Published: 21:53, 14 May 2022
| Updated: 22:26, 14 May 2022
Tony Oladipupo scored the only goal as Kings Hill beat Stansfeld O&B to win the Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield at Chatham’s Bauvill Stadium on Friday night.
Oladipupo got on the end of a cross from player-assistant manager Connor Heffernan in first-half stoppage-time to make it 1-0 in front of a 341-strong crowd.
The goal came after a chaotic two-minute spell around 10 minutes earlier saw Kings Hill skipper Connor Charlton’s header ruled to not have crossed the line, before Stansfeld defender Ossie Bayram thumped a header of his own against the bar.
Stansfeld pushed hard for an equaliser after the restart and thought they should have had a stoppage-time penalty but those appeals were waved away, with George Oldfield being sent off by referee Ben Marshall late on as tempers boiled over.
Kings Hill manager Patrick Lee said: “We started off quite brightly, but I personally feel that we could have played better. I think the situation got to the boys a little bit, [although] that’s perfectly normal.
“But the way they played and the character they showed sort of sums up how the season has gone for us, especially the second-half of the season with us being a brand-new set up, really.
“I couldn't be more proud of the way they played.”
The game’s first chance saw Oladipupo blaze over with an effort from outside the penalty box with three minutes played.
Kings Hill continued to have the better of the early exchanges, though, as Frankie Smith’s strike was deflected wide before Oladipupo failed to convert a Jack Hyslop corner in the ninth minute.
Three minutes later, Stansfeld threatened for the first time through Aaron Walker’s free-kick which was comfortably gathered by Kings Hill goalkeeper Jack King.
Another chance came on 15 minutes and saw Walker cross for Connor O’Boyle. He was denied by King and sent the rebound wide.
Seconds later, at the other end, Heffernan and Josh Brooker both went close in a goalmouth scramble, however Stansfeld survived.
With little to choose between the teams at this stage, Heffernan once again caused problems on the half-hour mark as the ball fell kindly to him, but he couldn’t beat Stansfeld goalkeeper Charlie Penfold.
Six minutes later came the first controversial moment of the contest. Kings Hill thought they had scored when Charlton met Hyslop’s corner but, much to the dismay of some behind the goal, it was ruled the ball had not crossed the line.
Two minutes later, Stansfeld came close to rubbing salt in Kings Hill wounds, with Osbourne cracking a header against the underside of the bar at the far post as he met a corner.
But Kings Hill scored what proved to be the all-important first and only goal of the game two minutes into stoppage-time. Heffernan delivered a cross into the box and Oladipupo stroked the ball home.
Looking to help his side double their advantage, Brooker sent a free-kick well over in the 48th minute before Frankie Smith crossed for the influential Heffernan who also missed the target.
Just before the hour mark, hopeful Stansfeld penalty appeals were turned down while Zach Garcia shot over the bar amid the confusion.
Charlton thought he had doubled Kings Hill’s lead on 62 minutes, only to see his goal - which had come after a high free-kick - chalked off for offside.
Hyslop and Matt Morse both went close as Kings Hill continued to push for a two-goal cushion.
But Stansfeld were far from out of the tie and two substitutes combined seven minutes from time when George White sent a Rob Hughes corner over the bar from close range.
At the other end, in the 85th minute, Charlie Gunningham drove out of defence for Kings Hill but he was thwarted by Penfold.
In the dying stages, drama ensued.
Stansfeld felt they should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on MacMillian, however Mr Marshall waved play on.
Stansfeld’s frustrations then got the better of them as they couldn’t quite find a way through after a valiant effort, with Oldfield sent off after his team’s penalty appeals had been turned down for an off-the-ball incident as emotions boiled over and Kings Hill held on.
Stansfeld O&B: Penfold, Oldfield, Hook (Saunders 80mins), Osbourne, Bayram, Crawford (Jeal 54mins), Walker (Hughes 75mins), Collins, MacMillian, O’Boyle (White 60mins), Garcia (Smith 60mins).
Kings Hill: King, Borg (Daniels 43mins), Charlton, Gunningham, Lewis, Heffernan, Morse (Still 89mins), Oladipupo, Hyslop (Odubonojo 75mins), Brooker, Smith. Subs not used: Ellis, McHugh.
Referee: Ben Marshall.