West Kent Sunday League News Report – Sunday 10th March 2019

A few games were called off after heavy rain made some pitches unfit, but Dormansland Rockets game went ahead and once again they have reached the final of the Surrey Lower Junior Cup

Surrey Sunday Lower Junior Cup Semi Final

Dormansland Rockets deservedly overcame Blacksmiths Arms in gale force winds to reach the Surrey County Cup final. They had an early scare when a mishit Rockets pass played the Blacksmiths striker clean through inside the first five minutes, but he blazed harmlessly over the bar. After that Rockets took control of the game and despite playing with the wind Blacksmiths were unable to get out of their half. Eventually the pressure told. Twenty minutes in Blacksmiths played a short goal kick, however Rich Wetton caught the centre half unaware, dispossessing him before coolly rounding the keeper . Wetton had further chances to extend the lead before half time, the best was a free header from a brilliant Shane Clarabut delivery which went harmlessly wide off of his shoulder. In a game where quality was at a premium due to the conditions, the highlight of the first half was Rich Wetton managing to cross the ball to himself after it was blown back to him by a strong breeze, something I have no doubt he has always wanted to be able to do.

The second half was a more even affair, with Blacksmiths Arms flying out of the traps following their half time team talk. They created little, but were pressing Dormansland higher up the pitch to good effect and were rewarded for their efforts with a slice of luck in the form of a rare goalkeeping error from Louis Stone. The Blacksmiths player shot tamely from 30 yards out and Stone; channelling his inner Massimo Taibi, allowed the ball to squirm under him and into the goal. I’m not sure it even hit the back of the net. Rockets rallied following this and should have taken the lead again, first through Rich Wetton and then through TJ Stead but on both occasions the Blacksmith's keeper made a fantastic save. With two minutes to go and extra time looking inevitable Dave Heaton slipped the ball to Ali Jones 25 yards out, he flicked it up with his first touch before hitting a volley into the top corner to send the Rockets through to the final, it was a goal worthy of winning any game.

Dormansland Rockets will meet Atlético Bublé, a team based in Raynes Park south west London in the Final. They play in Division Four of the Souhern Sunday League. (NB it is scheduled for a Friday night, May 10th, in Dorking's new Meadowbank Stadium. Popular choice I bet!)

WKSFL Senior Cup

A closer group could hardly be imagined, but Pembury Sunday gained an important three points at Hawkenbury on Sunday, beating Royal Oak 8-0.  Pembury's top scorer Luke Packman hit a hat-trick, while Bradley Large weighed in with two and there was one each from Matt Rice-Tucker, Tom Price and Fred Johns.Toby Forward, in goal, kept his side's third clean sheet of the season.

Shoud Pembury get at least a point from their game next week against Green Street Blues, it would confirm their qualification for the quarter-finals. A win would confirm top spot, while the draw or win for Green Street Blues would see them through on goal difference at the expense of St John's Yard.

West Kent Sunday League Senior Cup Group 2 including Sunday 10th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Pembury Sunday 5 4 1 0 21 7 14 13
2 Armada 6 4 0 2 21 14 7 12
3 St John's Yard 7 3 1 3 26 30 -4 10
4 Cassidy's Phoenix 7 3 0 4 30 22 8 9
5 Green Street Blues 6 3 0 3 24 16 8 9
6 Insulators 7 3 0 4 8 14 -6 9
7 Royal Oak 7 3 0 4 17 27 -10 9
8 Speldhurst Rangers 7 2 0 5 14 31 -17 6

WKSFL Intermediate Cup

St John's Yard have though made it into the semi-finals of the WKSFL Intermediate Cup following a comprehensive 8-2 win at home against Petts Wood Old Boys. Both the league matches between the two were score-draws, but this time there was no stopping the Yard. Playing in very difficult conditions, they took the lead in the third minute  of the game,  Petts Wood quickly equalised through Sam Chadney ,but the home side scored a second in the 22nd minute to make it 2 -1 at half time.

The second half saw St John's Yard scoring freely. One lapse of concentration allowed the Old Boys Ollie Nick in for a second but by that time it was all over.

The Yard's scorers were Rory Wilson 3,  Mush Miah 2, plus Dan Hunter, Jack Veness and Josh Williams all with one each.

