West Kent Sunday League News Report Sunday 25th March 2018

After weeks of disruption, at last a Sunday fixture list with no postponements. Pitch conditions were a bit grim in some places, but at least games were played.

WKSFL Senior Cup

The two remaining quarter-finals took place.  With neither team having played for a month, Artois United and Green Lane had to recall from memory perhaps. Green Lane had beaten Artois United narrowly in the League in September and so it was to be once more. A single goal by Tom Welch, the League's leading goalscorer, was enough to take them into the semi-finals. Goalkeeper Marc Yeung kept his eighth clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win at Tonbridge Farm.

There was high drama in the other game between FC Grinstead and Insulators, which eventually went to Insulators 8-7 on penalties after the scores were tied at 2-2 at the end of extra time. An exciting game played on a poor pitch at Turner's Hill, in which either side could have won.

FCG had the better of the early stages of the game, but Insulators dug in and it was Cole Walsh with a close-range effort that put them ahead just before half time. The home side came out after the break and again forced the pace and had the better of the play. In the 67th minute FCG were rightly awarded a penalty, which was easily despatched by Joe Moulding for the equaliser.  With ten minutes remaining, the hosts pounced on an error caused by the uneven pitch and took a 2-1 lead, Connor Tobin being the scorer. To their credit Insulators fought back and equalised through an own goal in the 87th minute.

Extra time saw two good chances missed by the visitors and some very tired players. Penalties would decide the semi finalist. At 4-4 it was Insulators who missed first but the FCG player had his penalty well saved by Max Bridges. It continued with both sides missing another penalty and reached 8-7 to Insulators when the unfortunate home player had his penalty saved.

The semi final line up is : Green Lane v Armada and Tonbridge Origin v Insulators. The semi-finals will be over two legs, the first being next Sunday April1 st.

WKSFL Intermediate Cup

Tonbridge Origin Reserves will take a useful two goal lead into thesecond leg of their semi-final against Cassidy's Phoenix. On Sunday they won the first leg 3-1 at Tonbridge Farm, leading scorers  Ben Holder (2) and Jonny Barber both finding the back of the net. Ben Boodle scored what might be a vital away goal for the Phoenix. The second leg is scheduled for next Sunday.

In a delayed quarter-final match, also at Tonbridge Farm, Crowborough Town emphatically beat Tonbridge Invicta 5-1 on their own turf to set up a semi-final clash with FC Grinstead. That one will be played over the next two Sundays, leaving both teams with the minor issue of fitting in eight league matches in the final five weeks of the season!

Town enjoyed two goals by Luke Leppard, Conor Edmunds, Marcus Alexander and Andy Pollard were also on the scoresheet. Invicta's only goal came from Matt Cunnington.

Division One

Two games were played, two big scores. Pembury Sunday, back after five weeks of inactivity, crushed Dormansland Rockets 8-0 at Woodside. Pembury had lost their previous six outings, but made up for that with seven different players scoring, namely Josh Knight, Toby Forward, Fred Johns, Yacine Marouani, Marc Chappel, Tom Price and two from Charlie Johns. In goal, Charlton Farrell kept the clean sheet, his team's first of the season.

In the other game, Tonbridge Origin inflicted a heavy defeat on Paddock Wood, who had not played for six weeks and could perhaps be forgiven. George Bourne scored twice for the Wood, but their visitors notched up seven including two hat-tricks, one each from the familiar names of Tom Cobb and Myles Lowden. Chris Gregory added the seventh.

West Kent Sunday League Division One including Sunday 25th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Simla 13 12 1 0 52 14 38 37
2 Green Lane 12 8 2 2 38 23 15 26
3 Armada 13 7 2 4 30 29 1 23
4 Tonbridge Origin 13 5 3 5 43 33 10 18
5 Artois United 9 5 1 3 30 15 15 16
6 Pembury Sunday 14 3 1 10 31 45 -14 10
7 Dormansland Rockets 7 2 0 5 17 29 -12 6
8 Insulators 10 1 2 7 20 40 -20 5
9 Paddock Wood 9 1 0 8 16 49 -33 3

Division Two

With several teams involved in cup ties, there was only the one game. Royal Oak moved into second place with a 4-2 win at Brenchley. They have a tough programme ahead, wth half their league programme yet to be played.  This includes what could be a crucial game at leaders Green Street Bues next Sunday. Their win at Brenchley came with goals from Neil Reynolds, Jeff Harrison, Ashley Bell and Joe Rutland. I do not have Brenchley's scorers.

