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West Kent Sunday League Report – Sunday 18th December 2016


The draws were made at this week's management Committee meeting for the Semi-Finals of the three WKSFL Cup Competitions. Dates to be arranged.

SENIOR - Simla v Armada; Tonbridge Origin or Rusthall Rangers v Dormansland rockets
INTERMEDIATE - Gardener's Arms v Rusthall Club Athletic; Pembury v Green Lane
JUNIOR - Crowborough Town v FC Grinstead; Rusthall Club Athletic v Bricklayer's Arms

We arrive at the last report before two weeks off for Christmas and New Year in the fairly remarkable situation of most teams being half way or more through their League fixtures. There has been almost no disruption because of bad weather, especially where in past years rain from early November was making pitches too wet to use for weeks at a time.

If this carries on when we resume on 8th January, the Fixtures Secretary will be in the unusual position of having to arrange a S****g C*p. Don't blame me if there is six feet of snow coming.

WKSFL Intermediate Cup Third Round

Green Lane will be joiningPembury , Rusthall Club Athletic and Gardener's Arms in the semi-final draw of the WKSFL Intermediate Cup. They made the long trip up to Bromley to meet SE Spitfires and returned after a 4-1 win. Two goals from Tom Welch and one each from Matt Brown and Aaron Dawson did the job. Sean Ludlam scored Spitfires consolation.

Division One

Rusthall Rangers once again failed to play their game. A meeting of the Management Committee is due to discuss the issue of the club as a whole. Check back for any amendments to the league table later. For the time being I have not added three points to Dormansland Rockets total, whom they were due to play.

Artois United remain at the top of the table, on goal difference, after a narrow 3-2 win against Insulators.  However, as you can see below, only three points separate the top four, so it's all to play for.  Insulators contributed to their own demise with an own goal, Tim Maynard and Connor Morrow scored Artois' others. Artois led 1-0 at half time and were the better side. Insulators came into the game more in the second half and equalised with a fine goal by Scott Penfold. There were a couple of good saves from the Artois keeper while Insulators had a good spell, but Artois added a second after about 65 minutes and another with fifteen minutes remaining. Both sides hit the woodwork, before a late Penfold penalty made it 3-2. However, Artois ran out winners and probably just deserved it.

Tonbridge Origin maintained their challenge via a narrow 3-2 win against Armada. Division one's top scorer Myles Lowden added one to his total, Ant Kent and Rob Littlejohn were the other scorers. Keith McCormack scored both for Armada.

Simon Hammond, having scored four for TW Foresters Reserves last week, returned to a more normal situation and this time round scored four for Forester's first team in their 8-4 win at home to Goudhurst United. There was a hat-trick also for Forester's Steve Johnson, with Garry Hughes strike making up the eight. Goudhurst United hadn't scored four in one game all season until Sunday, a brave effort featuring two goals from Will Mantle, one from Michael Peevor and one also from James Found.

The first set of fixtures after our 'winter break' sees Simla v Artois United, a key match up if ever there was.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 18th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Artois United 11 8 1 2 45 17 28 25
2 Tonbridge Origin 11 8 1 2 42 19 23 25
3 Simla # 10 9 0 1 43 11 32 24
4 Insulators 11 7 1 3 36 17 19 22
5 TW Foresters 12 5 1 6 37 40 -3 16
6 Armada 8 2 2 4 12 18 -6 8
7 Dormansland Rockets 8 2 1 5 31 28 3 7
8 Blackham & Ashurst 9 2 1 6 17 41 -24 7
9 Goudhurst United + 10 1 0 9 15 59 -44 6
10 Rusthall Rangers 6 0 0 6 2 30 -28 0

Division Two

Pembury Sunday take over at the top of Division Two after a big 6-0 win at Woodside over Cassidy's Phoenix. Cassidy's win last week against Paddock Wood broke their goal drought of four successive games without scoring, but the drought returned this Sunday. Pembury Sunday, for their part, hit six for the third time this season and are as yet unbeaten in the League. Steve Harper, the Division's top scorer, scored twice as did Marc Wyles. Matt Rice-Tucker and Charlie Johns scored numbers five and six, while in goal Charlton Farrell kept his fifth WKSFL clean sheet of the season. He is second in that little competition behind Ben Carter of Gardener's Arms. Something will probably have to give on 8th January, when Division two's Match of the Day will see Gardener's Arms meet Pembury in another very important game.

