West Kent Sunday League News Report – Sunday 6th January 2019

Teams were back in action after the two week break, for some the break had been longer with rain washing out some games before Christmas. All games went ahead as scheduled.

Surrey Lower Junior Cup

Dormansland Rockets finally played their delayed Third Round tie against opposition from the British Tamil Football League, requiring an hour's trip to Wimbledon Common to play Watch Me FC. Unknown territory on several counts, but a very worthwhile journey.

 Information on the opposition was hard to come by, but it was known that they were unbeaten so far this season. The first half was fairly even, but Rockets arrived at the break with a 2-0 advantage, the first goal being an own goal, while the second was enthusiastically despatched by Ross Waghorn.

For some reason best beknown to themselves, Rockets failed to get going in the second half. A free kick given away on the edge of the box was scored by Watch Me and this as you can imagine was all the home side needed to lift their game even further. The equaliser came without about fifteen minutes remaining.

With no further goals during the remaining period, the game went to penalties. Despite going first and missing their first one, the Rockets won the shoot-out 3-2.

They play their fourth round tie next Sunday, travelling this time to Coney Hall near Bromley to play AFC Shirley of the Croydon Municipal Sunday League

WKSFL Senior Cup

There was just the one game and in that game Royal Oak recorded only their second win of the season, beating Insulators 1-0 in a group 2 game. The fist half was goal-less. Ashley Bell was the scorer,  intercepting a poor back-pass midway through the second period. Insulators had plenty of chances to score, but failed to do so for the third time against Division One opposition. Sam Catt kept his side's first clean sheet of the season. As the table below shows, that group is anyone's. The top four will qualify for the next stage.

West Kent Sunday League Senior Cup Group 2
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Armada 4 3 0 1 17 11 6 9
2 St John's Yard 4 2 1 1 20 12 8 7
3 Pembury Sunday 3 2 1 0 9 4 5 7
4 Cassidy's Phoenix 5 2 0 3 20 16 4 6
5 Royal Oak 4 2 0 2 9 12 -3 6
6 Speldhurst Rangers 6 2 0 4 11 27 -16 6
7 Green Street Blues 2 1 0 1 5 3 2 3
8 Insulators 4 1 0 3 0 6 -6 3

Division One

We have new leaders. Artois United opened up the field with a 1-0 win over Simla. Tim Thirlaway scored the only goal, from the penalty spot. ´Keeper Dave Holdstock kept his fourth clean sheet of the season and currently leads the League in that department. Meanwhile Green Lane were busy beating Pembury Sunday 4-1, with Tommy Welch hitting a hat-trick, plus there was a penalty from James Knight in a win that tales them to the top of League for the first time since the opening weeks of the season. Pembury Sunday have now lost lost their last three league games. Luke Packman was their scorer.

Armada have had an up and down season but their result against Green Street Blues was definitely on the upside. Their 8-3 win at Green Street Blues wasn't quite their best of the season, but will go a long way to restore morale. Goals were shared around, with Tom Cobb, Harry Tampsett and Jimmy Denman each scoring twice, Sam Renshaw one and there was an own goal. Blues scorers were Shaun Boyle, Ash Birch-Ruffell and James Phillips.

West Kent Sunday League Division One
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Green Lane 7 6 0 1 23 13 10 18
2 Simla 7 5 0 2 27 6 21 15
3 Artois United 6 5 0 1 22 14 8 15
4 Armada 6 3 0 3 24 19 5 9
5 Pembury Sunday 6 2 0 4 18 22 -4 6
6 Green Street Blues 8 1 1 6 19 43 -24 4
7 Royal Oak 6 0 1 5 12 28 -16 1

Division Two

St John's Yard lost ground in the title race when they went down 1-0 at Speldhurst Rangers. It was obvious as the Speldhurst players left the clubhouse that they had enjoyed their Xmas festivities. Plenty of gut on display and a warm up of half hearted keepie uppies was ominous against a side they rarely get points from.

The first half was a sluggish affair, with St John's Yard controlling possession but there were not many clear cut opportunities for either side. The game felt like stone wall nil nil, which was the score at half-time.

Into the second half and Rangers started brightly, finally managing a couple of passing moves. However with twenty minutes to go and players begging to be subbed, St John's Yard took control of the game.

What followed will go into Rangers folklore as the St Mary's Rec Alamo. As Speldhurst dropped deeper and deeper, Yard played the rest of the game in their opponents half. Three goal mouth chances missed left all onlookers and their dogs bemused as to how they didn't score.

Then with five minutes to go, a long ball up to Josh Fermor left the Yard back four flat footed. And with the goalie coming out to close the gap the Speldhurst striker neatly lobbed him. Cue all eleven Rangers players in their own box for the last few minutes. There was one final chance for the Yard when, after another scramble, a shot hit the underside of the bar from six  yards, proving it definitely wasn't their day.

Petts Wood Old Boys started 2019 with a very good performance, securing a 5-1 victory over Cassidy's Phoenix. Petts Wood managed to strike first with a goal coming from Joe Birch. Shortly after Jessie Ives was on hand to score two in quick session giving the Old Boys a 3-0 lead.

Cassidy gave away a penalty just before half time, Bill Parkinson stepped up and made sure Petts Wood were comfortably going into half time 4-0 up.

After half time the game started slowly, but Phoenix managed to claw one back to make it 4-1 with a good header.

Petts Wood managed to finish the game off and ensure there would be no come back when they were awarded a second penalty, which was put in the back of the net by Sam Allen to win the game 5-1.

Bottom side Brenchley may have expected a better result against Crowborough Town, especially as the visitors had to start with only ten men.  But Town ended the game at the Memorial Ground as 4-1 winners.

