West Kent Sunday League News Report – Sunday 20th January 2019

There were some important games played in the WKSFL Senior Cup on another good day when all matches went ahead as scheduled. In other news, Dormansland Rockets have been handed a possibly tough task in their Surrey Sunday Lower Junior Cup Quarter Final They will host IFC Roffey, currently top of the Redhill and District Sunday League Division Three with eleven wins from eleven games. We await the draw for the Kent Sunday Premier Cup and Kent Sunday Junior Trophy in which the League will be represented by Simla and TW Ridgewaye respectively.

WKSFL Senior Cup - First Round Group Stage

Group 1 - Wins for Artois United and Simla guaranteed their qualification for the quarter-finals, Green Lane also won and are almost there. The fourth place is very much up for grabs, with only Brenchley out of the running, having completed their programme.

Simla need one point from their final game, against Crowborough Town, to finish top after a 7-0 win at Dormansland Rockets. It was a comprehensive performance by Simla  with three first half goals. The first came from an Ian Parsons corner onto the head of Myles Lowden. The second was direct from a free kick by David Blundell. The third was scored by Ian Parsons.

Dormansland had battled hard throughout the match, but were unable to penetrate Simla's defence except for one shot late on in the second half which rebounded off the cross bar and was kicked away to safety. Otherwise it was Simla who continued to dominate play throughout.

Myles Lowden scored three more goals, the first from a David Blundell cross into the box, then the other two were both one on ones with the keeper. The other goal was scored from the head of Ian Parsons from a David Blundell corner.

Final Score Dormansland 0   Simla 7  --  Joe Cullip was the clean sheet keeper.

For their part, Artois United finished their group stage games with a 4-0 win at Brenchley. Scorers were Tim Thirlaway, Stefan Draper, Jake Miller and James Donaldson. Dave Holdstock kept the clean sheet, his fifth of the season.

Green Lane pulled off a narrow 3-2 win at Crowborough Town to keep their qualification hopes very much alive.

The Crowborough squad went into this game determined to give their best but, if truth be known, fearing the worst. Playing against the leaders of Division One with a couple of first choice players missing this wasn't going to be easy.

From the start Green Lane looked a good side, capable of playing good football, but after just five minutes Town broke into their opponents penalty area and some determined work by Jacob Feasey saw him open the scoring. This shook the visitors a little and their renewed efforts saw them level the scores just five minutes later through Josh Harris. With the Crowborough side defending well, they managed to keep the Green Lane forwards at bay until midway through the half when the pressure told and the visitors took the lead. Top scorer Tommy Welch was the marksman. Then, with ten minutes left to half time, a hotly disputed penalty was dispatched by Bayley Colbran to make it 3 - 1. There was little doubt on the validity of the foul but most, if not all, felt it was outside the penalty area. The perceived injustice of this decision seemed to inspire Crowborough and with just seconds of the half left Dale Ashman used his speed to break away and score Town's second goal.

Half Time :  Crowborough Town   2  -  3   Green Lane

Still smarting from the penalty decision ,Town came out for the second half and gave their best performance of the season. Although Green Lane had chances of their own it was Crowborough who looked the more likely to score. They hit the post and the crossbar, and found the visitors 'keeper in the form that might be expected from a team at the top of their division. Crowborough's 'new found form' made the game attractive for the spectators with two unexpectedly well matched teams giving everything until the final whistle. Green Lane were looking for another goal to make the game safe, whilst Crowborough fought hard for another goal, and the draw they felt they deserved. Sadly neither came to pass.  The result leaves Green Lane needing a point from their final game against Dormansland to be certain of finishing third. The fourth and last qualifying place is well and truly open!

West Kent Sunday League Senior Cup Group 1 including Sunday 20th January
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Artois United 6 5 0 1 40 12 28 15
2 Simla 5 5 0 0 32 6 26 15
3 Green Lane 5 3 0 2 17 14 3 9
4 Petts Wood OB 4 1 0 3 5 17 -12 3
5 Brenchley 6 1 0 5 14 27 -13 3
6 Dormansland Rockets 3 1 0 2 9 22 -13 3
7 Crowborough Town 3 0 0 3 3 22 -19 0

Group 2- Defeat for Armada and St John's Yard and wins for Cassidy's Phoenix and Royal Oak have thrown this group wide open.

Armada fell to Insulators and, with two games remaining, need some points to secure a top two place. In a match where Armada had already almost qualified for the next round and Insulators were unlikely to progress, this was a surprisingly good and competitive match.

The first quarter of an hour saw Armada mainly on top and creating a number of good chances. Max Bridges in the home goal was in great form, with some top class saves to keep his side level. However, after twenty minutes Armada beat the offside trap and Tom Cobb scored a fairly straightforward goal to give his team the lead. Insulators continued to live dangerously at times, but also gradually came into the game and by half time were beginning to threaten. But at the interval it as still 1-0 to Armada.

That good form continued into the second half and it was no surprise when Tom Bridger put 'Slators level with a fine shot.  The end to end nature of the game continued and it seemed certain that more goals would follow. In the 75th minute it was Jake Pingault who robbed a defender and scored to put the home side 2-1 up.  Within two minutes Armada had levelled with a shot by Ben Renshaw that went in off the post.

