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West Kent Sunday League Report – Sunday 2nd April 2017

The focus was on Cup matches, with no League matches being scheduled. Top of the list were three WKSFL Cup semi-finals

Senior Cup semi-final

The semi-final between Tonbridge Origin and Dormansland Rockets was abandoned. The League is investigating.

Junior Cup semi-finals - updated 4th April

Bricklayer's Arms, Division Three winners, will meet FC Grinstead, Division Four runners-up, in the Junior Cup Final on April 30th.

Extra time was needed to separate two in form teams when Rusthall Club Athletic hosted Bricklayer's Arms at Southwood Road. It was the visitors who came out on top after eleven goals had been scored.  For the record Brick's goals were scored by Harry Sansbury (2), Rob Gordon, Ollie Hyland, Craig Bishop and Ben Freeman, while for the Club the marksmen were Adam Saunders (2), James Scott, Jamie Law and Dave Waters. It had been 3-0 to Rusthall Cub at half-time, 4-0 not long afterwards but Bricks fought back to make it 4-4 at the end of 90 minutes. Extra time went the way of the visitors.

Additional words later received from Terry Harman of Bricklayer's Arms, slightly edited by me :-

The Club started the faster of the two creating a chance with their first attack ,resulting in a corner in which they nearly converted only to be denied by Bricks 'keeper Alex Gunn who, luckily for the Bricks, had turned up awake this week. Rusthall continued to push and a cross flew to the centre to an unmarked striker. Alex Gunn got in the way again. The warning signs was there for all to see.

That seemed to spring the Bricks into life and they started to make chances of their own. A long goal kick found its way to fans favourite “Bobby Gordon” who brought the ball down then shifted it to Danny Lawrence for a shot, which he managed to put over the bar.The pressure from the away side continued when Bert Freeman floated a trade mark corner to an on-coming James '50 pence head' Gould, which nearly went out for a throw.

As the game ebbed and flowed, Rusthall began to gain momentum and had a goal ruled for offside. Warning number two!!! There to be no more warnings. Moments later as the Rusthall striker Saunders rolled the Bricks defender and slotted home. 42 minutes in and a mistake in the bricks midfield caused Rusthall to break and score again 2-0 to the home side. This half wasn’t over though as on the stroke of half time they made it 3-0.

The Bricks came out for the second half with a change of formation and an attitude change.Looking fired up they went on the attack. This soon put to a stop when a mistake at the back from normally very reliable defence let Rusthall in to score the 4th. The management team took action! Off came Tommy Mulcahy, who was having a unusually quiet game and on came Harry Sansbury. This sparked the Bricks into life. John Jo Mulcahy went into a rampaging run down the right hand side to deliver a ball to the back post met by the sub Sansbury and it was 4-1. Bricks, with the bit between their teeth, now went all out on attack, with Rusthall not seeing much of the ball. Good running and passing from Bert Freeman, Danny Lawrence and Ollie Hyland resulted in the latter being brought down in the box. Penalty to Bricks, which Craig Bishop stepped up coolyl put the ball in the bottom right hand corner for 4-2.

The game carried on in the same vein, with Bricks pushing hard,  J J Mulcahy just missing from thirty yards. Then came the break through. Bert Freeman made it, with a delicate through ball for the Harry Sansbury to go one on one with the goalkeeper, he kept his cool keep his cool and slotted it past. 4-3.

With eight minutes to go, the game became blur of the Bricks going gung-ho for the equaliser. Five minutes into injury time, everyone was up for a corner even goalkeeper Gunn had been ordered into the box with the manager Terry Harman praying for the ball to drop to one of his players. Bert Freeman floated in another one of his trade mark corners and Bobby Gordon seemed to leap higher then anyone else, scored, 4-4 and we went to extra time.

Extra time started tentatively. Bricks gave an early free kick away in the middle of the park. Club launched a high ball into the area, causing confusion between Gunn and skipper Craig Murphy, the ball sliding off the latter´s head into the net and it was 5-4 Rusthall Club.

Bricks went straight back at it. A quick throw from Danny Lawrence was flicked on from Craig Bishop to Ollie Hyland to put the ball in from five yards and it was 5-5.

The rest of the game went on with both teams going at each other in what was proving to be a great game. Bricks won a late corner. Could they do it again? The ball was floated in and pin balled round the box before being cleared. With the ref's alarm going on his watch, the ball dropped to Bert Freeman 40 yards out.  Manager Harman was heard to say deliver it - but did he did listen? Instead he saw the 'keeper off his line and looped the ball high into the net over his head into the back of the net for an astounding 5-6  final score.

