Long Lane 1-3 Sheppey & Sheerness United
Long Lane 1-3 Sheppey & Sheerness United

Two goals from a striker well known in Kent’s non league circles sent the Kent Air Ambulance Intermediate Challenge Shield onto the Isle of Sheppey and left Long Lane wondering what might have been.Long Lane v Sheppey4

After Ricky Whiting had given United the lead, two magnificent goals from Baff Addae – the second in the final moments of the game a brilliant solo run worthy of winning any game – meant the Trophy was heading onto the Isle of Sheppey for the first time in a number of years!

As they waited to receive the Shield, the Sheppey and Sheerness players covered their management team in champagne and so it was a soaked United boss who spoke to us after the game.

Kevin Hake told us, “I’m over the moon, absolutely over the moon! We knew that they’d have a really good fifteen minutes, but I always knew that we had that little bit of quality to go on and win the game.”

“Our goal has always been promotion and by winning the last two games it set us up for today. Now we’ve won today it’s a bonus for us. It’s great for the lads as we’ve effectively got another eight “Cup Finals” now to finish our season.”

“But this is great for the lads as winning is a mentality and it’s a great feeling it really is!”

Meanwhile Barry Crook, Long Lane’s Assistant Manager admitted that the Lane had got their starting tactics wrong.

“We changed things for the opening quarter hour and… well were two down, so I guess that you can say that it didn’t work!”

“Seriously though we were disappointed, but knew our second half performance would be better and it was, and when we got it back to 2-1 in that last ten minutes we thought we might have a chance.”

“But then the boy goes and get a “worldie” like he did, and…” he shrugged. “We’ve had a great season and a great run to the final so the boys can be (if not tonight) very pleased with what they’ve actually done this season.”Long Lane v Sheppey2

Addae stamped his authority on the game within the opening 12 minutes as he made the first and scored a thumping header to give United an incredible start.

With less than 2 minutes on the clock Addae sprinted down the inside right channel and squared for Ricky Whiting who drilled the ball into the net.

Long Lane v SheppeyIt was 2-0 ten minutes later as Karl Knight flicked on a free kick for Addae to power home a header at the back post giving keeper Ben Ashton no chance at all.

With the cushion established, United were content to allow their opponents to come onto them and things began to get a bit touchy, and just past the half hour there was a melee involving 20 of the players that saw Lane’s Craig Hewett and United’s Sean Palmer “only” receive a long lecture from referee Hollobone.

It seemed to knock United out of their stride and Long Lane came more and more into the game and came agonisingly close to getting back into the game on the stroke of half time. Joe Childs put in a terrific lob that beat United keeper Ben Smart but bounced to safety off of the crossbar.

As the second half went on chances were limited as United were happy to let Long Lane have the possession and hit them on the break. On 62 minutes, Addae thundered a shot against the Long Lane bar after being found by Brett Nevin’s free kick.

Tom Mayfield then almost caught United keeper Smart out from 45 yards but the keeper reacted smartly to tip the ball over. Addae then got clear again from Sheppey and Sheerness, and as he pulled the centre, Chris Millet snatched at the shot and it went wide left.

The game was back in the balance 8 minutes from time when Lee Wilton was on hand to beat Smart from inside the box and give Long Lane hope – hope that sadly only was to last a few minutes before Addae sealed the result with a truly wonderful goal.

A charging run down the left saw the former Maidstone United and Thamesmead Town striker (amongst other clubs) power down the right leaving defenders in his wake. He then cut in field and threaded the ball beyond Ashton’s reach into the bottom corner – a goal that left his manager Hake almost purring after the game.Long Lane v Sheppey3

“Yeah on his day he really is something else – he’s not top scorer (that’s Dan Bradshaw) – but when Baff can score goals like that… he really was something special tonight!”

LONG LANE (from) Ben Ashton, Jack Doherty, John Foster, Ricky Bolt, Bobby McGuane, Lee Wilton, Barry Langford, Joe Crook, Jordan Samuels, Joe Childs, Craig Hewett

Subs – Antonio Matano, Tom Mayfield, James Malcher, Baba Adeniran, Danny Childs

SHEPPEY & SHEERNESS UNITED (from) Ben Smart, Brett Nevin, Karl Knight, John Ralph, Russell Jeffrey, Sean Palmer, Dan Patterson-Scott, Abdou El-Kholti, Ricky Whiting, Baff Addae, Dan Bradshaw

Subs – Scott Forster, Sam Girt, Lewis Gransden, Sulaiman Charm, Chris

Pictures supplied by Julie Hoare & the Kent County Football League.