West Kent Sunday League News Report – Sunday 5th November 2017

WKSFLSenior and Junior Cup ties were the order of the day on Sunday. The first round of both competitions are being played in groups. Some issues are resolved and more will be. soon.

WKSFL Senior Cup

Group 1

Plenty of fireworks (cannot resist that cliché!) when two First Division Clubs visited Second Division opponents.  The biggest score was at Langton Green, where Artois United clocked up seven unanswered goals. Foremost among the scorers was Jake Miller, who four times hit the back of the net to bring his season total to thirteen. Also scoring were Ayrton Phillips, Connor Morrow and Tim Thirlaway. Dave Holdstock in the Artois goal kept his second clean sheet of the season.

Insulators finally broke a run of six games without a win on their short trip to Brenchley.  They came away 5-0 winners.  Insulators got off to a good start with two goals from Cole Walsh in the first twenty minutes. A determined display saw Glen Gostlow add another, before Walsh had a penalty saved. Brenchley had chances of their own but the half time score was 0-3.

The away side kept up the pressure in the second half with Walsh completing his hat trick and sub Reece Beecroft scoring a great goal from 30 yards. Martin Ives kept Insulators first clean sheet of the season so far.

The group 1 table shows Artois as clear leaders but with most teams having games in hand. A key game coming up on 19th November is Artois United v Simla. The top two  from each group plus the two best runners-up go through to the second round.

Group 2

Green Street Blues and Crowborough Town fought out a 2-2 draw, which did neither of them any favours in the quest for qualification. Group Two is really open, with only Tonbridge Invicta of the six teams having no chance of going through.
Having enjoyed the luxury of five substitutes for each of the last five fixtures, Crowborough found that for this game, which they anticipated would be close and competitive, they had just one. For a variety of reasons six of the squad that played in the previous game were not available so this would be a test of the management's skills as much as the players.
From the first whistle the expected 'competitive' element was apparent with both sides giving 100% and no quarter being asked for or given. The new look Town settled down quickly and for first twenty minutes both sides had chances but failed to find the net. Then the home team opened the scoring with a well worked goal scored by Tom Wilken that gave Crowborough's keeper little chance. The pressure was on for Town to respond. With most of the game being played between the two penalty areas it was, again, GSB that broke through Town's defence and Shaun Boyle scored to make it 2 - 0. It looked then like an uphill struggle for the visitors in all senses of the word. However, with the first half slipping away Crowborough's centre forward Darren Nicol, found space in the home team's penalty area to ensure his well struck shot found the back of the net.
The half time 'chat' by Crowborough's manager certainly produced results.Town drew level after just two minutes of the secodn period, albeit with a little good fortune and perhaps with the help of the sun. Matt Pickett found himself way out on the right touchline and was some thirty yards from goal when he launched a cross towards the GSB goal. With the ball dropping just below the cross bar and with the sun in his eyes, the 'keeper could only parry the ball and push it into the path of Town's Ollie Hyland who found the net for the equaliser. Now it was game on and with the slope of the pitch now in their favour, Crowborough had more possession and chances than their hosts but they couldn't turn this into goals. As the final whistle drew near two penalty appeals fell on deaf ears but at least it was one for each team, and both keepers were called into action to keep the scores level. With the 'competitive' element now getting a little íntense, it was probably a relief for both managers that the final whistle came before cards of any colour could be shown by the referee. It was a result that was probably fair to both teams.

The game between Dormansland Rockets and Armada was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.

Group 3

FC Grinstead upset the form book a little with a 3-2 home win against Division One's Tonbridge Origin. That puts them top of the table, but only on goal difference. As the table shows, it's going to be close. Charly Harris scored two of Grinstead's goals, Jake Kashdan the other. The familiar name of Myles Lowden was on the Origin scoresheet as was Chris Gregory.

Royal Oak began their WKSFL Senior Cup campaign with a 3-2 win at Goudhurst United. Division Two's leading scorer and Goudhurst forward Will Mantle added one to his total. Luke Young also scored for United, but a brace from Jeff Harrison and one from Nat Paine saw the Oak through to the three points.

The next round of matches will be on 19th November, group favourites Pembury Sunday will host Tonbridge Origin, FC Grinstead will need a win that same day against Royal Oak.

WKSFL Junior Cup

Group 2 is completed. Any of the four teams could have qualified before the final games started. St John's Yard progress to the second round from the top of the table. They sealed their spot with a 5-1 win at Tonbridge Casuals. Mush Miah scored two of their goals, also scoring were Dan Hunter, James Scott and Jack Veness. Casuals sole scorer was Tom Williers.

Paddock Wood Reserves needed to win at home against TW Ridgewaye to go through, but could only draw. That result enabled TW Ridgewaye to qualify on goal difference. I don't have Paddock Wood's scorer, it was Dave Pringuer who hit the vital strike for Ridgewaye.

Group 1

A 5-4 defeat of Speldhurst Rangers at the hands of Tonbridge Origin Reserves has opened the door for the chasing two. Rangers have completed their programme.

The game started with home side Origin Reserves playing much better football than Speldhurst and really punished them on the counter attack. Speldhurst were two-nil  down in the first half an hour, then poor marking at a corner led to the hosts being three-nil ahead at half time.

After an aggressive half time team talk, Rangers changed their formation and unbelievably started to play some football. James Hughes went down in the box and a penalty was awarded which was very well put away by Joe Hearndon. Straight from the kick off, Kevin Brooks won the ball and passed inside for the ball to played over the top of the defence, which was very well put away by Jolyon Wheller. The third goal for Speldhurst came from a corner which was initially headed out, but blasted back in by Josh Fermor. The ball hit Mike Fenton's shin, and to his delight the ball went into the back of the net. Mike has never been so proud of himself! From then on the game was very 50-50 but Origin took advantage of some defensive errors to make it 5-3 to Origin. The last play of the game from a Speldhurst corner, which was tapped in my Josh fermor.

Insulators Reserves have still a small chance of qualifying after beating Tonbridge United at home by 2-1. The home side took the lead through Steve Sands and deservedly lead 1-0 at half time. Fine play saw Jake Pingault add a second but other chances were missed. The Tonbridge side always looked lively. Scott Moran pulled one back for United with ten minutes remaining to set up an exciting finish. They thought they had equalised, but a throw in went straight into goal without anyone getting a touch. It was rightly disallowed. Insulators held on for a welcome win.

The crucial game in this group will be in December. Insulators Reserves will need to win their final game with Tonbridge Origin Reserves to have that chance. Defeat would put Origin Reserves through with a game to spare. If they win that final match, they could go through as group winners.

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