Faversham Town 2-1 Molesey
By John O’Brien
Thank goodness for the upcoming league restructure that means only one relegation place exists from the Bostick League Division One South this season. And thank goodness for Shoreham.
Saturday’s defeat at Faversham extended
Molesey’s dreadful run to one win in nineteen league and cup games and leaves them firmly rooted in the bottom two.
However Shoreham’s meagre points total means there is a fourteen point gap between the division’s bottom two sides, so unless the Sussex side firmly get their act together in the final third of the season the Moles can look forward to taking their place in a revamped step 4 next season.
It was a battling defeat at Faversham, but it was a defeat nonetheless. Molesey were fairly good value for their half-time lead courtesy of Dre Grobler’s header from Craig Lewington’s corner, but Harry Stannard’s classy double in the second half turned the game in Faversham’s favour.
The Moles were dealt a blow in the lead up to the game with the news that Antonio Simeone – arguably Molesey’s most influential outfield performer this season – had become the latest experienced player to depart having accepted an offer to join Whyteleafe.
He joins Tom Windsor (South Park), Rhys Paul (Egham) and Olu Akinsanya (Malden) to have departed the club in recent months.
Akinsanya has been upgraded with the returning Reis Stanislaus, but they urgently need further reinforcements in order to start climbing the table.
Saturday’s back four was made up of versatile wingers at full-back, and youngsters at centre half.
All four played exceptionally well – in fact they’ve barely put a foot wrong all season – but there is a bit of a lack of know-how, experience and leadership at the back.
Stanislaus, as you would expect, ran himself into the ground, but has failed to find the net in the seven appearances since his return to the club.
There were however, plenty of positives. Ashley Lodge was excellent, and along with Lewington and Grobler dictated the tempo for much of the game, whilst Darius Heravi was bright throughout in his first league start for the club in six years (I think).
It started well enough for the visitors. Heravi had an effort tipped around the post, and from the resulting corner Grobler powered Molesey into the lead.
Weaving runs from both Josh Andrew and Stanislaus deserved better than to not trouble Simon Overland, who tipped a later effort from Andrew around the post.
Heravi perhaps showed his rustiness by failing to get a shot away with just Overland to beat.
Lodge made a terrific goalline clearance from Stannard at the other end, and the same player curled an effort from distance just wide.
The Moles would be in a whole world more trouble if keeper Liam Allen decided to find pastures new, and he made a breath-taking point blank save to deny Carl Rook, and then more routine stops to keep out Rook again and Ashley Miller.
Stannard twice got down the Molesey right too easily in the opening twenty minutes of the second period and finished cutely beyond Allen to turn the game on its head, and from that moment on the Moles looked a beaten side.
Overland denied both Stanislaus and Ronny Sobowale, but Faversham had plenty of chances of their own as the visitors pushed for the equaliser, with Allen denying Stannard his hat-trick, and Miller lobbing wide when clean through.
The Moles left Kent empty-handed – a familiar tale in recent seasons – and in addition to much-needed reinforcements will hope to have influential duo Ross Chalke and Ato Okai available before too long.
Next up is Whyteleafe at home on Tuesday, and a very early reunion with Simeone.