West Kent Sunday League News Report Sunday 24th September 2017

This report begins with the sad and unwelcome news of another team folding. Tunbridge Wells Foresters, a successful youth set-up, found it difficult to sustain this into the adult world and after just two seasons have folded their remaining WKSFL team. This has resulted in an adjustment to the Division Two table as previously published.

This leaves the League with the fewest teams in membership, 27, since the second season of its existence 50 years ago.

Kent Sunday Premier Cup First Round

Armada pushed their Maidstone League opponents East Malling Sunday all the way in a very tight game. East Malling won their league with ease last season, and were also runners up in the Kent Cup, only losing narrowly to the powerful Quested. Therefore the hosts knew it would be tough.

The first half was very close, with the visitors edging territory and possession. But despite hitting the post from a set piece, East Malling chances were limited and it was harsh on Armada when the visitors took the lead direct from a 25 yard free kick by Ross Ibberston. 0-1 HT.

With a big squad to choose from Armada kept legs fresh and began to grow into the game. They deservedly levelled with a 20 yard strike with twenty minutes remaining. Their tails were up and they now looked more likely to go on to win the game, but with just over ten minutes left, winger Ibbertson, scorer of the first goal, miss hit a cross into the top corner for Malling to re-take the lead. Armada pushed for the goal to take it to extra time, but couldn't quite manage it.

Kent Sunday Junior Trophy First Round

TW Ridgewaye suffered a narrow defeat at home to former League members Cranbrook Town. They fell at the first hurdle by a margin of 2-0 at Skinner's.

Division One

Green Lane are still 100% in the league and table-toppers after a 2-1 win at Artois United. The Donaldsons scored, Richard and James, to which Artois replied through Jake Miller.

Pembury Sunday slipped up at Insulators, drawing 2-2. This was an end-to-end game from start to finish which either side might have won. Chances were created throughout but it was Insulators who went ahead after 25 minutes when a fine run from Martin Page-Mitchell was finished off with a thumping shot from Cole Walsh. That remained the score at half time.

Within 10 minutes of the re-start Pembury were level when a free kick caused confusion and provided a tap-in for the appropriately named Nick Forward to equalise.  On the hour Luke Parker, making his debut for the home team, scored with a fine shot from the edge of the box to restore the lead. However, less than 90 seconds later Pembury levelled again after a good through ball was converted by Matt Rice-Tucker for his fourth goal of the season.

Pembury's keeper made several good saves late in the game but the match finished at 2-2. It was played in good spirit throughout by two well-matched sides.

Tonbridge Origin gained their first points of the season with an emphatic 8-0 win at home to Dormansland Rockets. Tom Cobb, for several seasons the bane of many an opponent in his day with the ill-fated Old Boars team, is back on the scene and scored twice for the Origin. Another prolific goalscorer in previous seasons, Myles Lowden, also scored two.  The other scorers were Louis Qunton, Ollie Bettis, Alan Page and Dan Lawrence. Goalkeeper Sam Jenner kept the clean sheet.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 24th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Green Lane 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
2 Pembury Sunday 4 2 1 1 10 9 1 7
3 Simla 2 2 0 0 5 0 5 6
4 Insulators 3 1 1 1 8 7 1 4
5 Tonbridge Origin 3 1 0 2 9 4 5 3
6 Artois United 2 1 0 1 4 3 1 3
7 Armada 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 3
8 Dormansland Rockets 2 0 0 2 3 12 -9 0
9 Paddock Wood 3 0 0 3 3 12 -9 0

Division Two

The demise of TW Foresters, a flood in the changing rooms at FC Grinstead's ground and Langton Green being unable to raise a team meant that only two games took place on Sunday. But eighteen goals were scored in those two!

Ten goals were shared at Tonbridge Farm, where hosts Tonbridge Invicta gained their first points of the season at the expense of Goudhurst United. Four goals from Tommy Welham lead the way, the other two being scored by Alex Evans and Adam Jones. In a day not good for goalkeepers, United fought back with a hat-trick by Will Mantle and a fourth from Ben Young.

In the other game there were only eight goals. Six of them were scored by Cassidy's Phoenix, whose 6-2 win over Brenchley puts them into third place on goal difference. Two goals each from Alberto Fernandez and Rob Harman, one each from Dan Watson and Alex Kibbey ensured their success. Brenchley's goals came through Mike Williams and Dave Caddick.

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 24th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Crowborough Town 3 2 0 1 21 9 12 6
2 Green Street Blues 2 2 0 0 8 0 8 6
3 Cassidy's Phoenix 3 2 0 1 8 5 3 6
4 Royal Oak 2 2 0 0 2 1 1 6
5 FC Grinstead 2 1 0 1 13 3 10 3
6 Brenchley 3 1 0 2 6 9 -3 3
7 Langton Green 4 1 0 3 8 15 -7 3
8 Goudhurst United 4 1 0 3 10 19 -9 3
9 Tonbridge Invicta 3 1 0 2 7 22 -15 3

Division Three

A good few goals were scored in Division Three also, including two more six goal hauls.

Top performance was Speldhurst Rangers six - nil win at East Grinstead Mavericks. Rangers bounced back from last week's disappointing defeat with a controlled win over Mavericks. For 30 minutes they were in complete control leading through a tight finish from Ollie Crees, a tap in from Jolyon Wheller and a thunderbolt from Josh Fermor.

Mavericks pushed their way back into the game and finished the half with a couple of chances, but remained 3-0 to Rangers at the break.

The second half continued in the same vein as James Hughes made it four with a lovely turn and shot before Joe Hearndon came off the bench to join in with two well taken goals. Mavericks went on to miss a penalty, however Rangers were dominant throughout. Liam Baldwin was Rangers shut out goalie.

Also scoring six were Tonbridge Origin Reserves, visiting St John's Yard at the Hilbert. Yard took an early lead, a goal by Mush Miah on 17 minutes but, said secretary Tony Vanns, it all went downhill from there. Origin's Ben Holder scored a hat-trick and there were further goals from Bobby Brown, Johnny Barber and Will Ashenden to make up the tally. In reply, Yard's other scorers were Jack Veness and Josh Williams.

Tonbridge Casuals have obviously become used to playing on real grass. Three games in and they are top of Division Three with a 100% record. Alex Hill scored twice and Dan Green once in their 3-1 win over Insulators Reserves at Tonbridge Farm. Insulators Reserves were without four of the team that started the season well last weekend and soon found themselves two goals down. The score remained the same at half time. Insulators came into the game more in the second half, but that improvement was undone when Casuals scored a fine third to put the game beyond reach. Player/Manager James Philpott came on and scored a consolation goal as the away side pressed to make the game interesting, but the home side came out worthy winners

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 24th September
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tonbridge Casuals 3 3 0 0 10 4 6 9
2 St John's Yard 3 2 0 1 15 9 6 6
3 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 3 1 1 1 10 8 2 4
4 Speldhurst Rangers 2 1 0 1 7 5 2 3
5 Insulators Reserves 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
6 East Grinstead Mavericks 3 1 0 2 4 14 -10 3
7 TW Ridgewaye 2 0 1 1 3 5 -2 1
8 Paddock Wood Reserves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 Tonbridge United 2 0 0 2 2 6 -4 0

Attention turns next week to the WKSFL Cup competitions. The Senior and Junior Cups will both be played in groups at the first round stage. Division two teams will be pitting themselves more than once against the top sides. Are surprises in store for us?

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