West Kent Sunday League News Report Sunday 17th December 2017

A few games fell to the very cold weather. The majority went ahead. There are again plenty of goals to report and there is a very interesting situation in the Senior Cup group Three. The race for the top goalscorer trophy is tightening up. Tom Welch of Green Lane still heads the pack, but chasing hard are Tom Cobb of Tonbridge Origin and several players clearly on goalscoring form and not far behind.Top scorers shown here.

WKSFL Senior Cup

Group 3 table as it stands.

FC Grinstead top the group and will qualify for the next round after a very good 6-0 win at Royal Oak Hawkenbury. Should Cassidy's Phoenix beat Royal Oak in the final group game on 7th January, they will finish second (or, if they win by a ridiculous score, possibly even first) and would join FC Grinstead in the draw. Should they fail, Tonbridge Origin would finish second and qualify. Origin can still possibly qualify as one of the best third placed teams, but there is a lot to consider in the other groups.

Grinstead can thank Charly Harris, whose hat-trick makes him joint top scorer among Division Two clubs. The other goals came from Micky Neatherway, Joe Moulding and Callum Gardner. Meanwhile, Harvey James in goal kept the clean sheet, which was his team's first of the season.

The Group 2  game between Crowborough Town and Green Lane fell foul of the weather conditions and has been re-scheduled for the 21st January. Green Lane need a point to confirm a second place finish and therefore qualification. Town need to win both their remaining games to pip them.

Division One

Artois United and Simla met in an important game at Tonbridge Farm. Simla claimed the points with a 4-3 win and now have a three point lead at the top of the table.

It was another great battle between these two sides. The pitch was not the best which affected the style of play for both teams.

Simla went ahead early in the first half when a perfectly placed corner from David Blundell made it easy for Steve Smith to slot it in the goal. The match was full of hard tackles from both sides as you would expect. Artois equalised late on in the half through Ian Trim, leaving it one each at half time.

Simla went ahead again through Steve Smith and looked comfortable until Artois equalised once morel, scorer being Peter Shaw. Artois then went ahead shortly afterwards with Josh Marshall's strike  and looked like claiming three points until Joe Fuller equalised for Simla with six  minutes left to play. With a couple of minutes left Steve Smith scored again to complete his hat trick and for the match winner.

This was not the prettiest match to watch, but it was certainly exciting especially if you were a Simla supporter.

Armada kept up the challenge with a 4-2 win at Pembury Sunday. The have yet to meet Simla in the League, two games which could determine the outcome. Green Lane are obviously in with a shout, but in this first half of the season have not beaten any of the top four. Harry Tampsett has scored in eight of Armada's last nine games and so it was this Sunday when he added two more. Dylan Smart and Tom Vivian's first of the season made it four. Pembury's goals were scored by Toby Forward and Charlie Johns.

Insulators broke a run of four consecutive league defeats with a 3-3 home draw against Tonbridge Origin.

Origin opened the scoring early on, but Cole Walsh equalised after Martin Page-Mitchell's low drive was saved. Origin re-took the lead just before half time.

In the second half Louis Noremac went on a long run up the left before cutting inside and beating the keeper at the near post for his first goal in 9 years!! Once again Origin took the lead, but Insulators fighting spirit saw Ben Johnson equalise with fifteen to go, turning swiftly in the box and scoring with a low drive. The home side had most of the chances in the final ten minutes and had a goal disallowed for offside with two minutes remaining.
A very good evenly balanced game with a point each a fair result.

The prolific boots of Tom Cobb scored twice for Origin. He is now the league's second highest goalscorer with 16 so far this season. Jimmy Shepherd scored the other.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 17th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Simla 7 6 1 0 31 9 22 19
2 Green Lane 7 5 1 1 26 14 12 16
3 Armada 7 5 1 1 15 9 6 16
4 Artois United 6 3 1 2 24 12 12 10
5 Tonbridge Origin 7 2 3 2 23 16 7 9
6 Pembury Sunday 9 2 1 6 21 35 -14 7
7 Dormansland Rockets 4 2 0 2 15 17 -2 6
8 Insulators 8 1 2 5 15 29 -14 5
9 Paddock Wood 7 0 0 7 10 39 -29 0

Division Two

Brenchley's slightly false position at the top of the table (nine points awarded!) took a hit when Green Street Blues came visiting and left with a 4-2 win under their belts. Blues had two goals from Yannick Tchoundjin and one each from Ash Birchruffel and Matt Dorrity, while for Brenchley the goals came from Michel van Ooorschot and Dan Connolly.

