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West Kent Sunday League Report Sunday 12th March 2017

Another of the season's issues was decided on Sunday when Gardener's Arms achieved the win they needed to seal the Division Two title. Pembury Sunday will claim runner's up honours. The Division One title is the only one left to decide and the equation is simple. Simla must win their final game at Dormansland Rockets on 26th March to claim their sixth title in the past eight seasons.

Division One

Simla took the successful final step towards that showdown with a good 5-2 win at Insulators.

Simla started the game well, Insulators stood off without competing and were soon looking at a very bad day. Within a short time, the home side were three down after the impressive start for Simla, who scored two quick goals from Ian Parsons and Clayton Cooper. Simla went further ahead after being awarded a penalty which was scored by David Blundell.

A bizarre own goal followed, with Simla cruising. They gave away a simple goal when a straight forward pass back (guilty party was not named!) bobbled in front of the keeper's foot and rolled into the goal. That got Insulators back in the match and there was immediate improvement, although it was still 3-1 to Simla at half time.

In the second half the home side were in the game and were unlucky not to score twice in the first ten minutes. Then Tom Bridger scored a fine goal to make 2-3. After that there were several chances for Insulators, which were missed and a strong appeal for a penalty which wasn't given. As Insulators pressed, Simla, who needed to win for a shot at the title, added two late goals to get the win. These were second goals for both Parsons and Blundell.

Said Insulators boss Andy Stanley "if only Insulators could get all their players turning up every week!!!" From the Simla standpoint, secretary Geoff Mills said that it was a good win in the end for Simla, but Insulators certainly made it very interesting.

In the morning's other game, Armada recovered from last week's cup semi-final defeat to beat Goudhurst United 3-1. Tom Vivian scored twice, Dean Stockdale the other. Credit to Goudhurst, who are seeing out the season and not throwing in the towel early as do many others have done. Their scorer was Tyler Charles.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 12th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Artois United 14 10 1 3 62 25 37 31
2 Simla # 13 11 0 2 45 21 24 30
3 Tonbridge Origin 13 9 1 3 52 27 25 28
4 Insulators 13 7 1 5 49 26 23 22
5 Armada 13 5 2 6 25 29 -4 17
6 TW Foresters 12 4 1 7 28 45 -17 13
7 Dormansland Rockets 9 1 0 8 21 42 -21 3
8 Goudhurst United + 13 0 0 13 13 80 -67 3

Division Two

The all-important game was at Woodside Rec, where Pembury Sunday had to avoid defeat in their game with Gardener's Arms to give them a chance of the trophy. It was not to be. However despite dominating the first half, Gardeners Arms found themselves one nil down at the break.  Pembury scorer unknown. However, the visitors continued to press for the vital points. Goals from Ant Goodwin and John Sinclair turned the game around and sealed the victory and the Division Two title.

SE Spitfires continued their mini revival with a 2-0 home win against Langton Green. Top scorer Sean Ludlum added one to his tally, the second was scored by Shaquille  Simpson.  Useless fact - only twice all season have Spitfires scored more than twice in one game! In terms of goals per League and Cup game, for and against, their numbers are currently the lowest in the division and equal with Division One Armada. It's 4.19 goals per game, I reckon a tie for the lowest in the league..

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 12th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Gardener's Arms (C)
15 12 3 0 55 13 42 39
2 Pembury Sunday 15 11 2 2 52 12 40 35
3 Paddock Wood + 14 6 1 7 29 42 -13 22
4 Green Lane 13 6 3 4 34 25 9 21
5 SE Spitfires 14 5 2 7 22 33 -11 17
6 Brenchley 16 5 2 9 29 46 -17 17
7 Hawkenbury Sunday 15 3 3 9 27 37 -10 12
8 Cassidy's Phoenix # 15 4 3 8 26 41 -15 12
9 Langton Green 15 3 3 9 33 58 -25 12

Division Three

Bricklayer's Arms, already crowned champions, probably relaxed a bit and lost 5-1 at home to Rusthall Club Athletic, or perhaps they didn't want to give anything away before the Junior Cup semi-final between the two teams on 2nd April. The Club's Ben Johnson picked up his third hat-trick of the season, to which were added strikes from George Webzell and Carl Wilson. The Brick's reply came from Ollie Hyland. The Club will be involved in the crucial game next Sunday when they play again at Goldsmith's, this time against Crowborough Town. Town need to win to claim the runner's up awards and no doubt had their spies watching from the adjacent pitch while they were warming up nicely in the Spring Cup.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 12th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bricklayers Arms (C) 15 12 0 3 59 24 35 36
2 Green St Blues 16 11 1 4 38 25 13 34
3 Crowborough Town 15 10 1 4 46 29 17 31
4 Tonbridge Invicta 16 8 2 6 54 33 21 26
5 Rusthall Club Athletic 13 7 2 4 45 25 20 23
6 St John's Yard 16 6 1 9 30 59 -29 19
7 Paddock Wood Reserves 15 5 1 9 22 44 -22 16
8 Ticehurst Village 16 4 2 10 34 48 -14 14
9 Speldhurst Rangers 16 0 2 14 25 66 -41 2

Division Four

It was always a big ask that FC Grinstead could win by a massive margin to grab the title at the last gasp, but they would not have expected to lose at home to Tonbridge Origin Reserves.  Origin had though won five of their previous seven games, so were on a bit of run. Origin went home after a 3-1 win in which Will Ashendern scored twice and Steve Whitear the other. Grinstead's top scorer Connor Tobin did hit the back of the net for them, but it must have been a disappointing final game. They now have time off to re-group before their Junior Cup semi-final match against Crowborough Town.

