“Lester Spot on”
By Scott Greenway
Punjab Reserves 2-2 Faversham Town Reserves
Faversham Town travelled away to Gravesend Home of Punjab United Reserves. Familiar surroundings for Town from playing Punjab in the last two preseason friendlies, this the first Kent County League fixture between the two clubs.
Towns starting line up Matt Bowey in goal Jordan Holliday, Ryan ‘Macca’ McDonald, and Nye Griffiths lined up in defence the midfield Sean Mchugh, Ellis Holliday, Reece Bedford Captain Dan King and Freddy Allen with his debut start for Town. Last seasons top scorer Big Joe Lester led the line with his first start of the season after a three game suspension. With a strong bench comprising of Sam Wheeler, Carlos dos Santos, George Greenway and Liam Druggan and Goalkeepr Ellis Wood. The game kicked of and was an even affair until the 19th minute a good move from Punjab allowed the Punjab forward a low shot at goal the ball heading for the left hand corner but Faversham stopper Matt Bowey produced an excellent left handed save. That was the only real goalmouth action in the opening exchanges.
Then on the half hour mark Punjab took the lead, Town lost possession just inside the Punjab half and within seconds Town were defending in their own area. A poor clearance from Town fell to the feet of the Punjab forward who took his chance with a good finish giving Bowey no chance. After conceding the goal Towns afternoon was made even worse losing their captain Dan King, stretching for a challenge King pulled his achilleas and couldn’t continue. Then on came substitute Sam Wheeler and within minutes made an impact and was a dangerous threat. From a town corner the Punjab defender couldn’t help but pull the the lively Wheeler back. With a Penalty to Town up stepped Joe Lester to fire home although the Punjab stand in keeper did get a hand to it to no avail.
Second half kicked off Liam Druggan and Carlos Dos Santos on for Freddy Allen within the first 10mins of the restart Punjab regained their lead. A mix up in Towns defence left Punjab with an easy goal.
The impressive Ellis Holliday, covering every blade of grass to get town level, won the ball and played a defence splitting ball through to Town forward Dos Santos but his effort went the wrong side of the post. Town then had to Reshape after losing centre half Ollie Neilson by rolling his ankle in a challenge for the ball. Allen came back on for Neilson however then also twisted his ankle in a challenge. Greenway then came on for his first start of the campaign.
The game was getting more feisty in the closing stages a heavy high foul on Druggan caused the Punjab player going in the book. Town then denied another penalty, the Punjab defender holding Lester back as he was heading to goal. Lester’s strength staying on his feet must have been the only reason the referee didn’t point to the spot. Then Town did get a second pen, the referee had no hesitation this time. The Punjab defender was all over Lester again. Big Joe stepped up and made no mistake drawing Town level.
In the dying seconds Punjab broke and scored with a good finish but the referee blew for the offside no goal and Town let off Punjab felt unjust and the points was shared.
Not the quality on the ball Town are capable of in this match but the fight and desire was plain to see from Town who worked hard for an Away point.
Ellis Holliday the young midfielder put in a tireless performance in the middle used the ball well in possession and closed down pressed and won the ball back for his team.
Faversham Town Reserves
1- Matt Bowey
3- Jordan Holliday
7- Dan King (c)
9- Joe Lester ⚽️(p) ⚽️(p)?
12- Sam Wheeler
13- Liam Druggan
14- Carlos dos Santos
15- George Greenway
16- Ellis Wood