West Kent Sunday League News Report Sunday 30th December - Mid-Season

Mid Season report

We are halfway through the season with only one really bad week of weather disruption (fingers crossed for no more) with the various WKSFL competitions nicely poised for the second half, which begins on Sunday 6th January.

Highlight is that we have three teams through to the county-wide round of 16 in two of the Kent Sunday Cups. Artois United and Simla will do battle in mid-January in the Kent Sunday Premier Cup, while TW Ridgewaye have made it through into the final stages of the Kent Sunday Junior Trophy. The best of luck to them all. If only more WKSFL teams would enter!

Dormansland Rockets are carrying the flag into the latter stages of the Surrey Sunday Lower Junior Cup. Their next game will be at very exotic opposition in the shape of British Tamil League team Watch Me FC. I have found absolutely nothing recent about this league (any help greatly appreciated!) so it also looks like a leap into the dark for them.

The league began with 26 teams spread across three divisions. It was only one fewer than finished the previous season, but was soon reduced with the early collapse of the re-formed FC Hayward. It's very sad to see that there is now only one WKSFL team now based in the Crowborough and Jarvis Brook area, when not long ago there were nine. We now learn of the demise of Paddock Wood FC's Sunday team, bringing numbers down to 24. That's the lowest ever, apart from that very first season more than 50 years ago. Paddock Wood have said that they plan to start again next season at a lower level more suited to the abilities of the players available to them.

A problem that has become obvious this season if not before is the availability of players week in, week out. We all know the reasons, but squads of 25 or 30 now seem to be necessary to be able to get eleven and couple of subs out on the pitch on a Sunday morning. Some teams have recorded sixteen different goal-scorers this season, let alone those who have not found the net.

The Charity Shield match was not held this year with difficulty in finding a suitable venue.

The Management Committee decided to play the first round of the Senior and Junior Cups in a group format to ensure that teams had a good number of matches through the season.

Division One

The season started well for Green Lane, who took an early position at the top of the table after beating Simla. The adjusted league table shows Simla and Green Lane tied at the top of table with Artois three points behind and a game in hand. Those top three all have to play each other once more, so it could be a close contest. There is though a big gap between those three and the rest.

West Kent Sunday League Division One
adjusted following resignation of Paddock Wood FC
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Simla 6 5 0 1 27 5 22 15
2 Green Lane 6 5 0 1 19 12 7 15
3 Artois United 5 4 0 1 21 14 7 12
4 Armada 5 2 0 3 16 16 0 6
5 Pembury Sunday 5 2 0 3 17 18 -1 6
6 Green Street Blues 7 1 1 5 16 35 -19 4
7 Royal Oak 6 0 1 5 12 28 -16 1

Division Two

Insulators have recovered well from relegation and are out on top despite a surprise defeat at the hands of Brenchley. St John's Yard will I am sure make a strong challenge. The other six teams are closely bunched, with only three points separating them. I think the top two are pretty well certain to stay there, but any slip-ups could be costly.

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 5 3 1 1 20 14 6 10
3 Dormansland Rockets 5 2 0 3 15 17 -2 6
4 Cassidy's Phoenix 5 2 0 3 13 19 -6 6
5 Speldhurst Rangers 4 1 1 2 13 13 0 4
6 Petts Wood OB 3 1 1 1 8 11 -3 4
7 Brenchley 4 1 1 2 10 17 -7 4
8 Crowborough Town 4 1 0 3 9 14 -5 3

Division Three

The decision by FC Grinstead to stay with the League has been well and truly vindicated by their 100% record after eight matches played. Potential challengers Goudhurst United and Ticehurst Village started the season well but have both lost form, having won only one of their last four games. The main challenge will come from TW Ridgewaye, who are behind with their League fixtures after a good run in the Kent Sunday Junior Trophy. In that next round they will travel to Loose to play Cross Keys FC, who are currently seventh in the Maidstone and Mid Kent Sunday Football League Division Two. I think Ridgewaye are a good bet to make the quarter-finals, which might of course have an impact on their League campaign.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 FC Grinstead 8 8 0 0 40 15 25 24
2 Ticehurst Village 10 5 3 2 36 28 8 18
3 TW Ridgewaye 5 4 1 0 32 14 18 13
4 Goudhurst United 8 4 1 3 27 25 2 13
5 Yalding & Laddingford 8 4 0 4 24 29 -5 12
6 Tonbridge Origin 9 3 1 5 32 29 3 10
7 Biggin Hill JFC 8 1 3 4 20 29 -9 6
8 Tonbridge United 8 0 2 6 11 34 -23 2
9 Insulators Reserves 6 0 1 5 9 28 -19 1

Senior Cup

Artois United and Simla lead Group 1 and are virtually certain to qualify for the next stage.They are closely followed by Green Lane, so no big surprises there. Dormansland Rockets will join them in the last eight provided they don't make any mistakes and win two of their remaining four games.

Group 2 is pretty wide open.Only six points separate top from bottom. Speldhurst Rangers are the one team out of it with only one game left. That's against Pembury Sunday. Should Pembury fail to win that one, things will be very interesting. Let's hope this situation doesn't fall foul of any future weather disruption.

Intermediate Cup

This is being played in a straight knockout format and is down to the last eight. Insulators will travel to Brenchley hoping they can get a better result than they did in the League! The game between St John's Yard and Petts Wood Old Boys is a hard one to call. The league game at Westcombe Park was  3-3 draw. I can see this one being a close affair. Same with TW Ridgewaye and Dormansland Rockets. If the Rockets can put on one of their better performances they ought to go through. Ridgewaye are though quite capable of causing an upset. Holders Crowborough Town face a tricky tie with Tonbridge Origin. Town will need some match practice having had three successive home games called off with their pitch yet again suffering because of rain.

Junior Cup

This is being played in two groups, with the top two in each going through to contest a two-leg semi final. In Group 1  a key game is that between FC Grinstead and Yalding & Laddingford. FC Grinstead are currently top of the table and will qualify if they win. Should they not, the door is open for Yalding & Laddingford to qualify by beating Tonbridge Origin. Origin hold the key to this group. Should they win their last three games they would rise from bottom to second. In Group 2 there is one game remaining and it's a simple matter. A win or draw for Biggin Hill against Goudhurst United would see them through. If they lose, Insulators Reserves would join Goudhurst United in the semi-finals.

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