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West Kent Sunday League Report Sunday 19th March 2017

The only big issue in the four Divisions is the outcome of the First Division championship race. Simla must win at Dormansland Rockets next Sunday or Artois United gain the trophy, simple as that!

Congraulations to Gardener's Arms, winning Division Two and remaining unbeaten. Both Bricklayer's Arms  (Division Three winners) and Tunbridge Wells Foresters's Reserves (Division Four winners) deserve accolades. Both won by fairly narrow margins in closely competed competitons.

Gardener's Arms unbeaten League season made me look back over the last ten years. An unbeaten League season doesn't happen all that often, although there have been some pretty outstanding feats.  Pride of place goes I think to Jarvis Brook, who won Divisions Three, Two and then One in successive seasons from 2012-3 to 2014-15, a total of 50 games without a defeat. Then they folded! Simla have won Division One twice while not being beaten, in 2013-2014 (14 games) and again last season, also 14 games. An award, if there was one, for the most games unbeaten in a single league season would be shared by Pembury Sunday (won Division 1 in 2007-8 and played 22 games) and also KW Hayward United, who won Division Four in 2014-5 also having played 22 games that season.

For completeness the others who have managed this since 2007 are : Wahdurst White Hart (whatever happened to them?) , Robin Hood and last season's Divison Two winners TW Foresters.

Surrey Lower Junior Cup Semi-Final

Dormansland Rockets booked a trip to play AFC Thornton at Carshalton FC on Wednesday 10th May by winning their Surrey Cup semi final on Sunday in a very well contested but sporting match with Banter Central.

They didn't get off to the best of starts, conceding after about three minutes following some sloppy defensive play. From there on in though,  slowly but surely they got a foothhold into the game and were creating numerous chances. Eventually, after prolonged pressure the equaliser came scored by top scorer Rich Wetton. 

The second half continued in the same vein, with Rockets on top. This resulted in further goals from Martyn Bishop, Miguel Dunne, Brett Caiger and another from Rich Wetton.

Banter didn't give up though and two goals in quick succession late in the game reminded Rockets that the game was not yet over.  With five minutes to go Miguel Dunne ensured it was as he got his second and Rockets sixth. Final score, Rockets 6 Banter 3. (There must be something in that but I cannot think of it right now!)

Rockets will have plenty of practice to come before then. They have a WKSFL Senior Cup Semi final and five league matches in which to hone their skills.

Division One

Insulators were again without a number of players and decided to rotate player positions for the final league game of the season away to Tonbridge Origin. This didn't look too clever to start with. Origin raced into a three goal lead, with goals from the Divison's top scorer Myles Lowden, Jimmy Shepherd and Ant Kent. Origin missed plenty of other chances. However in the second half, with the wind at their backs, it was Insulators manager Kierron Banks who scored direct from a corner to make it at least interesting. It became more so when he added a penalty fifteen minutes from the end. Origin also continued to have chances in an end to end game. Final score Origin 3 Insulators 2. Nice to see players with a smile on their faces, said Insulators and they added a well done to Origin on achieving at least third place with 'Slators behind in 4th.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 19th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Artois United 14 10 1 3 62 25 37 31
2 Tonbridge Origin 14 10 1 3 55 29 26 31
3 Simla # 13 11 0 2 45 21 24 30
4 Insulators 14 7 1 6 51 29 22 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

Gardener's Arms wrapped up their unbeaten Division Two campaign with a 7-0 victory at Cassidy's Phoenix. Karl Smith netted four, with Andrew Grundy (2), Lee Cooper and Jon Loveday also on the scoresheet, whilst Ben Carter moved a step closer to winning the golden glove with his 11th clean sheet of the season.

SE Spitfires recent run of good form came to an end with a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Green Lane.  Lane's scorers were Jamie Cutts and James Donaldson. Tom Welch and Jack Page shared goalkeeping duties, being awarded half a clean sheet each.

