Harvey at the double as the ten men hold on
Herne Bay 2-3 The Mead
Forget a week - four days can make a massive difference in football!
On Saturday, the Mead turned in one of their most frustratingly desperate performances in the Warrilow era as they drew a blank on Walton Casuals artificial surface, but yet here on the Kent coast, virtually the same team turned in a performance that was for an hour brilliant as it was scintillating whilst the last half hour displayed a top drawer battling quality as ten men secured three deserved point for their first sixty minutes display!
And the unlikely scoring hero was full back Harvey Brand who's two goals in the first half gave the Mead the platform after Paul Vines' early penalty to secure the win and only a very late second half flag denied the Mead full back a hat-trick just before the hour with the score at 3-1 in the visitors favour. Scott Kinch was then shown a straight red card meaning the Mead had half an hour to play a man down, and after the home side pulled a second goal back, there was optimism amongst the locals that a point could be achieved. But the reckoned without the Mead's resilience and outstanding defence led by skipper Leon Smith and Joe Denny and the points would be heading back up the M2/A2 corridor.
The evening off the pitch didn't start too well as road-works delayed the Mead's arrival - not that you'd have known as within seven minutes, the visitors were in front. Danny Parrish was floored in the box by home keeper Hunter - who was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch - and Vinesy stroked home the spot-kick. The lead was doubled on 13 minutes when Harvey got on the end of fine driven ball into the box from Bode Anidugbe, and despite the attentions of two defenders and the keeper still managed to get his foot to the ball to steer it into the net. To say the home side's way back into the game was fortunate was the understatement of the night as a shot from Carlton which was heading wide hit Cox on the back of the head and apologetically looped into the opposite corner to Lewis Carey as the Mead stopper had moved to shepherd the original shot wide. The Mead though were not to be denied and Harvey got on the end of Tom O'Connor's exquisite cross to volley home the third before the half hour. And with Vinesy and Danny pulling the home defence all over Winches Field, you felt that a fourth was just a matter of time. Danny almost provided it just before the break only for Hunter to save well before Laurent Mendy's header from the corner was headed off of the line!
The second period began with the Mead still well on top, and Laurent was unlucky to get the ball stuck under his feet after another great ball in from Tom before Harvey was denied the match-ball as he raced onto yet another Tom through ball.
Then the game turned as Kinchy was shown a straight red card which gave Herne Bay hope that they didn't previously have - hope that grew almost immediately as Rumbol reduced the arrears from a corner with twenty minutes left. The Mead goal then endured an incredible let off as the ball fizzed across the face of goal in an amazing sequence that fortunately saw no-one in blue on hand to take advantage!
To their credit the ten men kept asking questions with Danny looking lively up front, and it was the young Mead striker who fired narrowly wide in the Mead's next attack before being taken out by a clumsy tackle which incredibly the match official didn't see as a foul in the box! The home side huffed and puffed trying to force an equaliser that thankfully didn't come and the Mead headed home with three deserved points.
THE MEAD - Carey, Brand (Duyile), McIntyre, Kinch, Smith, Denny, Anidugbe, O'Connor, Vines, Parrish, Mendy
Subs - Avery, Green & Ovenden