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West Kent Sunday League Report Sunday 4th September 2016

The 50th Anniversary season of the West Kent Sunday Football League kicked off with some new names but missing a few old ones, particularly losing long established clubs Ramsfield and Tornados. Among the new sides hoping to make names for themselves are the latest incarnation of Gardener's Arms (perhaps they will re-name the pub !) and the youngsters of Tunbridge Wells Ridgeway.

Division One

Simla began the new season where they left off last. A visit to Goudhurst United resulted in a 9-0 win. Last season, United were the only team to take a point from Simla in their otherwise perfect season. In this game they were totally overwhelmed, as the goals flowed freely.  Two first half goals for David Blundell and one for Alex Carey set the tone, Simla had a 3-0 lead at the interval. Goudhurst went down to nine players just after the start of the second half through injuries, which more or less put paid to the competition in the match.

Simla went on to score another six goals. There two more for David Blundell, three for Richard Cole and one for Joe Adams.

Goudhurst put up a valiant effort and kept trying to get a consolation goal. All credit to them, said Geoff Mills of Simla.

Artois United also started with a big win, no doubt wishing to make up for a mediocre previous term. They travelled to Tunbridge Wells Foresters, promoted after having carried all before them in Division Two last season. Although the familiar name of Simon Hammond scored twice for the Foresters, they were no match it seems for Artois. The visitors rattled up eight goals, two each from Ayrton Phillips, Alfie Hall and Tim Maynard, one from Ian Trim and an own goal completes the list.

There was another big win at Southwood Road, where home side Rusthall Rangers put seven past Dormansland Rockets. However this match was abandoned, the circumstances of which are being investigated by the Management Committee. The MC at its meeting on 27 September, decided that game should be replayed at a later date.

Tonbridge Origin made up for last season's two defeats at the hands of Armada with a 4-0 win at Yew Tree Road. Again, some familiar names appear on the scoresheet, namely Mike Jessop, Myles Lowden, Jack Kinnear and Ant Kent. Sam Jenner in goal kept the clean sheet.

Finally, Insulators set off on the right foot to match or better last season's runners-up spot by beating Blackham & Ashurst 2-1 at Goldsmiths. This was a tight game but Insulators edged it for much of the time. Martin Page-Mitchell put the away side in front and James Philpott added a second. The home side pulled one back 15 minutes from the end through Dan Hicking. Chances followed at both ends but without further scoring.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 4th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Simla 1 1 0 0 9 0 9 3
2 Rusthall Rangers ++
1 1 0 0 7 0 7 3
3 Artois United 1 1 0 0 8 2 6 3
4 Tonbridge Origin 1 1 0 0 4 0 4 3
5 Insulators 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
6 Blackham & Ashurst 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
7 Armada 1 0 0 1 0 4 -4 0
8 TW Foresters 1 0 0 1 2 8 -6 0
9 Dormansland Rockets ++
1 0 0 1 0 7 -7 0
10 Goudhurst United 1 0 0 1 0 9 -9 0
++ this game was subsequently declared null and void.

Division Two

The Management Committee have accepted a late request from Hadlow Hornets to return to Division Two. They finished third last season on goal difference in Division Two and with Division One needing numbers, were initially promoted. However they lost many of last season's squad and had reluctantly asked to return whence they came.

With that in mind and with some grounds not yet available, there were only three matches in this first set of fixtures.

Two were drawn and with Paddock Wood the only winners, they go to the top of the table! Their win was by a 4-1 margin at home to Langton Green, scorers being Stefan Draper 2, Scott McGuire and Josh Heinricci. Matt Parsons scored the Green's reply.

New boys Gardener's Arms (there have been previous teams with this name) travelled to Green Lane, where the outcome was a three-all draw.

Green Lane took an early lead through Robert Montandon. but Gardeners Arms, who have reformed and returned to the league after a ten year absence fought back to take a 3-1 half time lead with two goals from Karl Smith and one from Lee Cooper.

Despite a dominant display the Gardeners were unable to extend their lead in the second half and were punished with two Green Lane goals by Aaron Dawson and Josh Harris during stoppage time.

South East Spitfires, having been most pleased with their season in Division Three and subsequent promotion, entertained Cassidy's Phoenix at their new home in Orpington. That finished two-all, Spitfire's goals were marked by Craig Giddings and Alec Saunders. Ollie Muggeridge scored both for Phoenix.

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 4th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Paddock Wood 1 1 0 0 4 1 3 3
2 Gardener's Arms 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 1
3 Green Lane 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 1
4 Cassidy's Phoenix 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
5 SE Spitfires 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
6 Brenchley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Hadlow Hornets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Hawkenbury Sunday 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 Pembury Sunday 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 The Boars 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 Langton Green 1 0 0 1 1 4 -3 0

Division Three

Crowborough Town, based on last season's very successful Division Four side, began their campaign with a resounding 5-1 win over Ticehurst Village Club. After three worthwhile pre-season games Crowborough Town opened their the league season at Goldsmith against Ticehurst Village.
Town started brilliantly and for the second week running they were two goals ahead inside the first ten minutes. Just four minutes from the start Matt Pickett opened the scoring after an excellent five man move down the left and then made it 2 - 0 when he finished an equally slick move of one touch passing five minutes later. The game then settled down with Ticehurst doing their best to get back into the game and with half-time looming their efforts were rewarded when Ricky Angel scored with a superb shot from twenty yards.
A 'forthright' half time talk from the manager took effect with the Crowborough players and ten minutes from the re-start Andy Pollard restored the two goal advantage. With the home team continuing to press it was no real surprise when Leon Fisher scored with a searing free-kick that went through a crowded penalty area and into the far corner of the net. Crowborough continued to play entertaining passing football and with fifteen minutes to go Pickett gave the visiting keeper no chance with a well struck penalty to clinch his hat-trick - and take his total for the season up to thirteen.

