ANDREW GIDLEY’S WEEKLY ROUNDUP
SATURDAY, 13th January
It’s been tough going this season for former champions Faversham Strike Force.
Club manager Gary Axford told the club’s annual meeting last November:
“After reaching the heights of winning the Premier Division in 2015, we have had a major reshuffle of the team, losing a number of senior players, and the entire coaching staff earlier in the year.
“A major repair job is underway here as it is important that the club has a presence at this level going forward – he also posed the question – how do we develop our next KCL side – from within or do we recruit?”
That was one of the challenges set this season – nobody said it would happen overnight, so wins like the come from behind 4-3 success at Otford United on Saturday – only the third of the season – is a boost.
Axford said: “This season has been very challenging for the newly formed side.
“After winning the league at the first attempt two seasons ago life is very different now.
“Some major restructuring has taken place from the squad through to the coaching and management of the side.
With sIx under-18s stepping up, and several new players joining us, the average age of the side is around 21 – very young.
“It has been a massive challenge for the staff and players, dealing with the nature of some of the defeats. “ He added: “The development of the side is important, the players have reacted really well, and the youngsters have been brilliant.
“Patience is key, we have to keep going learning from every game.
“This side is technically very good, and so in a few years time we should be challenging once again for the title.”
On the win, coach Stuart Benfield added: “We welcomed back some players who have been absent recently, but missing a few, but Gary set the team up to go and get a result.
“The game couldn’t have got off to a worse start – 2-0 down after 25 minutes but we then led 4-2 with 15 minutes remaining before a mix-up presented Otford with a third.
“Otford hit the post with only a couple of minutes remaining but we held giving the team and managers a much needed lift and taking us of bottom spot.
James Hood, Kane Taylor, an own-goal and Ali Adam were the Force scorers with Luke Blackaby, Rory Catt and Jamie Knight on target for the O’s.
“Gary was delighted with the performance from all the squad and the result was a much needed three points” added Benfield.
Fleetdown United are another team in transition, their upturn in fortunes in December earning Martin McCarthy, the Premier Division Aford Awards Manager of the Month award.
He said: “It has been the hardest season for many reasons, however (there is) continued development again.
“Thanks to the club for continued investment in me – most importantly thanks to all the squad, players and management team.”
McCarthy received the award before the 1-1 home draw against Farnborough Old Boys Guild. Harry Akers put Fleetdown ahead before Lloyd Mitchell hit Town’s equaliser.
The much anticipated top-two clash between Kennington and Greenways was called off, while third placed Peckham Town were on cup duty.
Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) are fourth, James Hammond’s winner beating Lydd Town Reserves. Joe Minter scored twice as Tudor Sports won 4-3 at New Romney, while Steve Turner, Luke Whitehead and sub Josh Reid clinched Metrogas’ 3-2 win at Lewisham Athletic.
Joshua Armfield and Sam Hellens scored two each in Bexley’s 5-2 home win over Staplehurst Monarchs United.
Sub Billy Graham’s decider earned nine-man Borden Village their quarter-final spot in the NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ Inter-Regional Challenge Cup at Peckham Town’s expense. They now travel to Division 1 West Halstead United next month.
Riley Alford made it 21 for the season with two for Division 1 Central 7 East leaders Deal Sports, 4-1 winners at Herne Bay Reserves, while Damian Abel’s hat-trick steered Hawkinge Town home 5-0 against Rolvenden.
Ed Arundel and Ron Dunphy both hit hat-tricks as Welling Park enjoyed an 11-2 win at Orpington in Division 1 West. Joe Gavin’s treble was the pick of the scorers in Chipstead’s 8-1 win over Old Roan. Zak Loveridge put the Sevenoaks villagers ahead – Ryan Martin levelled things up, before Gavin and two-goal Dave Milton helped make things very one sided. Sub Connor Walsh hit two for leaders Old Bromleians in their 6-1 win at Long Lane. Columb Grant also scored twice as Ide Hill won by the same score at AFC Mottingham.
AFC Ashford Athletic were another team to hit double figures beating Aylesford 14-1 in Division 3 Central & East, substitute Dale Horton hitting five inside the last half hour, and set a new club goal scoring record. Horton has now hit 54 in 63 games – beating Jack Bundock’s previous mark of 51 in 53 matches.