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 19th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Gardener's Arms (C)
16 13 3 0 62 13 49 42
2 Pembury Sunday 15 11 2 2 52 12 40 35
3 Green Lane 14 7 3 4 36 25 11 24
4 Paddock Wood + 14 6 1 7 29 42 -13 22
5 SE Spitfires 15 5 2 8 22 35 -13 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 # 16 4 3 9 26 48 -22 12
9 Langton Green 15 3 3 9 33 58 -25 12

Division Three

Crowborough Town needed to win their final game at home to Rusthall Club Athletic to grab runners-up spot but it was not to be. Town came flying out of the blocks and went one ahead after 50 seconds, with another brilliant volley from Darren Nicol. For the majority of the first half the game was fairly even, until Town's captain Nicol had to leave with an injury and this seemed to unsettle the rest of the team. The visitors took the advantage of this and scored twice in the last ten minutes to make it 1 - 2 at half time.
As the second half went on the standard of play deteriorated, with just the occasional, very occasional, bright spot of good football. With 90 minutes on the clock Rusthall managed to add two more goals in 'stoppage' time to make the final score Crowborough Town 1, Rusthall Club Athletic 4. Club's scorers were Ben Johnson (2), Gary McCafferty and James Scott.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 19th 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 16 10 1 5 47 33 14 31
4 Rusthall Club Athletic 14 8 2 4 49 26 23 26
5 Tonbridge Invicta 16 8 2 6 54 33 21 26
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

Insulators Reserves and AFC Six in One wrapped up their League campaigns with a high scoring game at the Memorial Ground. Insulators led 5-0,  with four goals from Kieron Pattenden (his first hat trick for the club) and one from Reece Beecroft. Having missed countless other chances, ten man Six in One fought back with three goals in the last 20 minutes, including two from the League's leading scorer Ryan Smith and also hit the bar. Jason Carver scored the other goal for the visitors. Over the sixteen league games, an average of 8.25 goals has been scored in the games involving Six in One.

Said management, it was a good way to end a decent league season by Insulators Reserves who finish in 4th place.

FC Hayward did not fulfill their final fixture with Tonbridge Origin Reserves. A Management Committee decision is awaited.

West Kent Sunday League Division Four including Sunday 19th 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 + 16 7 3 6 46 48 -2 27
5 AFC Six in One 16 7 2 7 73 59 14 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

Having beaten Goudhurst United 3-1 in the League the previous week, Armada doubled it by beating them 2-0 in Spring Cup (Senior) Group 2. Scorers were Tom Wood, on debut and Jack Matthews on his 100th appearance. James Larkin kept his second clean sheet of the season.

In the other group 2 match, Simla took on Division Two side Paddock Wood. Paddock Wood struggled for players today, so started the match with only nine players. They defended very well and stopped Simla from scoring on numerous occasions, but again Simla were their own worst enemy with so many wayward shots. No score at half time.

With all the play at the Paddock Wood end they sometimes broke out of defence to attack Simla's goal and from one of these occasions they scored a good goal, scorer's name unknown. Simla continued to misfire until late on, when David Blundell scored followed by two more, one from Alex Carey with a fine volley and then one from Joe Adams.

Congratulations to Paddock Wood on the way they played today with only nine men and so nearly caused an upset.

The group 2 table looks like this :

Green Lane11000003
Goudhurst Utd210112-13
Paddock Wood300314-30

In group 3, Langton Green did not fulfill their fixture at Brenchley, who are awarded the three points.

Spring Cup Junior Section

In group 2, Green Street Blues overcame Paddock Wood Reserves 4-1 with goals from Tom Wilken, Ash Birchruffel, Romain Ducheon and Andy Lanning. Wood's goalscorer not reported.

With FC Hayward having pulled out, the table now reads :

Green Street Blues11004133
Tonbridge Origin Reserves00000000
Paddock Wood Reserves100114-30

There were two games in group 3. St John's Yard maintained their recent revival, making if five wins on the trot in all competitions with a 5-1 win at TW Ridgewaye.

It was dream start for the Yard, who were two up in the first three minutes, four up in 20 minutes. The goals included a Rory Wilson hatrick and even Matt Humphrey managed to score. John Pearson added a fifth in the second half which saw a more determined show by Ridgewaye, for whom Ben Adams scored, it was his 13th goal of the season.

Ticehurst Village Club beat Tonbridge Casuals 4-1 in the other game, which featured a hat-trick from Rob Briley. Liam Bull scored the fourth, Casial's consolation was scored by Matt Donnelly. They finish bottom of the group and must now find something else to do for the next few weeks!

The table shows that St John's Yard have booked their place in the semi-finals. Ridgewaye and Ticehurst Village Club will go head to head for the second place and possible qualification as best group runner up.

St John's Yard330013499
TW Ridgewaye2101761
Ticehurst Village Club210156-13
Tonbridge Casuals3003413-90

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