TW Ridgewaye and Tonbridge United had a 4-4 draw in their final league match. When the two met in the reverse fixture back in November, it was 2-1 to United and since then United had lost nine in a row. Again, credit to them for playing on when others would have given up. And also to Ridgewaye, who have had a hard season with some heavy defeats, but have improved recently.  Ridgewaye's scorers were Ben Adams (2), Scott Beasley and John Higgins. United's marksmen were Alex Underdown, Michael Dunn from the penalty spot, Reece Dangerfield and Steve Causon. Ridgewaye should arrange to play the Tonbridge teams every week! Of the six games against them, that loss to United was the only one.

West Kent Sunday League Division Four including Sunday 12th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 TW Foresters Reserves (C) # 16 13 0 3 78 29 49 36
2 FC Grinstead 16 10 3 3 57 32 25 33
3 FC Hayward 15 9 2 4 52 32 20 29
4 Insulators Reserves + 15 6 3 6 41 45 -4 24
5 AFC Six in One 15 7 2 6 70 54 16 23
6 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 15 6 4 5 44 43 1 22
7 Tonbridge Casuals 16 3 5 8 31 55 -24 14
8 TW Youth (Ridgewaye) 16 3 3 10 47 80 -33 12
9 Tonbridge United 16 1 2 13 13 63 -50 5

Spring Cup - Senior section

Gradually getting under way. Artois United, having completed their league programme, entertained Tonbridge Origin in a Group 1 match. United came out on top 2-1, scorers being Josh Marshall and Stafford Browne. Origin's goal came from the Division's top scorer Myles Lowden.

Paddock Wood did not fulfill their Group 2 fixture with Green Lane, who have been awarded three points. Group 3 is yet to start.

Group 1
Artois United11002113
Gardener's Arms00000000
Tonbridge Origin100112-10
Group 2
Goudhurst Utd11001013
Green Lane11000003
Paddock Wood200201-10

Spring Cup - Junior Section

In Group 1, Crowbrough Town warmed up nicely for next week's important game with a 7-2 home win against Insulators Reserves.

Town's Mike Noble was pleased that after a six week break they actually played a game on Sunday.
The visitors, starting with ten and with just a bare eleven players at best, gave Crowborough a real test for the first forty-five minutes. Town went ahead with a goal by Andy Pollard after just twelve minutes, and added a second, a penalty by Matt Pickett five minutes later. By half time Insulators were up to full strength and had pulled one back through Reece Beecroft to make it 2 - 1.
Town came out of the interval fast and early second half goals mirrored those in the first half, with Darren Nicol scoring twelve minutes after the re-start, and then grabbing his second five minutes later, with a most amazing volley from twenty-five yards that flew into the far corner of the net, just clearing the angle of post and bar, leaving the keeper no chance. However, the visitors still came back and midway through the half they made it 4 - 2, this time Marc Scott was the scorer.

This seemed to shake Town and making full use of the roll-on, roll-off, substitutions rule they proceeded to put some good football together. To be fair to Insulators it was their lack of substitutes against the fresh legs of their opponents that eventually led to more Town goals. Matt Pickett completed his hat-trick, Dan Pollard grabbing a the final goal. Scoring is a rare event for him, it was only his fourth goal in 164 games for the club.
Mike Noble adds - just a final comment on the Match Official. Today's 'man in black' Jack Greener - one of the League's younger refs - gave an excellent display.

In Group 2, eight different names were on the report as Paddock Wood Reserves demolished FC Hayward 9-2 at Goldsmith's.  Phil Abbott lead the way with two, the rest of the long list with one each reads : Paul Smith, James Hall, Alex Bristow, Callum Lawlor, Russell Breden, Callum Genery and, to add insult to injury, an own goal.

The Group 3 game was a second win for St John's Yard at Tonbridge Casuals by a 3-2 score St John's Yard have now won their last four games in League and Spring Cup, somewhat of a contrast to earlier form. The Yard totally dominated the game for the first twenty minutes, only for Casuals to break away and take the lead through Adam West. That's how it stayed until half time. Josh Lincoln equalised for the Yard a minute after the restart, Dan Hunter then put them ahead. Back came Casuals, Paul Edwards levelling the scores with a penalty. The final word went to Stuart Hodges, scoring his first and the Yard's winner also from the spot.

Group 1
Crowborough Town11007253
TW Foresters Reserves11004133
Tonbridge Invicta100114-30
Insulators Reserves100127-50

Group 2
Paddock Wood Reserves11009273
Green Street Blues00000000
Tonbridge Origin Reserves00000000
FC Hayward100129-70

Group 3
St John's Yard22008216
TW Ridgewaye11006153
Ticehurst Village Club100115-40
Tonbridge Casuals200239-60

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