The day didn't start well for Crowborough when a player who had volunteered to give two team-mates a lift decided to stay in bed - and didn't tell anyone. Thanks to a regular supporter who volunteered to drive back from Brenchley to Crowborough to collect the two stranded players it was only for the first fifteen minutes that Town played with ten men. This was, however, enough for Brenchley to open the scoring with a well struck volley by Mike Williams through a crowded penalty area. With the arrival of the two 'stranded' players the visitors began to get into the game and two minutes later they were level with a goal by Dale Ashman. Now the game settled down and for the remainder of the half both sides had chances with Crowborough just shading the stats on possession.

Half Time : Brenchley FC   1  -  1  Crowborough Town FC

Perhaps it was the increased team spirit as a result of the pre-match let down, but Crowborough began to put together their best football since the start of the season.
Their forwards were giving the home team's defence a hard time but some inspired goalkeeping kept them at bay. Then midway through the half Dale Ashman used his speed to break away and, at last, beat the' keeper to put Town ahead and just three minutes later Ollie Hyland converted a penalty awarded for handball to make it 3 - 1.
This seemed to further enhance Crowborough's 'esprit de corps' and another goal two minutes later as Dale Ashman completed his hat-trick was no real surprise. For the final fifteen minutes it was the Brenchley keeper who kept the Town forwards at bay and although the result was never really in doubt the home side never gave up. Town had, on more than one occasion, their own 'keeper Ryan Hunt to thank for taking all three points.  Perhaps they should try again leaving two players stranded in Crowborough! 

Full Time :   Brenchley FC  1  -  4  Crowborough Town FC      

West Kent Sunday League Division Two
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Insulators 6 5 0 1 26 9 17 15
2 St John's Yard 6 3 1 2 20 15 5 10
3 Speldhurst Rangers 5 2 1 2 14 13 1 7
4 Petts Wood OB 4 2 1 1 13 12 1 7
5 Dormansland Rockets 5 2 0 3 15 17 -2 6
6 Crowborough Town 5 2 0 3 13 15 -2 6
7 Cassidy's Phoenix 6 2 0 4 14 24 -10 6
8 Brenchley 5 1 1 3 11 21 -10 4

Division Three

Big shock perhaps? FC Grinstead had carried all before them, winning their first eight League matches but came crashing down to earth after a six goal home hammering by TW Ridgewaye.  Eight points behind but with three games in hand, Ridgewaye will mount a serious challenge after than 6-0 win. Dan Kommu led the way with a hat-trick, also on the scoresheet were Adam Davies-Knight, Tom Mitcheson and Charlie Baitup. Ben Adams, who normally plays outfield and scores goals, played in goal and kept his side's first clean sheet of the season. Ridgewaye's attention now turns to their last 16 County Cup tie next Sunday.

Tonbridge United 2-4 Tonbridge Origin

After over a month without a game due to bad weather and the Christmas break, Origin started 2019 with a win against Tonbridge United. The first half of the match was very slow paced, with both teams showing signs of rustiness after the extended break. Origin enjoyed the share of possession but could not break the deadlock, missing several chances with the United keeper also pulling off some good saves.

Tonbridge United took the lead after an Origin attack broke down and they took advantage on a counter attack, with United skipper Reece Dangerfield calmly slotting past Origin keeper Jamie Holder.

Half time 1-0

Origin continued attack United in the second half but could not find an equaliser, again being guilty of missing several opportunities. A change in formation brought some luck though and Origin equalised when Ben Holder dispossessed United right back Nathan Swan whilst in the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball in the net past the United keeper. 1-1.

Holder scored his second goal soon after in very similar circumstances, again picking the ball up on the left and calmly finishing. 2-1 to Origin.

Origin wanted to build on the lead, but were shell shocked when United equalised with a freak goal. Rob Cooke had a speculative shot from distance which looked like it would be a simple save from Origin keeper Jamie Holder. However, anticipating that the ball would bounce on a bobbly pitch, it failed to do so and rolled under the his foot and across the line. 2-2.

Origin retook the lead when Ben Holder sealed his hat trick. After some ping-pong in the six yard box, Holder beat his man and tucked the ball into the net. 3-2 to Origin.

With United pushing for a last minute equaliser, their 'keeper went up for a United corner. However, the ball was cleared by Origin which fell to defender Adam Watson. Adam coolly dribbled the whole length of the pitch and slotted the ball into the empty net.

Yalding & Laddingford drew 1-1 with Goudhurst United at The Kinton's, a result which does neither team any favours in a possible challenge for second place. Stefan Warner scored for Yalding and for the first time this season I don't write Harvey Parks next to Goudhurst as their scorer was David Denton.

Biggin Hill are picking up form and and heading further up the table after a good 4-1 win at home against Insulators Reserves. Emmanuel Awwokunle, Harly Muller, Jack Allan and Matt Bishop were the scorers, all their goals coming in the first half.  Insulators Reserves recovered duting the second period, Glen Gostlow pulled one back for the visitors but the damage had been done. That result was Biggin Hill's fourth game since their last defeat.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Grinstead 9 8 0 1 40 21 19 24
2 Ticehurst Village 10 5 3 2 36 28 8 18
3 TW Ridgewaye 6 5 1 0 38 14 24 16
4 Goudhurst United 9 4 2 3 28 26 2 14
5 Tonbridge Origin 10 4 1 5 36 31 5 13
6 Yalding & Laddingford 9 4 1 4 25 30 -5 13
7 Biggin Hill JFC 9 2 3 4 24 30 -6 9
8 Tonbridge United 9 0 2 7 13 38 -25 2
9 Insulators Reserves 7 0 1 6 10 32 -22 1

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