West Kent Sunday League News Report Mid Season 2017 - 2018

We've reached the midway point of the 2017 - 2018 season without any any weather related problems and with the league's various competitions shaping up to be well contested during the second half of the season. Here are my usual predictions for the various trophies and a few other thoughts.

I have mentioned this before, but the seemingly inexorable decline of Sunday football continues. At the summer 2017 AGM the League's membership stood at twenty-nine teams, itself the lowest membership since the start of the very second season back in 1968 - 1969 when it was thirty-one.

Four teams were lost to football completely from the end of the previous season including successful sides Bricklayer's Arms and Gardener's Arms. A couple went to other leagues, one (Rusthall Club) switched to Saturday football.

Numbers were further reduced when FC Hayward failed to start their fixtures. A  few weeks into the season saw the demise of TW Foresters. That leaves twenty seven.

The towns of Crowborough and Jarvis Brook recently had seven teams in the league, now it's just the one - Crowborough Town. No longer are there teams based in the Sevenoaks, Edenbridge and Westerham areas while large villages like Hadlow and East Peckham have no active adult football at all. Pembury is another small town now down to one Sunday team, where once there were four or five.

On the bright side, all three divisions are going to be closely contested, the Senior and Junor Cup grop stages likewise and the League has two representatives in the county wide stage of the Kent Sunday Premier Cup.

Tables as predicted by a machine, not my personal interpretation.

Division One

The runes suggest that the current order at the top will be maintained, but that Simla will finish only slightly above Green Lane and Armada. The form book is a little shaky when it comes to Dormansland Rockets, who have played only four league games because of a good run in the Surrey Sunday Cup.  Rockets have yet to play any of the top four, so if they can get a decent team out once or twice there could be a shakeup.

Predicted final table

West Kent Sunday League Division One prediction
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Simla 16 12 2 2 66 35 31 38
2 Green Lane 16 11 2 3 60 40 20 35
3 Armada 16 11 1 4 45 31 14 34
4 Artois United 16 10 1 5 64 41 23 31
5 Tonbridge Origin 16 7 4 5 57 40 17 25
6 Dormansland Rockets 16 6 3 7 60 63 -3 21
7 Pembury Sunday 16 5 1 10 40 59 -19 16
8 Insulators 16 2 2 12 32 60 -28 8
9 Paddock Wood 16 0 0 16 26 81 -55 0

Division Two

This one is very hard to predict! Royal Oak, for various reasons, have played only two league matches and FC Grinstead only four and none of them at home. Mathematics and the very limited form so far says that those two will dominate the Division in the second half of the campaign. I am sure though that Crowborough Town and Green Street Blues in particular will have something to say about that. Brenchley, currently top of the league, are in a false position having been awarded nine points in respect of three games where opponents could not raise a team. (Thought and a personal one, should there be a limit to the number of points that can be awarded or deducted? Not per game, but overall??)

West Kent Sunday League Division Two prediction
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Royal Oak 16 13 0 3 50 27 23 39
2 FC Grinstead 16 11 0 5 63 30 33 33
3 Green Street Blues 16 9 1 6 52 38 14 28
4 Brenchley 16 8 1 7 34 36 -2 25
5 Langton Green 16 8 1 7 39 52 -13 25
6 Crowborough Town 16 8 0 8 60 39 21 24
7 Cassidy's Phoenix 16 7 2 7 43 39 4 23
8 Goudhurst United 16 3 1 12 29 56 -27 10
9 Tonbridge Invicta 16 1 2 13 30 83 -53 5

Division Three

The current top two will fight it out, Speldhurst Rangers just pipping St John's Yard to the title. However, TW Ridgewaye's big improvement in recent weeks, if maintained, could have an effect. They have yet to play either of the current leaders. Tonbridge Casuals up and down form will, I think, keep them out of the frame at the end of the season.