AEI Sports joint-managers Peter Stanton and Michael Betts won the Aford Awards Eastern Section Manager of the Month award for the first time. The presentation was made before the home game against Faversham Town Reserves, as the leaders came from behind to win 5-1. Goalkeeper Dan Ball saved a penalty to stop to avoid going 2-0 down, before two-goal Daryl Herbert-Smith, Ellis Hutton, Lee Sturgeon and an own-goal completed the victory.
Meanwhile the Kent County League Representative squad bid for a place in the semi-finals of the FA Inter-League Cup when they travel to face the Essex & Suffolk Border League at Coggeshall Town FC on Saturday (3:00pm). It’s a third successive away tie after wins in Dorset and Jersey.
The other three quarter-finals are due to take place next month.
York Football League v Lincolnshire League or Staffordshire County League.
North Riding Football League v Isle of Man League.
Amateur Football Combination v Thames Valley Premier League.
The leading goal scorers list has been published, this includes all League and League Cup goals scored up to Saturday, 6th January.
Leading the chart is Stephen Wetherley (Sporting Club Thamesmead Reserves) with 26, followed by Harry Taylor (Red Velvet) on 25. Both play in Division Three West.
Heading the Premier Division list is Carlum Mcleod (Kennington) with 19 goals and Ross Morley (Tudor Sports) on 17.
In Division One Central & East two Cuxton 91 players lead the way. Daniel Hanshaw has 20 and Matt Gething has 19. Matt is joined on that number by Riley Alford (Deal Sports).
Lewis Longhurst (Halstead United) with 20 goals has a large lead at this stage, in Division One West, over Tuguy Ali (AFC Mottingham) who has 13.
It is closer in Division Division Two Central & East. Adam Hill (Rochester City) has 16 and Danny Rowe (Wateringbury) follows on 15.
Two players share the lead in Division Two West. Both Stephen Smith (Nomads) and Samuel Dangerfield (Sydenham Sports) have 12 goals.
The same applies in Division Three Central & East, with 16 goals apiece are Dale Horton (AFC Ashford Athletic) and Ellis Hutton (AEI Sports).
For further details click here
League Photographer, Julie Hoare was back at a division one west game this week with Stansfield Res. FC V Halls Athletic FC. It was a typical, tough fixture with both teams working hard to score. Halls took the lead half way through the first half but Stansfield kept up the attack until a few minutes from the end of the game when Halls managed to score their second. Mike Ring and Lewis Tristram were the goal-scorers for the away team.
The second game in the Gallery is Club Langley V Sutton Athletic Reserves. It was an eventful affair right from the start according to photographer David Terry. The home team keeping up the pressure throughout the first half and going into the break with a 2-0 lead. They continued to have the upper hand in the second half with two more goals however Sutton never gave up and with 23 minutes to go managed to score and then with just a minute left made it 4-2 for the final whistle. The goals for Langley came from Callum Willcox, Gabriel Braimah and two from Ricard Aidoo. Suttons goals were scored by Tom Kember and substitute Ben Martin.
Click here to view pictures from both games.
MANAGER OF THE MONTH
League Chairman completed the December Aford Awards Manager of the Month presentations when he visited both Fleetdown United and AEI sports.
The Premier Division award has been won by Martin McCarthy, his Fleetdown team secured two wins and a draw in December. It started with an away win against Metrogas, followed by a home win over Faversham Strike Force Seniors and ended with a home draw with Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey).
Peter Stanton & Michael Betts (AEI Sports) received the Central & East award. The Division Three leaders remain unbeaten in their league campaign. In December the won all three matches without conceding a goal. First was an away win at Faversham Town Reserves, two home wins against Tenterden Town and Woodnesborough completed their December fixtures.
The first December Manager of the Month Awards were made on Saturday, 6th January.
Billy Judd of Halls AFC received the Western Section from, League Chairman, Cyril Windiate. Halls won their three league matches in December starting with an away win at Sutton Athletic Reserves and they followed that up with home wins against AFC Mottingham and Old Roan. This is a first award for Billy but the sixth time a Hall’s manager has received a Manager of the Month award since 2002.
As always teams must have a disciplinary record within the League’s code of conduct to ensure their managers received their recognition.
JANUARY 2018 FIXTURES
The first set of League and Cup fixtures for 2018 have been published with the release of the January fixtures, the full list can be downloaded by clicking here
With the help of @ we have launched The KCL_TV channel page has returned for the 2017-18 season courtesy of @, the page features video highlights of Kent County League teams in action which you can watch on your PC, tablet or smartphone.