It felt like there would be a winning goal and it came in the 88th minute from Insulators Martin Page-Mitchell, whose shot just about rolled over the line. Six minutes of added time were eventful but no further goals.  A very good game between two competitive sides. Final score Insulators 3 Armada 2.

Cassidy's Phoenix went to the top of the table on goal difference after an 8-3 thrashing of Green Street Blues. The league's top scorer, Ben Boodle, was in fine form for the Phoenix, scoring five of their goals and thereby tasking his tally for the season so far to 30. Josh Ennis scored a penalty, Tom Platts and Ollie Muggeridge the others. Blues scorers were Shaun Boyle, Rob Shearman and James Phillips.

Cassidy's Phoenix have one game left, against Insulators on 17th February. Armada and Royal Oak are level on points with them and both have two games to play,  St John's Yard also have two games remaining, but it's Pembury Sunday who lurk in the shadows. They have four games left and the right combination of results could see them finish at the top! Green Street Blues will meet both Ryal Oak and St John's Yard in two key games during February.

Royal Oak continued their good Senior Cup form with a fine 5-2 win over St John's Yard. Ashley Bell scored twice, Matt Last, Dan Gray and Neil Reynolds made it five. Dan Hunter and Ronnie Pugh scored for the Yard.

West Kent Sunday League Senior Cup Group 2 including Sunday
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Cassidy's Phoenix 6 3 0 3 28 19 9 9
2 Armada 5 3 0 2 19 14 5 9
3 Royal Oak 5 3 0 2 14 14 0 9
4 St John's Yard 5 2 1 2 22 17 5 7
5 Pembury Sunday 3 2 1 0 9 4 5 7
6 Insulators 5 2 0 3 3 8 -5 6
7 Speldhurst Rangers 6 2 0 4 11 27 -16 6
8 Green Street Blues 3 1 0 2 8 11 -3 3

Division Three

FC Grinstead stay on top but it was a narrow 2-0 win for them over Ticehurst Village on Sunday. George Moody became the third Grinstead goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet this season (they have just the three!) while at the business end Kofi Summerfield and Mike Parr scored the all important goals.

TW Ridgewaye continued their climb up the table with a comprehensive 5-0 win at Tonbridge United.

Ridgewaye found themselves at Tonbridge Farm on the next pitch to one of their under 16 sides playing against Riverside Colts in the Crowborough league.  The under 16s conceded a second half equaliser for a 1-1 finish.  By the end of the match most of the U 16s’ parents had moved to a position where they could see the West Kent Sunday league game as it was better football.

United started badly for the first few minutes, while their defence took time to work out their positioning.  Then for half an hour they played their best football of the match.   They kept Ridgewaye out and hit the bar with a decent shot from the left.  Then the superior fitness of Ridgewaye began to tell.  Ridgewaye scored with a cool shot by Harry Garside when he was left one on one with the ‘keeper.   Within five minutes, Ted Thomson had made it two.  Ridgewaye were playing without two of their three top strikers (Adam Davies-Knight and  Ben Adams), so Injury to Jonny Hughes forced defender Harry Demmon to play up front for most of the second half.  His first goal was long argued: was  it was a mis-hit cross (every other member of the team’s version) or a shot (Harry’s version)?  His second from close range was universally agreed to be a shot.    Dan Thomas poached the fifth after the United ‘keeper dropped the ball, which was a shame because he had been faultless up to then.  One save in the first half was good enough for ‘match of the day!’

Biggin Hill maintained their improved form, it's now five games since their last defeat. They too won narrowly, 3-2 at home against Tonbridge Origin. A brace from Ben Fillingham and a goal from Emmanuel Awokunle kept them ahead of Origin, for whom Dean Larter and Craig Waller scored.

Yalding and Laddingford are not out of the race completely. They too are on a good run at the moment, their latest result being a 3-0 win at home against Insulators Reserves.

There was an incredible start to this game. Insulators Reserves took the kick-off,  the ball was worked to their back line who then conceded a free kick with Yalding having not touched the ball. With their very first touch, Marc Faulkner despatched the ball into the top right hand corner. Constant Yalding pressure for twenty minutes eventually produced a second goal from close range for Jacob Lambert. After the break the home side's intensity subsided ,but although French playing his first game for 18 months was stretching the Yalding back line this seemed to be drifting to a close . With ten minutes to go, Dave William on as a sub, was first to a rebound to slot home. Clean sheet for Will Martin.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 20th January
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Grinstead 10 9 0 1 42 21 21 27
2 TW Ridgewaye 7 6 1 0 43 14 29 19
3 Yalding & Laddingford 11 6 1 4 36 31 5 19
4 Ticehurst Village 12 5 3 4 38 35 3 18
5 Goudhurst United 10 5 2 3 33 28 5 17
6 Tonbridge Origin 12 4 1 7 39 42 -3 13
7 Biggin Hill JFC 10 3 3 4 27 32 -5 12
8 Tonbridge United 10 0 2 8 13 43 -30 2
9 Insulators Reserves 8 0 1 7 10 35 -25 1

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