West Kent Sunday League Division Two including Sunday 25th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Green Street Blues 12 10 1 1 58 19 39 31
2 Royal Oak 8 7 0 1 27 12 15 21
3 Brenchley 13 6 1 6 21 31 -10 19
4 Crowborough Town 8 6 0 2 44 17 27 18
5 Cassidy's Phoenix 11 5 2 4 33 25 8 17
6 Goudhurst United 11 3 1 7 31 45 -14 10
7 FC Grinstead 8 3 0 5 31 18 13 9
8 Langton Green 15 2 2 11 24 70 -46 8
9 Tonbridge Invicta 10 2 1 7 23 55 -32 7

Division Three

The race for the Division Three title took an interesting turn with leaders Speldhurst Rangers crashing to a 7-1 defeat at TW Ridgewaye, while St John's Yard kept up their good run with a 5-1 win over Tonbridge United.

TW Ridgewaye v Speldhurst Rangers - After both sides suffered a reverse in the first leg of the Junior Cup semi-final last week, it was going to be the case of who could bounce back the quickest. Early pressure from Speldhurst bought corner after corner and it was slightly against the run of play when a quick break-out by Ridgewaye saw Scott Beasley run clear on the right, drive in towards the edge of the box and plant a fierce drive past a stranded Speldhurst 'keeper Liam Baldwin. The game swung in Ridgewaye's favour when a fast flowing move resulted in Callum Genery crossing from the right for Dave Pringuer to ghost into the box and head in. This was undoubtedly the best move of the game and rocked Speldhurst for a while, but they fought their way back into it with a goal from a deep cross that eluded the Ridgewaye defence and allowed for a neat far post header by Rob Runciman. 2-1 at half time and it was looking like the tight affair that was experienced in the reverse fixture that Speldhurst shaded 4-3.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and after great work from Dan Thomas was denied by the keeper (not for the first time), a hastily cleared ball fell to Lewis Inglis who calmly placed the ball to the left of the keeper to make it 3-1 to Ridgewaye. This was the boost that the home side needed and it allowed for some attacking substitutions resulting in Ted Thomson picking up a loose defensive clearance on the edge of the box and firing in a low drive that went in off the upright for Ridgewaye's fourth. Callum Genery headed a fifth and drove home a powerfully stuck sixth, before George Brotherton rounded off the scoring with a perfectly executed lob finish from 20 yards. It was a welcome result for Ridgewaye who have been on the wrong end of some very tight games recently. (Their last three defeats were by a single goal.)

Rangers have just one league game remaining, which isn't until 15th April when they travel to face Tonbridge Origin Reserves. On that same day, St John's Yard travel to TW Ridgewaye, no doubt that phones will be red hot!

St John's Yard meanwhile won 5-1 at the Hilbert against Tonbridge United. The Yard went ahead in in the third minute though Dan Hunter. Chris Newhouse added the second and Jack Veness the third from the penalty spot to make it 3-1 at half time. In the second half Jack Veness added one more from the penalty spot and Matt Humphrey completed the scoring with a free kick on the comer of the penalty area perfectly placed in the top corner of the goal. Man of the match vote went to Lewis Stack.      Reece Dangerfield scored United's consolation.

In other games, East Grinstead Mavericks lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a 2-0 win over Paddock Wood Reserves. Their second win in three games was the outcome of a close game in which Sikhusele Nyaka and Craig Mepham scored. In goal, Mike Long kept his team's second clean sheet of the season.

Tonbridge Casuals arrested a run of six games without a win with a 4-3 victory at Insulators Reserves. Insulators took an early lead, but Casuals equalised and then took the lead. Insulators equalised but again fell behind before the pattern repeated itself..  At 3-3 it looked like a draw which would have been a fair result, but the referee overruled a linesman's flag to allow the away side to grab the three points. Such is life! Insulator scorers were Jake Pingault (2) and Fabian Fernandez. I do not have Casuals goalscorers.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three including Sunday 25th March
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Speldhurst Rangers 15 11 1 3 68 36 32 34
2 St John's Yard 13 10 2 1 66 25 41 32
3 TW Ridgewaye 13 6 4 3 47 27 20 22
4 Tonbridge Casuals 14 6 2 6 31 35 -4 20
5 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 11 5 1 5 31 27 4 16
6 Tonbridge United 14 4 1 9 29 47 -18 13
7 Insulators Reserves 12 4 0 8 21 37 -16 12
8 East Grinstead Mavericks 12 3 1 8 14 54 -40 10
9 Paddock Wood Reserves 12 1 4 7 18 37 -19 7

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