Another team through are Insulators after a hard fought game at Brenchley.

Insulators report begins 'I imagine everyone is going to mention how the wind affected their game (they have!!) and this one was no exception. Brenchley had already beaten Insulators in the league at The Stadium so it was certain this would be a tough game.

Insulators kicked against the wind in the first half and for the first five minutes were unable to get out of their own half. It was something of a shock when James Philpott broke through and put Insulators in front just a minute later. Within sixty seconds Brenchley equalised with a long shot by Dave Hartfield which, wind assisted, flew past the 'Slators keeper. Another rare breakaway saw Insulators retake the league from a deserved penalty with top scorer Jake Pingault calmly slotting home on 15 minutes. Insulators then contributed to their own downfall with a defensive error allowed Brenchley's Michel van Oorschot to equalise on 18 minutes. Just as Insulators were hoping to get into half time level the home side took a 3-2 lead on 44 minutes with a shot from close range by Milke Williams. Was a one goal lead enough?

With roles reversed, it was Insulators who had most of the game but Brenchley created a number of useful chances which they failed to take. The scores were levelled on 54 minutes when James Philpott played in Callum Lawlor who took his chance well. It was Philpott again, on 70 minutes,  whose header played in Martin Page-Mitchell who also took his chance well. Two minutes later Michael Gutkowski's header made it 3-5 and put the game beyond Brenchley.

Credit to both sides who played a decent, competitive match in difficult conditions.

The other scheduled tie, Crowborough Town v Tonbridge Origin, predictably perhaps fell to the conditions and was called off.

Division One

The key game between Green Lane and Artois United was also called off.

With just two League games remaining, Simla have only a mathematical chance of overtaking either of the teams above them. They have though made certain of third place after a 4-0 win against Armada.  A hat-trick by Ian Parsons was key to the outcome, Mattt Coleman added the fourth. Joe Cullip kept his sixth clean sheet of the season and leads the league in that Department.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 10th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Green Lane 10 9 0 1 36 18 18 27
2 Artois United 9 8 0 1 36 19 17 24
3 Simla 10 7 0 3 39 9 30 21
4 Armada 9 4 0 5 30 27 3 12
5 Pembury Sunday 9 3 0 6 24 30 -6 9
6 Green Street Blues 10 1 1 8 24 54 -30 4
7 Royal Oak 9 0 1 8 13 45 -32 1

Division Two

There were no games scheduled.

Division Three

The only game of the three to go ahead was at the Memorial Ground in Paddock Wood where Insulators Reserves and Goudhurst United played out a 4-4 draw.

Insulators kicked with the wind in the first half and quickly took the lead through Lewis Mitchell. Goudhurst equalised before skipper,  Kieron Pattenden, put the home side back in front before half time.

A one goal advantage may not have been sufficient and it looked that way as Goudhurst equalised in the 46th minute.  Another two goals by the hour mark (three of the four by prolific scorer Harvey Parks) saw the away side with a 2-4 lead and the wind not getting any easier. It was quite unexpected that Insulators began a fight back with Craig Smith scoring two fine goals to bring the scores level. It was then Insulators in the ascendancy and several chances were missed. As the game entered the final few seconds Goudhurst had a great effort to win the game, but Dan Marks in the home goal made a tremendous save to give his side a point.

Harvey Parks has scored in sixteen of his seventeen games this season (all WKSFL competitions) and is Division Three's top scorer with 29 goals, just one behind league leader Ben Boodle of Cassidy's Phoenix. Record books are being examined. Has anyone scored in all but one of his teams's outings over a season? Goudhurst have played jsut the one game without him so far.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 10th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Grinstead 14 12 0 2 53 27 26 36
2 Ticehurst Village 14 7 3 4 44 36 8 24
3 Goudhurst United 14 6 3 5 46 42 4 21
4 TW Ridgewaye 9 6 1 2 46 20 26 19
5 Tonbridge Origin 14 6 1 7 49 47 2 19
6 Yalding & Laddingford 13 6 1 6 37 41 -4 19
7 Biggin Hill JFC 13 5 3 5 37 36 1 18
8 Insulators Reserves 12 1 2 9 19 48 -29 5
9 Tonbridge United 11 0 2 9 15 49 -34 2

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