As the last few months of 2015 are edging nearer, Canterbury United played four games in the month of September, seeing two consecutive away trips against Bordon Village and Bexley, before rounding off the month against Staplehurst Monarchs United and Faversham Strike Force at home.
Well, we kicked off September off the way we left off August, with another controlling win. We were certainly helped by a red card though for an off the ball incident, and to be honest, we really should have capitalised on that a little more – but, we still got the win. Ronnie Dalton looks to have been an inspired signing getting - looking lively again, he seems to have settled down quickly. He was the one that opened the scoring for us with a good goal, and we never looked back. It didn’t take long after half time for us to get another goal either, Jack Swan revelling in his new position up front, getting the goal – one that would seal the win. Given that they played with 10 men for all but six minutes of the game and the amount of shots we had, we should have scored more – but two is more than good enough to secure the three points.
Next up was Bexley, we managed to get the win thanks to a brilliant piece of magic from Jack Swan, who played upfront again, and an impressive performance by Ronnie Dalton once again. We had sixty percent of the possession, bossed the ball, and looked solid defensively after doing lots of extra work on the training pitch over the last month, but our shots on target was once again the let-down, having attempts on goal but failing to test the keeper.
Our problems of getting the goal were evident in the next game too, against Staplehurst Monarchs, which I have to confess, the name of the team made me laugh. But they proved a tough test, preventing us from getting the goal we very much needed to secure the top place in the league. We again controlled the game, had plenty of shots and again near sixty percent possession, but Jack Swan struggled up front for the first time, and even Ronnie Dalton, who still had a good game, couldn’t swim through the Monarchs moat and break through the castle walls.
Gladly, though, it was a different story in our final fixture of the month, against Faversham Strike Force, who were anything but their name. The second best performance of the season, this time testing their keeper regularly and finding the back of the net, not just once, but three times. Ronnie Dalton once again proved what an asset he is to this club, netting the opener, while Ben Hunt – who had captained the side in the last few games in the absence of Carroll and Smith – found the net after meeting a delicious cross at the far post just before half time. Richard Bryan got his first goal in Canterbury United colours, which turns out to be the first of his professional career – late on, coming from a corner. Seventeen shots seemed to do the trick, Faversham just couldn’t cope with our deadly attack.
Martin Rowlands and Danny Brown seem to be forming a really nice partnership in the centre of the park, with Brown doing the dirty work very well and Rowlands creative spark allowing the team to move forward well. Ronnie Dalton in the number ten role, although wearing the number eleven shirt, seems to be loving playing at the moment and could be considered the Messi of the Kent County League. Jack Swan’s introduction up front, and after the goalless draw against Staplehurst, on the wing seems to be wonders for the team, and the defence since the decision to play Bryan and Drury together at centre back seems to have tightened up our defence too. The results have clearly been shown, we are now on a five match unbeaten run and haven’t conceded in four, while having scored a league high eleven goals. We may just be in for a successful season.
Next Month: October
October is a busy month for the Bishops, seeing the club play six games. We kick off the month with a trip to London to play Metrogas in Charlton, before returning home to play Tudor Sports midweek. We then take a break in the league to play the club’s first ever cup tie, away to Meridian VP – who play in the division above Canterbury, the Kent Invicta Football League. Erith 147 Sports then come for a visit, before we face Fleetdown United away, which could potentially decide the league title with the two clubs currently joint top of the league – although Fleetdown do have a game in hand. We round off the month with a thirty-five mile trip west to face Snodland Town.