Paddock Wood's leaky defence (they haven't kept a clean sheet so far this season) proved their undoing when they were held 2-2 at home by Brenchley. Stefan Draper and one of the Dan Greens (senior or junior, I do not know!) scored for the Wood, Tom Lowe and Mike Williams' goals for Brenchley gave them a welcome point.

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 18th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Pembury Sunday 9 8 1 0 31 6 25 25
2 Gardener's Arms 8 7 1 0 33 8 25 22
3 Paddock Wood 11 6 1 4 27 28 -1 19
4 Green Lane 8 3 2 3 18 18 0 11
5 Cassidy's Phoenix 10 3 2 5 17 27 -10 11
6 Hawkenbury Sunday 9 2 2 5 18 22 -4 8
7 Brenchley 10 2 2 6 20 35 -15 8
8 SE Spitfires 8 2 1 5 13 26 -13 7
9 Langton Green 9 1 2 6 24 31 -7 5

Division Three

The top two both won, but Tonbridge Invicta came unstuck at Green Street Blues who, with games in hand, moved up towards the top.

Big win win of the day was for Crowborough Town, who put seven unanswered goals past St John's Yard at the Hilbert. That was the second game in a row that Yard have conceded seven without scoring, which does their goal difference no good at all.

On a pitch a lot smaller than Crowborough were used to it took a while for their players to settle down and St John's Yard could easily have scored a couple of early goals. For one of the home side's chances it was, once again, a really remarkable save by visiting 'keeper Ryan Hunt that kept a very close range header out. Gradually the visitors started to adapt their game and after ten minutes Matt Pickett was in the right place to tuck away a square ball from the right wing to open the scoring. Although the home team's defence defended strongly, after sixteen minutes it was a little too strong and for the third week in succession Crowborough were awarded a penalty which Leon Fisher duly converted. For the rest of the half St John's kept the very quick Town attack at bay and the score stayed at 2 - 0 to the visitors
In the second half, as Crowborough were fielding seven players over, or close to, 40 years old, the smaller pitch suited them down to ground. Leaving the younger players to do any necessary running the short passing game suited the veterans and it produced another five goals. First of all youngster Marcus Alexander added the third goal and five minutes later Pickett scored his second and Town's number four. Not to be outdone, and to cap a very impressive display, Alexander then hit a brilliant shot from well out side the area for his second, and to make it 5 - 0. To their credit the home side refused to give in and continued to battle hard, only for the 'battle' to once again give Town a penalty from which Pickett sealed his hat-trick, his third of the season. With Town fielding all their substitutes, the game became a little disjointed although Hunt never looked like 'losing' his clean sheet and Fisher managed to score his second of the game and bring the goal-scoring to an end.
But Bricklayer's Arms are still top of the table after beating Speldhurst Rangers 3-1. This week the Bricks travelled to Speldhurst hoping for an improvement on last week's smashing 9 nil victory at home to Speldhurst. An easy win was looking likely as Speldhurst started the game with just nine men.Two minutes in, Rob Gordon slots past the keeper from three yards only to be ruled offside by the ref. Sadly, the Bricks run of brilliant form had seemed to come to an end. Speldhurst looked the better team, defending well and breaking the Bricks back four at times before managing to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute, scoring from a long throw in. Some mis-communication between´keeper Alex Gunn and defender James Goold left Gunn flailing the ball onto Speldhurst striker Sam Richardson, who duly scored. Deservedly the Bricks went in one down at the break .

There was a stern team talk from a bewildered and frustrated manager Terry Harman. Did the players get the message hidden some where in the profanities? Only time would tell.

The Bricks started stronger in the second half, but still playing sloppy football trying to force something to happen. Finally, in the 63rd minute, Danny Lawrence delivered a venomous cross reaching Tommy Mulcahy, who headed home. This seemed to be what the Bricks needed as they started finding some form

On the 70th minute, a poor goal kick by the Speldhurst keeper scuffed the ball to Ben Freeman, who darted down the wing firing in a cross which was met by a surprised James Bodkin. he miraculously directed the ball into the top corner. How much he knew about it we will never know

 A few minutes later, Freeman rode three Speldhurst challenges on a run up the pitch, before firing past the keeper for number three.  The Bricks managed to retain possession for most of the remainder of time, but failed to do any more with it

Green Street Blues put a dent in Tonbridge Invicta's hopes of honours with a narrow 3-2 win at Tintagel Road. Two goals from Callum Heath and one from Tom Wilken saw them home against Invicta, for who the scorer was Joe Williams both times.