Another Club, the Rusthall variety, battled with Tonbridge Invicta at Southwoood Road, but lost by the odd goal in seven. This Club's scorers were Jamie Law, James Scott and Ben Johnson, Invicta's Elliot Checkley, Sam Wing, Cuan Walsh and Sam Wyles each hit the mark once.

In the other game, St John's Yard succumbed to Green Street Blues, who hit five unanswered goals by Chris Harragin, Andy Lanning, Dean Prime, Phil Brooks and Ash Birchruffell. In goal, Nick Edwards has the clean sheet to his name.

The game between Bricklayer's Arms and Paddock Wood Reserves was called off with the latter reported to be having problems recruiting players. Their Saturday reserve side has just folded, let's hope this doesn't become the case on Sundays.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 4th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Green St Blues 1 1 0 0 5 0 5 3
2 Crowborough Town 1 1 0 0 5 1 4 3
3 Tonbridge Invicta 1 1 0 0 4 3 1 3
4 Bricklayers Arms 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 Paddock Wood Reserves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 Speldhurst Rangers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7 Rusthall Club Athletic 1 0 0 1 3 4 -1 0
8 Ticehurst Village 1 0 0 1 1 5 -4 0
9 St John's Yard 1 0 0 1 0 5 -5 0

Division Four

Early pace-setters are  newcomers Tunbridge Wells Ridgeway, who marked their debut in the WKSFL with a 6-2 win on the 3G Hayesbrook School pitch against Tonbridge Casuals. TW Ridgewaye scorers were Daniel Kommu 2, Harry Garside 2 and Ted Thomson 2.

There were also eight goals at FC Grinstead's new venue at Turner's Hill. These were shared equally between them and AFC Six in One and featured a hat-trick for either side. For the hosts it was Connor Tobin who hit the back of the net three times, for the visitors it was Ben Boodle who goes onto that list. Charlie Barwell was FC Grinstead's other scorer, Ryan Smith for Six in One.

Two more new sides met when Tunbridge Wells Foresters Reserves entertained Tonbridge United. The end result was a narrow 3-2 win for the home side, for whom well known names Harry Hickmott scored twice and Mark Inglis once. United had a goal each from Henry Partridge and Reece Dangerfield on their debut.

And FC Hayward managed to recover from a two-nil deficit to beat Hadlow United 4-2 at Williams Field. From kick off FC Hayward dominated proceedings. The possession statistics, whilst not officially recorded, must have been around 70% for the Hayward. However, despite this fact, FC Hayward found themselves unable to break the deadlock. The closest of all the chances came from a very acrobatically taken overhead kick from Dave Fowler which flew just over the crossbar.

Having dealt successfully this pressure it was Hadlow who went 1-0 up through to some sloppy defending around 30 minutes in. Scorer's name is unknown at the time of writing.

And then again, despite Hayward maintaining the lions share of the ball, an error in defence led to a ricochet off of a Hayward defender which led to an own goal. 2-0 to Hadlow United. Just before half time David Fowler latched on to a low cross to open the Hayward scoring. HT 2-1 to Hadlow United.
In the second half Hayward started to turn the screws. Jay Skilton pulled back an equalizer early on. As the second period progressed, Hadlow started to put on a little bit of pressure and Hayward found themselves back pedalling for around ten minutes having stepped off the gas.

However, around the 70th minute, Hayward's man of the match and debutant Alex Davis put Hayward ahead with a brilliant solo effort. Hayward continued to knock on the door needing the fourth to finish off the game. This came around ten minutes later, as David Fowler scored his second of the game.

In windy conditions Insulators Reserves beat Goudhurst United Reserves two-nil. Insulators had the better of the game, but it remained tight due to missed opportunities, including a penalty not converted by Marc Scott. Resolute defending from Goudhurst kept the visitors at bay through the first half. At the break it was 0-0. At 60 minutes Fabian Fernandez stole in at teh back post to open the scoring for Insulators, but the outcome of the game remained in doubt until Ryan Hesmer added a second with fifteen minutes remaining. Insulators saw out the rest of what was a good, competitive match. Grant Leslie's goal remained intact, which made the result even more satisfying as Insulators started the season well and move onto next week with confidence high

West Kent Sunday League Division Four including Sunday 4th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 TW Youth (Ridgewaye) 1 1 0 0 6 2 4 3
2 FC Hayward 1 1 0 0 4 2 2 3
3 Insulators Reserves 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3
4 TW Foresters Reserves 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 3
5 AFC Six in One 1 0 1 0 4 4 0 1
6 FC Grinstead 1 0 1 0 4 4 0 1
7 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 Tonbridge United 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0
9 Hadlow United 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0
10 Goudhurst Utd Reserves 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0
11 Tonbridge Casuals 1 0 0 1 2 6 -4 0


The first matches in the WKSFL were played on the 1st October 1967.

On the opening day League Secretary (current chairman) Stuart Turner played a blinder at Right Back for his Club FC Leroy. Final score FC Leroy 0 Rusthall Newtown 15

At Christmas Chairman Reg Reported that the league could pay back the Loan of 50 from the Sussex Sunday FL. He added 'decent medals for Winners and Runners Up not 3s 6d medals'.

Referees were paid 15 shillings - 75p to those who don't remember pre-decimal coinage. Tonbridge Teen and Twenty Club were first Champions.

The Original Committee was;

Reg Mackelden Chairman, Stuart Turner Secretary, Len Parkinson Treasurer, Colin Brown Fixtures, Results and Publicity,
Tony Wright Registrations, Alan Hemmings Benefit Fund, Les Chester Referees and John Russell Minutes

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