Two of the scheduled games in Group A were called off, but conditions in Southborough were good for the game between Armada and Dormansland Rockets.
Unusually for Rockets, who had scored twenty-six goals in their
previous four games, this very tight game was decided in their favour by
a single goal. That was scored by Jamie Ashley early in the second half. Louis Stone kept his team's first clean sheet of the season.
In Group B, Cassidy's Phoenix consolidated their top of the table position with a big win at AFC Valour.
It was 8-1 in favour of the Phoenix with the league's current top
goalscorer Ben Boodle netting a hat-trick. On the scoresheet twice were
Rob Harman and Adam Reavely. A penalty converted by Josh Ennis rounded
off the goals. Valour's consolation was scored by Paul Shuffle-Botham.
Valour's problems seem to be at both ends of the field. In seven games
so far this season in all competitions, they have scored only seven
goals and conceded twenty-three. They have yet to avoid defeat.
In the other game in Group B, Royal Oak travelled up to Westcombe Park to face Division One side Petts Wood Old Boys.
Despite a few evening plans finishing early with the surprise ‘game
on’ text at 9:45 the night before, spirits were high going into the
game. The sun was shining, the pitch looked good, and after a few
pre-match comments, Royal Oak were ready for the game, keen to deliver
levels of drama similar to that of the 1941 classic Citizen Kane. [It's a
film for those unaware!]
After a quick start to the game, Royal Oak took the lead with a Dan Lazell corner finding a towering Jeff Harrison, heading in top bins to give Royal Oak an early 1-0 lead. A number of chances went amiss in the first half from Royal Oak, with the Petts Wood woodwork being hit three times. Natt Paine hit the post twice with one shot somehow staying out. Petts Wood rarely threatened in the first half, with the Royal Oak defence looking strong and keeping any potential threats at bay. The highlight of the final twenty minutes of the first half being a marauding run from Sam Girt from DM to right wing. He caned it down the wing past a couple of Petts Wood players and put in a superb cross, inches away from being tapped in at the far post. The first half finished 1-0.
It was two goals in quick succession early in the second half for Royal Oak that ensured momentum was well and truly with the away team . Both came from crosses. With the finishing prowess of Harry Kane, Natt Paine and Dan Gray swept in to make it 3-0 and comfortable for Royal Oak. Petts Wood threatened more as the game went on, with a couple of shots on goal dealt with well by Royal Oak 'keeper Sam Catt - on a mission for a first clean sheet of the season. A fourth goal for Royal Oak came with a neat finish from Dan Gray, bagging himself his first brace of the season. Shortly after this, an instant goal of the season contender was struck from Michael Collins in his first Royal Oak appearance of the season. Dan Gray, looking to latch on to a through ball for his hat-trick, had the ball cleared from under his feet by the on rushing Petts Wood goalkeeper. With the ball bobbling, Collins took the ball in his stride and advancing from the half way line, with the cool, calm and collectedness often only found in a late Michael Caine film, lobbed the flailing goalkeeper from 40 yards. Sadly Collins had left his Kane wrestler mask at home, his favourite celebration accessory.
Royal Oak saw the game out and took a convincing 5-0 win against the
Div 1 team back home, putting them in a strong position in the table.
|West Kent Sunday League Division One|
|5||Artois United $||3||3||0||0||25||3||22||6|
|6||Saint John's Yard||4||1||0||3||8||18||-10||3|
|8||Petts Wood Old Boys $||4||1||1||2||10||19||-9||1|
+ three points awarded $ three points deducted
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