Whatever magic potion was administered in mid October to the players of Rusthall Club Athletic continues to work. They clocked up their eighth successive win in WKSFL League and Cup matches with a good 5-2 win at home to Ticehurst Village Club.  Five different names were on the scoresheet for the home Club, namely Jamie Law, Geoff Ashcroft, Rob Johnson, George Webzell with a penalty and James Scott. The away Club scorers were Rob Briley and Adam Brotherwood.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 18th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bricklayers Arms 11 9 0 2 44 15 29 27
2 Crowborough Town 12 8 1 3 43 22 21 25
3 Tonbridge Invicta 11 6 1 4 35 19 16 19
4 Green St Blues 9 5 1 3 24 16 8 16
5 Paddock Wood Reserves 11 4 1 6 17 29 -12 13
6 St John's Yard 12 4 1 7 24 52 -28 13
7 Ticehurst Village 11 3 2 6 25 33 -8 11
8 Rusthall Club Athletic 6 3 1 2 21 15 6 10
9 Speldhurst Rangers 11 0 2 9 17 49 -32 2

Division Four

The Division Four title looks to be going the way of TW Foresters Reserves, but FC Hayward aren't giving up the chase just yet. The gained a very useful win at Insulators Reserves which sends them up into second place. Perhaps a win for Hayward was on the cards. Insulators Reserves had won only one of their four home league games before this one, while Hayward had won two out of three on the road. The outcome was a 4-0 win for Hayward, all hte goals coming in the first half. It was thanks in the main to a hat-trick from Zak Pollard. Dave Fowler added the fourth, while Antonio Santos kept the clean sheet in goal.

An excited report from TW Ridgewaye, who having scored five last week and went three better this, scoring eight against Tonbridge Casuals. The 8-1 win represents the biggest win of their short time in the league.

A great way to go  into the Christmas break for Ridgewaye as they ran in 8-1 winners at Skinner's Field. A tight first half saw Ted Thomson stab home a goalmouth scramble to put the home side 1-0 in front and this was added to by a delicate chip over the keeper by Ben Adams which was finished off by George Blake for 2-0. Casuals grew into the game and managed to pull one back through veteran Mark Whorlow, after a miscued defensive clearance. Half time score of 2-1 to Ridgewaye. The first half gave no hint of what was to come as the home side took control of the game within the first eight minutes of the restart with three well worked goals. Ben Adams dipping shot beat the Casual´s keeper for 3-1 before George Blake finished off a flowing attacking move for 4-1. Then Max O’Neill met an in-swinging Adams corner for 5-1. Further goals from Josh Higgins with a blistering shot, a second from Max O’Neill and a final flourish from Ridgewaye’s Captain, Jack Birdsall, rounded of the scoring and gave Ridgewaye the 3 points that their hard work deserved.

Tonbridge United are battling away in the basement and not giving up. They met Tonbridge Origin Reserves in the Longmead derby and lost 4-1. Stephen Parsons was their only scorer, for Origin it was one each from Levi Caruan and Connor Sutherland, plus two from Dean Larter. That's three games unbeaten now for Origin, after a fairly poor run during October and November.

West Kent Sunday League Division Four including Sunday 18th December
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 TW Foresters Reserves 10 9 0 1 51 19 32 27
2 FC Hayward 10 6 2 2 34 16 18 20
3 Insulators Reserves 11 5 3 3 33 30 3 18
4 AFC Six in One 11 4 2 5 54 39 15 14
5 FC Grinstead 8 3 3 2 28 25 3 12
6 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 9 3 3 3 28 30 -2 12
7 TW Youth (Ridgewaye) 11 3 1 7 33 59 -26 10
8 Tonbridge Casuals 12 1 5 6 21 41 -20 8
9 Tonbridge United 8 1 1 6 6 29 -23 4

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