Wilderpark got out “of jail” to grab a late 4-2 victory over hosts Rusthall Club after being on the defensive for much of the second half and thus completed the double over their opponents.
Dave Hobby returned to the back line and Lewis Hughes took over in goal after returning from injury. The Park had a good balance to the team, sound at the back, good energy in midfield with Paul Burgess rolling back the years and providing excellent ball service to the flank players.
Rusthall Club started brightly and were always dangerous on the break. At the other end Burgess opened up the home defence with an excellent ball inside the full back for Alex David but the keeper was alert and smothered the shot. Freddie Payne was showing good movement and Ollie Barnes set up David but he was dispossessed.
It was not all one way traffic and the hosts continued to thrust forward. A free kick taken from just outside the 18 yard are went aimlessly wide. Leon Terry had an excellent run down the left outpacing his marker but the final ball in to the area was wasted.
Minutes later a low throw-in on the right by Rusthall was headed home with the Park marking being exposed. Five minutes after this a long ball out of defence by Jason Lee found Payne who beat the offside trap and moving forward clipped the ball over the advancing keeper. Rusthall protested that Payne was offside but after the referee consulted the opposing linesman the goal stood. 1-1 at half time.
Rusthall came out for the second half fired up and continued for a while to pressure the Park defence. Lee was prominent as was the ever reliable Hobby well supported by Steve Henniker and Neil Cutts.
The Park continued to be dangerous on the break and Andy Streeter had the ball in the net but was ruled offside. A long ball from Steeter to David saw him slot the ball home but again the goal was disallowed.
Burgess and Cutts were substituted and on came James Hagon and Paul Bellringer. The Park lost control of the midfield and it was of little surprise when an attack and cross from the left was met clinically on the far post and the ball was swept inside the near upright.
The Park countered and substitute Leon Gunstone was put through but shot straight at the keeper. Henniker made a desperate tackle to deprive a Rusthall attacker and soon afterwards Payne levelled the score.
As the minutes ticked away and a share of the spoils appeared to be the final outcome Rusthall continued to push forward in numbers. They became vulnerable at the back and David received the ball on the left and unleashed a tremendous shot, lobbing the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.
Then almost on the whistle a cross from the right found Streeter who slotted the ball into the net.