Brave Platt Denied As Chipstead Capture Cup
Chipstead 5 Platt 3
Report courtesy of Russ Bravo
A dull, grey day at Brasted on Sunday was brought to life by a full blooded, end to end battle as Chipstead beat challengers Platt to win the Smith's Charity Cup (Senior).
The District League Premier Division champions and current leaders were stretched to the limit by a Platt side who led early on, and then came from behind twice.
Early exchanges were fairly even, although the speed and control of Fisher, Bowen and Durrant for Platt gave Chipstead some awkward moments.
The first good chance fell to Chipstead, when MacLening set Thrush hurtling down the right with a well weighted pass. The young winger cut in and placed his shot well wide of the keeper only to see it come back off the post.
However, it was Platt who went in front on 14 minutes. A free-kick was headed on neatly by Durrant and Bowen cracked the ball in from 12 yards. Encouraged, Platt surged forward and Bowen had the ball in the net once more but the linesman had flagged for offside. Chipstead looked less sharp on the ball and another goal during this period would have made a comeback very hard.
Keeper Gary Allen had to be alert to tip a swerving Durrant 25 yarder on to the bar, as Platt's leading scorer continued to harass the Chipstead defence.
Within the space of a couple of minutes the game had swung right back Chipstead's way. First, Black's corner from the left was met with a flick header by Thrush, and the ball looped in off the far post. Then, with Platt still shaking their heads, Best turned beautifully on the left to knock a cross in which the defence made a hash of, and John Berry was left with an open goal from eight yards.
Platt pushed forward once again, Hollebon shooting straight at Allen, and Fisher hitting wide after good work from Durrant. The aerial threat of Mick Westwell coming from the back also kept the pressure on Chipstead.
Just before the break, Thrush set off down the right and shot into the side netting.
The action continued in the second-half, Blundell, Black and Best all having a go for Chipstead, and Hollebon blasting a free-kick through the wall for Platt, keeper Allen having to parry after seeing it late.
Confusion surrounded Platt's equaliser on 59 minutes. A scramble in the box ended with the ball in the net via a defender, but referee Stubbings had already blown for an infringement, possibly handball. In any case, Bowen stepped up to slot the ball home and make it 2-2.
The playmaking of Whiffen in midfield began to produce openings for Platt, Allen somehow got in the way of Durrant's flying header at virtually point blank range.
Chipstead stormed ahead once more on 68 minutes with a fine individual goal from Steve Sanders, who ran from the midfield, beat several players and planted his shot wide of keeper Peacock.
Moments later Sanders was on hand to head away Bowen's goal bound effort. He was powerless, however, to prevent Platt's equaliser as the impressive Bowen completed his hat-trick, firing home after another flick on from Durrant on 78 minutes.
Platt's Westwell was booked after a bad tackle on Thrush, and soon after Chipstead went ahead again, in circumstances keeper Peacock will want to forget. Full-back Ian King's intended cross drifted aimlessly towards the Platt keeper, who somehow allowed it to slip through his hands and roll over the line.
Chipstead now had their hands on the trophy and made sure soon after, when Best pounced to score after MacLening's shot had been parried.
Platt attacked frantically, and while De'Ath shot wide from a good position, Chipstead held firm to clinch the trophy that has eluded them for so long.
The presentation was made by former Dunton Green player Mr John Clifton - a well known figure on the local football scene.
Credit should go to Gordon Williams and all at Brasted / Sundridge FC for staging the finals despite the appalling weather.
Team: P.Peacock, M.Lovelock, D.Green, M.Westwell, T.Hollebon, I.De'Ath, R.Webb, D.Fisher, N.Bowen, G.Durrant, T.Whiffen.