Bricks' management would just like to say well played to both teams who put on a real show for the many fans that were there and also a huge thanks to the three officials, who was brilliant on the day. at the end, Mr Harman said ' I’m sorry if I’ve missed some the game out of this report, but it  could have gone on forever.'

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful spring day in Crowborough, where Town were at home to FC Grinstead.

The game proved to be just as good as the weather. Played in a good spirit, but competitive throughout, and really excellently controlled by the three match officials. It was how Sunday morning cup semi-finals should always be.
FC Grinstead came out of the blocks like greyhounds and for the first fifteen minutes they put the home team under real pressure. Gradually Town came into the game and with twenty minutes of the half to go, a square ball from the left beat the visitors defence and Chris (Biffa) Martin was at the far post to bundle the ball home. Far from denting Grinstead's confidence they continued to press forward and this told when three minutes later they were awarded a penalty. Not for the first time this season Crowborough's keeper, Ryan Hunt, came to the rescue when he pulled off an excellent save from the spot kick to keep the score at 1 - 0 and then moments later made the save of the season when he palmed the ball over the bar from a point blank header that deserved a goal. Undeterred the visitors kept coming forward and with little of the first half left they eventually found the net through Joe Moulding to make the score 1 - 1.
The second half saw a more even game. It looked as if extra time might be called for to settle the tie, until a rare, unforced error from one of Town's young defenders saw Grinstead's leading scorer Connor Tobin steal the ball and beat the keeper to make it 2 - 1.  With Crowborough now needing to step up a gear they found their best spell of the game but they couldn't find the net to level the scores. The need to keep pressing forward proved to be Town's undoing when the visitors broke away and with just seconds left they made the game safe with a well taken goal from Charlie Barwell.

Spring Cup - Senior Section

Gardener's Arms lead Group 1 with six points from two games after what sounds like an interesting morning in their game against Artois United at Tonbridge Farm.  A highly competitive game saw both teams reduced to nine men just before half time. Gardeners missed a host of chances, but ran out two nil winners with goals from Stuart Crush and Leo Hall, plus a clean sheet for Karl Smith. Smith, continuing to deputise in goal for the injured Ben Carter, kept his second clean sheet in as many games.

Group 1 standings

Gardener's Arms22003036
Artois United210123-13
Tonbridge Origin100112-10

Group 2 will go down to the wire. In this five team group, Green Lane lead the way after a 3-0 win at Armada, but with teams close on points there is still plenty to play for. The Lane's 3-0 win was with goals from Josh Harris, James Donaldson and Aaron Dawson. Jack Page in goal kept the clean sheet.

Group 2 table as it stands

Green Lane22003036
Goudhurst Utd210112-13
Paddock Wood400428-60

In Group 3, last week's abandoned match between SE Spitfires and Brenchley was replayed at Brenchley.  Spitfires won 2-1, both goals from Sean Ludlam in reply to a goal by Tom Lowe for Brenchley. It was later discovered that Spitfires had played an unregistered player, thus the three points were deducted and awarded to Brenchley - subject to any appeal.

Group 3 table as it stands, again this is a pretty open group.

Brenchley (3 points awarded)210112-16
SE Spitfires (3 points deducted)22002113
Cassidy's Phoenix11000003
Langton Green30030000

Spring Cup - Junior Section

Two teams have now qualified for the semi-finals.

Group 1 will see either Crowborough Town or TW Foresters join Green Street Blues and St John's Yard in that line up. They play each other next Sunday

Group 1 table as it stands

Crowborough Town22009366
TW Foresters Reserves21004136
Insulators Reserves310227-53
Tonbridge Invicta300326-40

Group 2 has been won by Green Street Blues following a 5-1 win against Tonbridge Origin Reserves at Tonbridge Farm. Two goals each from Ash Birchruffel and Rob Shearman did the job, to which Jon Sims added a fifth. Origin's only goal was scored by Levi Caruana.

Group 2 table

Green Street Blues (Q)
Paddock Wood Reserves100114-30
Tonbridge Origin Reserves100115-40

In Group 3, TW Ridgeway's run of fairly decent late season form continued with a 4-0 win at Ticehurst Village Club, thus putting them into second place behind St John's Yard and with a chance of finishing as best runner-up.

They had two goals each Ben Adams and Matt Harman, both of whom have been scoring regularly of late. Josh Higgins claimed the honour of being in goal for their first clean sheet of the season.

St John's Yard (Q)
TW Ridgewaye320111656
Ticehurst Village Club3102510-5
Tonbridge Casuals3003413-90

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