Glebe won an entertaining Kent Veterans Final at the Gallagher Stadium against Herne Bay on Friday night.
It was Herne Bay who opened the scoring through Sean Hetterley - the first of two from him - but Glebe hit back with goals from Terry Butcher and Freddie Fleming to lead at the break and always kept their noses infront during the second half, where Warren Killick scored twice.
Bay - who are going for a domestic league and cup double - had beaten Segas over-35s in the semi-final of the county competition 4-1 to make it to the prestigious final while Glebe had defeated Aylesford 5-2 to claim their place at the Gallagher Stadium.
Glebe were shooting on sight early on and it was Herne Bay who went ahead through Hetterley’s fine low finish. His first touch got him past the defender before he finished well past goalkeeper Sean Beddow.
Hetterley was beaten to the ball by the Glebe goalie as he chased a through-ball soon after the goal and Simon Brown wasn’t far off with his drive from distance.
Glebe got themselves level in the 36th minute as Butcher had time and space to nod in a left-sided cross.
Bay had a goal ruled out as Hetterley headed in from Pat Bishenden, the linesman signalling a goal-kick as the ball had gone out before being crossed in.
Three minutes before the break and Glebe were ahead. Fleming was well-placed to finish from close-range.
Glebe were denied a third in the opening seconds after the restart when John Atkinson cleared off the line but but that goal wasn’t long in coming. With four second half minutes played dangerman Killick smashed home to leave Bay with it all to do.
Herne Bay had goalkeeper Lewis Craddock to thank for sticking out a leg to deny Glebe’s Butcher at the far post - preventing a goal that could have put the game out of sight for the Blues - and they went straight down the other end and got a goal back through Hetterley, beating the advancing goalie with a shot into the top corner in the 55th minute.
With an hour gone tempers flared, leading to a man from each side being sent off following some physical exchanges. Glebe’s Danny Oakins was first to go and he was followed into the changing rooms by Sam Denly.
The offside flag denied Killick while at the other end claims from the Bay players of handball inside the box were waved away by the referee.
Hetterley went close to an equaliser after an exchange of passes with Pat Bishenden but they then conceded a fourth when a weak defensive header was pounced upon by man-of-the-match Killick, who still had plenty to do before firing in from an angle.
The tie wasn’t quite over. Just 60 seconds later Bay got another goal back as the Glebe keeper was beaten by an own-goal on 90 minutes to set up a tense finish.
Bay manager Scott Kennett knows his side can still claim some silverware this season but this was the big one - and he admitted the better side won on the night.
He said: “We gave them too much time, we lost a lot of individual duels and some of the goals we gave them, I don’t think they earned them so much, we gave them (the goals).
“Credit to the other team, I think the better team won, I have to be honest, no excuses.
“I can’t fault the boys’ effort, we gave it our all and just came up short.
“We had started alright, got the goal, but just didn’t build on it. There were too many errors. The press wasn’t right, we allowed them to pick us off with simple passes and got punished.
“We were the better team last 20 minutes and had a go but there was a mistake at the end, it just wasn’t our day. I am gutted for the boys, we really had a go at it this year, we just came up short.
“We still have a semi-final next week and then a league game which, if we win, we win the league, we can still do the domestic double but this is the one everyone wants to win.
“We keep our heads high, reset and move onto the next game and go again.”
Herne Bay: Craddock, Eastwood, Atkinson (Williams 50mins, Banks 86mins)), Webb (Delo 76mins), Kennett, Brister (Davis 55mins), O’Brien, Denly, Brown, Bishenden, Hetterley (Groom 81mins).
Glebe: Beddow, Dennington, Powell, Oakins, Fleming, Percival (Brown 60mins), McGonigie, Warner, Butcher (Dyer 68mins), Killick, Tarrent. Subs not used: Garland, Rawley, Walker.
Referee: Grant Steele.