Cassidy's Phoenix made it four games without a defeat in all competitions and kept their first clean sheet of the season with a 5-0 home win over Tonbridge Invicta. Matt Ferris scored twice, Ben Boodle and from the penalty spot Ollie Muggeridge, Tom Platts rounded off the scoring. Goalkeeper Tom Joyner would no doubt have earned a beer or two for keeping Invicta at bay

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 17th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Brenchley 9 5 1 3 16 17 -1 16
2 Crowborough Town 6 5 0 1 39 12 27 15
3 Green Street Blues 6 4 1 1 23 10 13 13
4 Cassidy's Phoenix 8 3 2 3 21 20 1 11
5 Langton Green 7 2 1 4 14 32 -18 7
6 FC Grinstead 4 2 0 2 23 7 16 6
7 Royal Oak 2 2 0 0 7 2 5 6
8 Tonbridge Invicta 7 1 1 5 14 40 -26 4
9 Goudhurst United 7 1 0 6 13 30 -17 3

Division Three

Speldhurst Rangers moved into second place with a hard fought win over Insulators Reserves.

Having already lost twice to the opposition, Insulators arrived due a decent performance. Despite not getting any points this was a spirited, determined display.

Speldhurst were missing a few players so this did mean a couple of people playing slightly out of position. However this did not stop them from having a great start to the game, with some great moves Ranges finally broke the Insulators defence after twnety minutes. Sam Stevens finished a great move with a chip over the goalkeeper. A couple of minutes later Insulators replied with a well worked goal by Jake Pingault. Insulators were starting to get a foothold on the game.

The teams were equally matched, both defences stopping the attacks brought upon them. It was another very well worked goal from Speldhurst that brought the game to 2 -1 from Jolyon Whellor. Shortly afterwards, Rob Runciman added to the total to make the score 3 - 1, yet another well worked goal. There then came an incident where, from a goal-mouth scramble, the ball was punched off the line by an Insulators defender. A penalty was awarded, but there were no further consequences for the offender. The penalty was put far over the bar by Joe Hearndon to keep the score at 3-1. With about ten minutes to go, Insulators bagged probably the goal of the day when Reece Beecroft hammered the ball home from about 30 yards from wide out on the pitch. During the remaining minutes Insulators looked very threatening, however Speldhurst managed to hold out and keep the game 3 2.

Overall the game was an enjoyable one, played in a great manner and was very well fought by both clubs.

At Longmead, Tonbridge United maintained their recently improved form and doubled their points tally with a good 3-2 win against Tonbridge Origin Reserves against whom they had drawn in their previous match in the Junior Cup. Reece Dangerfield scored twice, Nathan Swan once. In reply, Jonny Barber and Cameron Dunbar for Origin, for whom it is now three games since their last win.

East Grinstead Mavericks are having a luckless season and this continued when they crashed 8-0 to TW Ridgewaye.  Ridgwaye have lost only once in their last nine games (in the Intermediate Cup against a Division Two side) and are starting to look like genuine challengers for the title. The match was rescheduled from Skinners to Rusthall because the pitch at Skinners was very muddy.

Mavericks came with just one sub, Ridgewaye had a full complement of substitutes.  The first half was dominated by very good defending by Mavericks, the only goal was from Dan Thomas who completed a five man move to put him clear with only the keeper to beat.  At half time Ridgewaye brought on Dan Kommu in the number ten role to join his brother Fabian.  Dan Kommu scored four as a tiring Mavericks found it difficult to maintain their shape.  Lewis Inglis scored two and Scott Beasley came up from centre back to head the eighth.  There was no disgrace for the Mavericks, they lost because they struggled for numbers with injuries.  Ridgewaye could bring on fresh players at will. The clean sheet for Josh Higgins was their first of the season.

The game between Tonbridge Casuals and St John's Yard, which would have had such an important bearing on the top of the table, did not take place. Casuals could not raise a team! At the time of writing it is not known whether St John's Yard will be awarded the points.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 17th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 St John's Yard 8 6 1 1 50 18 32 19
2 Speldhurst Rangers 7 5 1 1 23 15 8 16
3 Tonbridge Casuals 8 5 1 2 20 16 4 16
4 TW Ridgewaye 8 4 3 1 30 16 14 15
5 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 6 2 1 3 17 14 3 7
6 Tonbridge United 5 2 0 3 12 16 -4 6
7 Paddock Wood Reserves 5 1 1 3 11 16 -5 4
8 Insulators Reserves 7 1 0 6 13 29 -16 3
9 East Grinstead Mavericks 8 1 0 7 7 43 -36 3

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