West Kent Sunday League Division Three prediction
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Speldhurst Rangers 16 14 1 1 52 30 22 43
2 St John's Yard 16 13 2 1 87 36 51 41
3 Tonbridge Casuals 16 8 2 6 36 33 3 26
4 Tonbridge Origin Reserves 16 6 4 6 44 36 8 22
5 Tonbridge United 16 7 1 8 42 49 -7 22
6 Paddock Wood Reserves 16 5 4 7 38 45 -7 19
7 TW Ridgewaye 16 5 3 8 47 41 6 18
8 Insulators Reserves 16 3 2 11 35 52 -17 11
9 East Grinstead Mavericks 16 1 1 14 18 77 -59 4

Senior Cup

The decision to play the first round in groups has brought about a very tight situation with only a couple of games remaining.

Group 1

Artois and Simla will qualify as first or second placed teams.  Insulators could qualify as one of the best third placed teams depending on results in other groups. If Paddock Wood should win both their remaining matches, they would go above Insulators on goal difference and finish third with nine points.

Group 2

Armada have qualified as out-and-out group winners and will be at home in the second round. Green Lane are currently second, but should Crowborough Town defeat Dormansland Rockets next Sunday and repeat that against Green Lane two weeks later, they would finish second and go through. A win and a draw wouldn't do. Town would finish third, but with only eight points. That won't beat Insulators and Tonbridge Origin, who have completed their games, finished third in their groups and already have nine points.

Group 3

FC Grinstead are 99% certain to through as group winners, barring a 14 goal win for Cassidy's Phoenix in the last game against Royal Oak. Any kind of win for Cassidy's would see them finish second and go through by virtue of that. Again, a draw won't be good enough for Cassidy's. No pressure then lads! Even if Cassidy's should win, Tonbridge Origin should still go through as one of the better third placed teams, barring a series of very improbable events.

Junior Cup

The Junior Cup First Round has been played in two groups of four. Group One was pretty clear cut, with Tonbridge Origin Reserves and Speldhurst Rangers qualifying easily. The second group went to the final encounters, where St John's Yard had the win they needed to finish top, at Tonbridge Casuals, while TW Ridgewaye had to avoid defeat at Paddock Wood Reserves which they did with a 1-1 draw. Both had four points in this 'group of death' but Ridgewaye's goal difference of -3 was one better than the Wood's -4! Tonbridge Origin Reserves will meet TW Ridgewaye in one semi-final, St John's Yard and Speldhurst Rangers join battle in the other.

Intermediate Cup

This is down to the last eight teams. The draw is yet to be made. Six of those eight are in the second division. All the top dogs in that table will be present in that draw, so it really will be luck of the draw as to who has the best chance of making the semi-finals. Division Three will be represented by Tonbridge Origin Reserves and Tonbridge Casuals.

Kent Sunday Premier Cup

Two WKSFL teams have made it through to the county wide round in mid-January, weather permitting of course! Simla face the most tricky game. They have to travel all the way down to Broadstairs to meet Bradstow Albion of the Thanet Sunday League. Artois United at least have a home fixture. They will host Footscray Lions of the Woolwich and Eltham Sunday Alliance at Tonbridge Farm. The best of luck to them both.

Top goalscorers and goalkeeper's clean sheets

The races are close for both these individual awards. Tom Welch of Green Lane has eighteen WKSFL goals thus far and leads that race, but there are half a dozen others close on his tail.  Perhaps one reason for this is the huge number of players clubs have to use to fulfill their fixtures. Dormansland Rockets for example have fifteen different goalscorers this season, Artois United also fifteen if you count Mr O.G, Simla and FC Grinstead also have thirteen scorers plus O.G.

Goalkeepers are hard pressed in this league, with an average of about six goals being scored in every game. These three currently stand out among the clean sheets - Marc Yeung (Green Lane) 4, Liam Baldwin (Speldhurst Rangers)  4 and Nick Edwards (Green St Blues)  3 .Welch also has the most hat-tricks at four, three others are currently on three.

Back to the reports index

Back to the main page