at full stretch to his left to tip a Darius Heravi effort for a corner. Heravi's effort was heading for just inside the post. The respite is brief. From Craig Lewington's corner, Dre Grobler makes his way through a static Town defence to power a header past Overland. (0-1 after 4 minutes).
But the response to the early setback is positive. Decent chances come.
Dan Carrington picks up possession on the right and slides a ball along the touchline for Harry Stannard. Stannard drifts into the area and fires an angled low strike goalwards. A stumbling Ashley Lodge clears it off the line and away for a corner.
Matt Bourne attacks Danny Walder's subsequent corner, but under pressure sends the header over the bar.
From the left, Ashley Miller sends in a glorious cross to the back post to pick out Carl Rook. Rook's header is downwards, but the wrong side of the post. Rook remains prostrate on the ground for a few seconds. Perhaps mulling over the chance that's gone begging.
Stannard takes over supply duties and delivers from the left arrowing towards the right hand post. Rook has again found space at the back post and heads beyond Liam Allen in the Molesey goal. Everything about the move screams goal. But no. Somehow Allen adjusts, sticks out a right hand and prevents it crossing the line. Fine save.
At this point, those first feelings of "What have we got to do to score?" start to announce their presence. Accompanied by it's unwelcome mate "Is it going to be one of those days?".
George Monger picks up possession deep in the Faversham half and sprays a fine ball from right to left to release Renford Tenyue. Tenyue plays it inside for Stannard who twists, turns and makes room for the strike. From the D, the effort curls narrowly over-it just doesn't dip enough.
Those feeling are now joined by "How are we 1-0 down?".
But Molesey are a threat and break quickly. Town allow Herani to saunter into the area. Herani loses control but Bourne's clearance ricochets off Herani and has Overland scrambling to make ground as it goes just wide of the right hand post. Despite coming close to an equaliser on numerous occasions, in that moment, Town look vulnerable and are very nearly 2 down.
Tenyue takes a throw from the left and finds Stannard who tees up Walder. The 20 yarder is well struck but despite curling towards goal, it flashes wide.
A long clearance from Overland, the header is won by Rook into the path of Miller whose strike is safely gathered by Allen diving to right. 3 touches including a shot on goal. Route one but very effective.
Town finish the half on the back foot.
Lewington takes a corner from the left. De Grobler gets free and sends the header over the bar. With 3 minutes to go, Town almost succumb to exactly the same routine and personnel from which they conceded after 3 and a bit minutes.
Josh Andrews goes on a weaving run, evading tackles, plays a one-two with Ronald Sobowale and gets a shot away. Overland has to make a sharp save diving low to his left to tip it round for a corner. Lewington's inswinging corner is punched away from under his bar by Overland.
0-1 at H-T.
Walder picks up possession deep in the Town half and sprays a ball to the far left for Stannard. Stannard drives for the area and sends a low ball across the area. It comes out of the area and Walder who has continued forward delivers a cross back in. Miller's skimmed header is wide of he left hand post.
Oliver Lee makes an important interception and plays it forward for Rook. Rook with back to goal controls the high bouncing ball and hooks a measured pass into the path of Stannard to his right. Stannard takes it on into the area and places a low angled shot across Allen into the far corner. Clinical. A fine, well worked goal. (1-1 after 55 minutes).
Molesey have been threatening with their corners. Town face another one. Lewington delivers. From 16 yards it's hooked goalwards. Bourne clears off the line.
Immediately from the clearance Town break. Tenyue in possession down the left, inside for Stannard who controls but from 18 yards lifts the shot over the bar.
Carrington picks up possession on the halfway line and play a glorious defence splitting ball toward the area for Miller who lifts his strike over from 18 yards. A bouncing, awkward ball-but a glorious chance.
And immediately from the goalkick, Molesey break and suddenly it's 2 on 2. Reis Stanislaus cuts inside Bourne and shoots. Overland makes a vital save and concedes the corner.
Faversham attack down the left. Stannard finds Tenyue. Tenyue's cross just evades Rook. The ball is played back into the area and loud appeals for handball are waived away by the referee.
Again Faversham attack down the left. Stannard in possession plays it back for Lee who stabs it forward for Miller who turns and feeds it into the path of Stannard who has continued his run. Stannard advances into the area and clips it across Allen and into the far corner. (2-1 after 73 minutes). Another fine finish. Almost a replica finish to the first goal.
Stannard almost completes his hat-trick after receiving a pass from Griffiths and again driving into the area before shooting. But Allen makes another fine save diving to his right and holding on.
2-1 at F-T.