Home league match played on 12 October 2014.
Kicked off at 10:45 AM

On the back of two consecutive away victories, The Queen FC returned to Gamecock Meadows in an attempt to maintain their table-topping position for another week. The visitors to West Kingsdown today were N S & S Club Ashes, who were themselves looking for a morale boosting result following an indifferent start to the season.

One major change from the side that tasted victory last week was forced because of the absence of Joe Stevens. Newspaper reports seem to suggest that he was discussing terms over a possible loan move to Ajax. Peter Bourne sacrificed his familiar defensive role to deputise in goal, which meant that there was space in a back three for Harry Weaver, who impressed there last week. Two more changes for the home side as Lewis Royal and Paul Jeffery were recalled in place of James Jones and Raymond Steer, who both dropped to the bench.

Within the opening ten minutes it was clear to see that Queen wingbacks Moxom and Royal were to be far more advanced than the previous week as the visitors failed to hold them back. In the eleventh minute, Royal collected the ball from Weaver and with plenty of time on the ball he clipped a neat ball into top scorer Miller who then slid his strike partner Clarke in on goal. Clarke confidently side-stepped the advancing goalkeeper and brushed home in to an empty net to notch his third of the season. A positive start from the hosts and even at this early stage were looking comfortable.

The Queen's back line were notably comfortable on the ball and it was from here that a sublime team move so nearly paid off. All three centre backs exchanged passes in their own half before Hunter brought Howell into play. Howell expertly spread the play across to the right hand side where he found Moxom, who swung in a testing cross towards his two strikers. Miller's contact on the ball was not quite enough to divert it goalwards but instead it fell kindly for his strike partner Clarke who rocked the goal frame with a low effort.

The home side continued to manufacture chances and it seemed inevitable that they would increase their lead. Another sublime team move saw Moxom chip direct towards Clarke who unselfishly cut back for Howell, who rifled just wide of the target.

Two minutes later the hosts were made to pay for missing a hatful of chances as the visitors devastated them on the counter attack. A quick combination of give and go's eventually presented the striker with a shooting opportunity he was not going to miss. A low drive evaded the outstretched hand of Bourne and nestled in to the bottom corner. Ashes had obviously not read the script, as they well and truly put the cat amongst the pigeons.

In a true show of character however, the hosts responded admirably and in fact needed a solitary three minutes before they restored their lead. Relishing in his new free role, Paul Miller once again timed his run to perfection as he collected a precise through ball from Howell and rifled home from twelve yards. Despite being so early in the season, it's hard to imagine Miller not registering a huge amount of goals this season.

Before the break, Clarke and Miller both had chances to effectively kill the game off but were both guilty of missing the target. Firstly, a well-timed run from Clarke was met with a pinpoint through ball from Jeffery, but the striker's ambitious chipped finish bounced one yard wide of the far post. In similar circumstances, Miller found himself one on one with the goalkeeper but dragged his shot wide of the same post.

A tight score line at the break despite a show of dominance from the hosts meant they needed an early goal in the second half to silence the doubters. No changes at half time for the tangerines, just a chance to re-group.

Picking up where they left off, the hosts laid siege on the Ashes goal. Howell as ever was heavily involved in all build up play. A glorious cross field ball from Howell was collected by Royal who expertly picked out Clarke in the eighteen yard box. Some tidy footwork in a small space gave him half a yard to unleash a fierce drive towards goal, only to be denied by the chest of the diving defender on the line. Brave defending to say the least.

Howell then created a chance for himself as he nutmegged the visiting right back, cut inside and let fly from twenty yards. Unfortunately for him, the strike was too close to the keeper and it was dealt with comfortably.

On the hour mark, a double substitution saw a reshuffle in formation. Tylee and Moxom were replaced by full backs Humberstone and Jones who took their place in a back four. Five minutes later, Steer replaced Howell in an advanced midfield role.

Despite three changes in the line-up, the hosts were generating plenty of chances but were failing to be clinical in front of goal.

Miller was unlucky to see a left foot drive from ten yards ricochet off the crossbar, and then watch as Clarke's follow up was again saved on the line. Two minutes later, a positive run from Miller into the box was followed by a disguised cut back to Steer who had his effort saved. The rebound then fell to Royal, who unselfishly cut back for the advancing Jeffery who dragged his shot wide.

In to the last ten minutes and the wave of orange pressure was relentless. A mazy run from wide man Royal took several opponents out of the game and as he spread the ball wide to Clarke, the pitch opened up further. A smashing cross found the leaping Miller, but his header cannoned back off the post. What else would they have to do to put this game beyond doubt?

Two minutes later, the home side's persistence finally paid off. Royal and Miller combined well in the final third to eventually tee up Steer who confidently crushed any opposition hopes of an upset.

In the final exchanges of the game, Royal was noticeably irritable, and after reacting badly to a late challenge he landed himself a fine as the referee brandished the yellow card.

Just like London buses, you wait over an hour and then two come along at once. This was certainly the case in this game, as with seconds left on the clock, Miller grabbed his third brace in as many games. Hunter's direct pass from the back was collected by Miller who squared for Clarke but his shot was blocked. Ray calmly collected the rebound and rolled it to Miller who, despite scuffing his shot, rippled the back of the net.

Sitting comfortably at the top of the league for a second consecutive week. Next up for the tangerines is a difficult local derby against South Darenth.

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