West Kent Sunday League News Report 6th September 2020

Way back on 15th March I speculated that it might be many months before I could write a news report on Sunday football. And so it came to pass. But here we are, back again, after almost six months of inactivity. Let's hope that the handling of the very unusual situation we now face allows us to play football in a safe and sensible manner.

[No league tables this week. I will post the first after next Sunday's games.]

First up on the day's agenda were four cup ties carried over from the season that was stopped in March.

WKSFL Intermediate Cup

There were two matches played in the WKSFL Intermediate Cup. TW Ridgewaye and Charcott contested a first round tie, the original match having been declared void by the WKSFL.  Charcott emerged as winners, goals from Jay Pring and Luke French putting them through in a 2-0 win that will see them visit St John's Yard next Sunday in a second round (Quarter-final) tie. Jamie Kelly was the clean sheet goalkeeper-

In a second round tie, AFC Valour overcame Ticehurst Village Club 3-1 at East Peckham Rec. Two goals from Steve Ednie and one from Johnny Connors saw them through. They will meet Dormansland Rockets in a semi-final during October. (Remember that these cup ties are carried over from last season. Dormansland Rockets, now a First Division club) received a bye into the semi-finals following the summer-time resignation of Biggin Hill FC.)

WKSFL Junior Cup

This Cup was well behind schedule because of rain affected pitches when the season was brought to a halt. With the resignations of two teams in the meantime, it was decided to revamp completely and start from scratch with two groups with each team playing the others once.

Paddock Wood will be firm favourites with their strong side, that was playing so well in the time before. They started Group 2 as they no doubt mean to carry on with a  7-0 thumping of TW Ridgewaye Reserves. Simon Hammond opened the scoring followed up with an Alex Emery quick fire hat-trick. James McGregor added another in the first half  for a 5-0 lead at the break. Adam french scored a brace in the second half to complete the scoring for Paddock Wood. The other two teams in the group are Ticehurst Village Club, who will meet Paddock Wood next Sunday and Brenchley.

Group 1 will consist of only three teams. Insulators Reserves hosted Yalding & Laddingford at the Memorial Ground with the end result being a narrow 3-2 win for the visitors.

This game was certainly case of not capitalising on first half dominance as Yalding come from behind to take the win. A very youthful Insulators team played some excellent football in the first half, playing out from the back and pinning Yalding in their half for most of it. Insulators deservedly took the lead through Jake Freeman, but with just the one goal to show for their dominance it always felt like it was going to be a tight second half

Yalding came out with real intent in the second half and won an early penalty which was converted by Grant Allen and their high press was turning the game in their favour

It wasn't long before they scored an excellent second goal through James Faulkner before a third was added by Dave Williams.  With Insulators 3 -1 down after dominating in then first half it seemed surreal. But, Insulators are famous for never giving up and when Harry Mascall scuffed a shot into the net to make the score 3-2, it set up a tense final eight minutes.There was time for Khris Weedon to have a goal ruled out for offside by the ref after the linesman's flag had stayed down and for Yalding's goalkeeper to produce a great save to deny Insulators a draw. Special shout out to Toby Gandell who had an excellent game at the back and a deserving Man of the Match

With such a young side, some inconsistencies are to be expected but the signs are there for a very good season ahead for Insulators Reserves. Their make or break game in the Cup will be against Goudhurst United. Goudhurst meet Yalding next Sunday.

Division One

This got under way with three matches. Armada lost 3-2 at home to Artois United for whom Lucas Murrain was credited with a hat-trick. Armada's view was that the first was an own goal. Armada's goals came from Ethan McCreight and Dylan Smart.

Dormansland Rockets got off to a good start with a 2-1 win over Green Lane. There was a penalty converted by Jamie Ashley and the second was by Danny Brazenell. Mike Jessop was the Lane's scorer.

There was a hat-trick for Simla's Steve Smith in their 4-2 win at home to Insulators. It was a very evenly contested first st half with the home side taking a fortuitous 1-0 lead with a shot off the post hitting the 'keeper and going in. Insulators levelled with a flowing move starting from a goal kick that was headed on by Adam James to Tommy Bridger who chipped it over the 'keeper. Then came a penalty to Insulators, dispatched by Kane Ramsell, after Martin Page- Mitchell was fouled by the keeper. 2-1 to Insulators at half time

Soon after the break it was 2-2, a penalty awarded to Simla following a handball converted by Smith. Simla then went down to ten men after their 'keeper was sent off for a foul. They simply upped their game and brought on another extremely strong player. Simla went ahead with twenty minutes left and rounded off the 4-2 win with a late goal. Ian Parsons was the the other Simla goalscorer.

Division Two

Just the two games played here. It was a close game at Woodside between Pembury Sunday and Goudhurst United with the home team finishing 3-2 winners. Matt Rice-Tucker, Scott Moran and Tom Price were their scorers. David Denton scored both for Goudhurst.

Newcomers to the League Nomads (based near Edenbridge) started well, winning 4-2 against St John's yard at the Hilbert. It was a wake up call for the Yard, who found themselves one down after only 1 minute and fifteen seconds, with a second coming very soon after. Rachid Boumara pulled one back before half-time. Two more goals from Nomads early in the second half, with Rhys White completing his hat-trick put the game out of reach for the Yard. But they managed a late consolation near the end after going down to ten men, the much travelled Harry Hickmott finding the net. The men at the Yard reckon Nomads will be the team to beat this season.

Division Three

Brenchley began the new season with a visit from Speldhurst Rangers. Speldhurst took a strong squad of fifteen away to Brenchley and immediately asserted their authority on the game. But, Brenchley took the lead due to a lack of communication at the back of the Speldhurst defence which left David Hartfield able to fire in off the post. Speldhurst still took the game to Brenchley but continued wasting chances. Shortly after Brenchley added another. Connor Williams being the scorer, to send them into half time 2-0 ahead. Brenchley scored a third due to another defensive mix up resulting in Baldwin keeping up his traditions in being lobbed, this time by the home side's Rich Bridger. James Hughes pulled one back for Rangers late on, but too late.

Two of the League's new teams met at Sedlescombe. Dunton Green made the long trip down the A21 but had to go home 3-1 losers. Two goals by Alvin Scott and one by Rhys Daniels saw the hosts to victory. Rory Ward replied for the Green.

And two more new sides, technically anyway, met at Goldsmith's in Crowborough when AFC Borough entertained Tonbridge United. The outcome was a 4-1 win for the Borough with four different goalscorers, Connor Bowesman, Luke Leppard (who has been among the top scorers for various clubs over the years), Jake Lorimer and Tom Pelling. Luke Collett hit United's only goal.

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