Match Report by Jordan Dhallu
William Johnson-Cole scores twice in Punjab United victory over Bearsted
Punjab United earned a much-needed win after a 3-1 result moved them up in the Southern Counties East Premier Division. Goals from William Johnson-Cole and Daniel Flemming proved too much for a Bearsted side that saw their 4-game unbeaten streak come to an end at The Steve Cook Stadium.
A cold winter afternoon in Gravesend set the scene as Punjab looked to get their first win since their 2-0 triumph over Canterbury City at the start of November. It was clear that with only 3 wins from 17 games in the Southern Counties East Premier Division, the team would have to improve on their previous performances in order to gain stability and keep them safe from the relegation positions.
Going into the game, Bearsted had been unbeaten in their previous five games with their last defeat coming at the hands of Erith Town on the 23rd of October.
The first 15 minutes of this match proved to be quite scrappy as Punjab United struggled to keep possession whilst Bearsted created a few chances from set pieces.
Punjab United then took the lead at the half hour mark after a free kick for the home side hit the post. The ball was controlled well on the rebound and passed into the feet of Johnson-Cole who took it well and calmly fired it along the ground into the far corner, beating the keeper.
Possession started to fall in the hands of Bearsted as they looked to get back into the game. They started to move the ball better, prompting fouls from Punjab, one in which was considered for a red card after a challenge from behind left the Bearsted player on the ground needing attention from the sideline. After speaking to the linesman, the referee only gave a yellow.
Just before half-time, Bearsted levelled when a goal kick was aimed out wide to a winger on an impressive run. The ball was squared across goal, leaving the goalkeeper unable to save the close range header from Jordon Ababio.
The Punjab United team talk proved to be effective as the home side got more chances early in the second half.
The inspiring start led to a deserved second goal as Johnson-Cole swept home after some good play out wide.
Less than 10 minutes after, Punjab United added another goal to the scoreboard as Daniel Flemming scored his first goal for the club on the hour mark from a corner routine, making the task too big for the travelling away side.
The football being played by Punjab improved further after the third goal as the home side gained more confidence and remained cool in pressured situations while Bearsted struggled to recover possession.
Towards the end the visitors did manage to create a couple of chances from set pieces but they couldn’t take advantage and the match was brought to an end by the referee, giving Punjab a well earned 3 points.
Punjab United will face 10th place Kennington away from home on the 11th of December, as they look to build on this win. Bearsted however, will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they play top of the league side, Sheppey United – who are still unbeaten so far this campaign.
Matchday VLOG – Ben Brown