Snodland Town v Erith Town – Saturday 9th September 2023 – Potyn’s Field
Posted by MATTBRITT69 on SEPTEMBER 8, 2023
The hottest September day for a very long time, with temperatures scheduled to hit 32 degrees in West Kent, saw me heading to Snodland Town’s Potyn’s Field Ground, regaled in a sun hat and plenty of sunscreen!
Snodland Town were newly promoted to the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division in 2022-23. Since then manager Luke Wallond has added some real talent to his squad, with new players joining such as Eddie Mbango from Tooting Bec FC, prolific scorer Matt Gething, previously of Tunbridge Wells, and Malachi Hudson, from Isthmian Premier League’s Whitehawk.
Potyn’s Field has seen the home side invest heavily on developing the ground, in the past two years. A new grandstand, clubhouse, outdoor seating area and have been built. The floodlighting has been improved and the club feels very much as if it has a bright future ahead of it. The pitch remains grass and has a clear slope down towards the car park end. This is a really friendly and welcoming club with people coming up to speak to me enthusiastically about the club and club officials checking you had everything you needed.
Snodland Town have opened Premier Division life with a win and three draws from their opening four games. Eddie Mbango has top scored with three goals. At kick off Snodland Town sat ninth in the league although in their last match against high fliers, Corinthian FC, Snodland Town were by reports very unlucky not to have claimed all three points.
Erith Town have played five matches thus far, as they aim to gain promotion this season, having finished just outside the top places with their youthful squad, last season. Harry Taylor and Henry Arnold are the Dockers’ current top scorers with two goals each. Since an opening day defeat to promotion rivals Whitstable Town, the Dockers, managed by Adam Woodward, have won three and drawn one of their last four games and sat in fourth place coming into the fixture. Exciting players like talented wing back Joe Chalker, midfield dynamo James Miles and striker Henry Arnold have ensured the future looks bright for Erith Town.
The first half was broken by two very necessary drinks breaks but was highlighted by some stout defending by both sides. Eddie Mbango for Snodland Town and Erith Town’s Harry Taylor caused the most challenge to the opposition defences.
On the stroke of half time Snodland’s Ashley Sains stopped Ladic Melconian with a last gasp tackle when he was almost through on goal. Snodland immediately went close themselves with Eddie Mbango sending an unmarked header wide. That was the last chance of the half, with the score tied at 0-0 at the break.
Snodland Town’s chance at the half time whistle.
As the second half started it was Erith Town who used the slope to their advantage and created much of the pressure. In the 58th minute Joe Chalker, pushed forward since the break into his more natural right wing position, broke and found space to finish clinically and put the away side 0-1 ahead.
A few minutes later the game swung as Erith Town’s substitute, Rajan Sahni was sent off for use of an elbow. This led also to the dismissal of manager Adam Woodward for abusive language.
On 80 minutes Snodland Town were also down to ten men when Ben Davisson was sent off for a challenge leading to a second yellow card. A small fracas erupted as tempers frayed in the excessive heat, with one of Snodland’s bench also shown a red, but things soon calmed down.
Despite a surge of Snodland Town pressure, they failed to penetrate the defensive wall, the Dockers back four established. At full time it was the away side who took the points winning 0-1.
Both teams should do well in the league this season but Snodland Town had a lesson from Erith Town today and will need to find some more creativity going forward should they wish to challenge for promotion. However it was an entertaining game played in really excessive heat. My man of the match was without doubt Joe Chalker, for the difference he made to the Erith Town forward line in the second half.
Post-match interview with Dockers’ manager Adam Woodward.