On Saturday Mike covered the Premier Division match between Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) and Tudor Sports, Stansfeld edged the contest 3-2.
To visit the page and view the video click here
REFEREES ONLINE APPLICATION 2017-2018
The online application form for Match Officials for the 2017-18 season is now open, please click here to complete and submit.
BECOME A KENT REFEREE!
The Kent FA are holding a number of ‘Get into Refereeing’ Workshops from May to August 2017 at venues across the County. In addition the Kent FA are looking to encourage those players approaching the end of their careers to take up the whistle and are offering a special discount on the referee course fees, which could be as low as £50.00!
For further information email the Kent FA, Referee Development Officer, Nick Dunn by clicking here
Do you need new players or volunteers? The latest vacancies are listed below, for full details click here
ORPINGTON FC – Are looking for players of all positions to join a close knit team who want to develop a strong team.
PLAYER SEEKING CLUB – 20 year old full back/winger, previously played for Hythe Town, Ashford United Youth, looking for new team in East Kent.
COACH SEEKING CLUB – Retired UEFA ‘A’ Licence coach seeks progressive club looking to progress through to the next level of football.
BEXLEY FC – Both first team and reserves are looking for new players to add to their squad.
ROCHESTER CITY FC – Are looking to add a striker to our squad having recently lost our top scorer to a serious injury.
PLAYER SEEKING CLUB – Young player currently at Bromley FC Academy and looking to start playing first team football in North West Kent to help my development.
PLAYER SEEKING CLUB – Comfortable on the ball passer and good aerially as I’m 6ft5 and I’m looking for a good footballing side.
PLAYER SEEKING CLUB – 18 year old right wing back. Previously at Tonbridge Angels U18s/U21s. I am now looking for First Team experience.
CC SPORT FC – Canterbury City Football Club and Canterbury Christ Church University have an exciting opportunity available for a person to join the management team for our reserve side CC Sport.
WOODNESBOROUGH FC – Level 2, or above, coach needed. We have 3 senior teams at different levels and we have our own ground and good facilities.
MANAGER SEEKING CLUB – Manager looking for a team. 15 years experience at County League level with 5 different clubs covering most divisions (east).
MANAGER SEEKING CLUB – Experienced manager seeks new challenge. I have managed at good level including Ryman/Ireland and Spain, Maidstone based but will travel for the right club.
STEP UP SPORTS CONSULTANCY
If you are looking for funding to improve facilities or for equipment, activities or coaching then Step Up Sports Consultancy may be able to assist. Annette Buswell and George Davis have extensive experience of Project Management and Fundraising and George has experience of running a club in Kent County League. To contact them to see if they can help click here for further details.
RELEASE THE PRESSURE
“Release the Pressure” is a new Kent campaign which aims to reduce the number of suicides by encouraging men feeling under pressure to seek help.
In Kent, suicide is the leading killer of men under 45; in 2014, there were 163 registered suicides of which 128 (79%) were men. The rate of suicide in the county is also higher than the national average. For more information click here
Tommy Sampson the League’s “Tackling Mental Health” campaign Ambassador has been speaking to KMFM of his own mental health issues and he urges all those with problems to seek help using the helpline number 0800 107 0160. Listen to the full interview with Tommy
The Kent County League Supports
SWEARING – Let’s Tackle It!
The Kent County League is proud to support the Kent FA Youth Council’s ‘SWEARING – Let’s Tackle It’ campaign. Supported by members of Kent FA staff, the Youth Council collaborated with Fixers UK, a charity which supports young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, to orchestrate a campaign tackling foul and abusive language in the game. From initial concept development to the execution of filming a promotional video, the Kent FA Youth Council has directed the campaign to help eliminate and raise awareness of the negative impact of bad language in football. The Kent County League looks forward to offering our support for this initiative to combat foul and abusive language in the game, as we believe for football in the county to continue to grow in a positive way, such behaviour needs to be tackled. The Kent County League are committed to creating safe and inclusive football environments for everyone and as a result fully support the Kent FA Youth Council for bringing this issue to the forefront of grass roots football in Kent. You can watch the Youth Council’s video below.
Saturday,2nd June 2019 – Annual Presentation Dinner and Cabaret
Venue: The Mercure Hotel, Hollingbourne, Kent, Maidstone
Wednesday, 13th June – Annual General Meeting
Venue: UK Leisure, Sittingbourne