Andrew Gidley Roundup

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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.

SATURDAY, 6th January

Kennington wasted no time in shaking off any rustiness after a lengthy mid-season break as they continued their free-scoring ways with a 5-0 win at Faversham Strike Force.

Playing for the first time since early December, they were 3-0 up by half-time, added two more in the second half, boasting five different scorers – excellent preparation ahead of this weekend’s home top-two clash against Greenways. Tom Scorer, Carlum McLeod and Adam Phillips netted before the break, with sub Jamie Birchard and Sam Conlon completing a sixth away win, and 12 for the season.

Boss Dan Scorer said:  “All the preparation paid off!

“A good 5-0 win after three weeks off and a real dominant performance.

“Glad to see the boys wasted no time in getting back to business!”

Greenways missed out on a return to action with their home game against Borden Village was one of several matches lost to the weather.

Luke Blackaby hit four as Otford United eased home 5-0 against Bexley, a fourth win in five games. Steve Turner scored twice in a 3-1 win at Tudor Sports for 10-man Metrogas who fielded a team including six teenagers in their 15-man squad. Roy Godden and Ethan Madden’s first of the season helped New Romney return to winning ways with a 2-1 win at Staplehurst Monarchs United, their first in seven league matches, stretching back to November 4.

Steve McQueen and James McInerry netted as Farnborough Old Boys Guild drew 1-1 at home to Lewisham Athletic.

Deal Sports stay a point clear of Kings Hill in Division 1 Central & East after both won their matches.

Sub Connor Walsh scored twice as Division 1 West front runners Old Bromleians won 5-1 at Old Roan.

Dale Taylor’s hat-trick set-up Halstead United’s 5-0 victory at Orpington, a fourth successive league win, while Dave Milton scored twice for Chipstead who won by the same score at Halls, on the day home boss Billy Judd was named Aford Awards Western Section Manager of the Month for December.

Richard Floyd’s extra-time winner completed his hat-trick as Ashford FC earned a place in the Kent Reliance Junior Cup Group A quarter-finals with a 3-2 win over Wateringbury.

Manager Ryan Norman was delighted. Writing on Facebook, he said: “For us to go and beat the current league leaders on their own patch is something not many will be able to achieve.

“My boys set a benchmark for themselves, and I believe if they apply themselves in all our remaining games, there will not be many sides who take points off us.

“We are now into the Quarter Finals and I have no doubt we have the ability to go all the way.”

Two-goal Dale Horton scored another extra-time winner as AFC Ashford Athletic came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at former winners Larkfield & New Hythe Wanderers to progress in the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup.

SATURDAY, 16th December

Bragging rights were shared as local rivals New Romney and Lydd Town Reserves claimed a point apiece in the 2-2 draw. One of only two Premier Division games to go ahead after the rest of the programme was postponed due to Rep squad call-ups, saw Romney lead twice, only to be pegged back. Wayne Rogers and Billy Wier-Somerville netted for the home side, with Ryan Easter and Joey Tibble replying for Lydd.

Fleetdown United came from a 2-0 down to earn a point at Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey). The home side led through Ryan Hassan’s double, before Jordan Dapaah and Harry Akers put United level. Stansfeld pair Bobby Holley and Harry Sewell were sent off.  

Deal Sports lead Division 1 Central & East  going into the Christmas and New Year break after Riley Alford and Jack Tanner scored twice in a 5-0  home win over Hildenborough Athletic.

Darren Blackburn has been appointed as Hollands & Blair’s new reserve team manager. He will be assisted by Pat Langford & Joe Bailey from the club’s present under-16 set-up.

Adam O’Neill’s last minute penalty earned Division 1 West leaders Old Bromleians a point in a 4-4 draw at Chipstead.  The home side led twice, before Broms went 3-2 up. Chips made it 4-3, before 0’Neill levelled things up to keep his side top on goal difference from Sutton Athletic Reserves. Substitute Jamie Clarke scored twice in the Hextable side’s 5-0 win at Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) Reserves, while another, Vincenzo Mazzone helped Halls beat Old Roan 5-2. Tuguy Ali hit a hat-trick as AFC Mottingham won by same score at Orpington.

Lewis Tomkins scored twice for Snodland Town Reserves’ 3-1 win over Larkfield & New Hythe Wanderers in the only Division 2 Central & East game of the day.

Barry Ryan’s treble moved him into double figures for the season as South East Athletic won 6-4 at home to Belvedere in Division 2 West. They led 3-0 and 5-2 at half-time.

Ellis Hutton scored twice as Division 3 Central  & East leaders AEI Sports completed a 4-0 home win against Woodnesborough.

Sporting Club Thamesmead without a first team game fielded a strong reserve side,  Josh Patrick hitting a hat-trick in the 6-2 win at HFSP & Ten-Em Bee. They head Division 3 West goal difference from Drummond Athletic.

This is the final round-up of the year, so  may I take the opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy footballing 2018 – Andrew Gidley

SATURDAY, 16th December

Jersey Combination League 1 v 3 Kent County Football League

FA Inter-League Cup – 2nd Round

Two-goal George Latham and substitute Dan  Hanshaw earned the Kent County League Representative side a place in the quarter-finals of the FA Inter League Cup with a 3-1 win over Jersey’s Combination League in St Helier on Saturday.

They now face a third successive away tie against the Essex and Suffolk Border League  in February.

Borden Village striker Latham, making his first start, scored twice in the space of five minutes as Kent came from behind to lead at half-time. The home side suffered another blow with skipper Luke Campbell sent off early in the second half, following an off the ball incident.

Kent came strong in the second half and settled the tie in front of the 142 crowd on the 3G pitch at the impressive Springfield Stadium complex, when Cuxton hot-shot Hanshaw, a 72nd minute replacement for Latham, got on the end of a huge clearance from Otford United goalkeeper Justin Lee to nod over Jersey opposite number Jose Figueira into an empty net.

Kent had chances to add to their lead before Lee saved well from scorer Adam Trotter late on.

The visitors shrugged off an early start, ahead of a breakfast time departure from Gatwick to claim another excellent win,  and a second come-from-behind success, following the 3-2 win over Dorset in Swanage two months ago.

As then, Kent were under the cosh early on, the home side going close several times, the difference this time is they were ahead at half-time, instead of behind. Trotter glided in at the far post to fire home past Lee eight minutes before half-time. 

Latham made it 1-1 60 seconds later, heading home from close-range, finishing off fellow striker Ali Amisu’s set-up. The pair had worked hard to create the chance, and Latham struck again soon afterwards, running onto a long ball, before tucking the ball inside the near post as Figueroa came off his line. He wasn’t far away from getting a third, shooting wide of the far post, and went close again just before the interval.

Kent were on the front foot from the restart, ahead of Campbell’s early red card. Play had switched to halfway when Sussex referee Rob King halted play, consulted his assistant and dismissed the Jersey captain, a key figure for the Islanders, and his club,  St Peter – semi-finalists in the Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield.

Lee’s clubmate, skipper Jamie Knight was at the heart of much of Kent’s good work, while  Greenways left back James Trueman was another who caught the eye in a strong second half display.

Campbell’s dismissal was a blow from which Jersey never recovered and Hanshaw’s brave header, his first goal for the side, capped another good afternoon.

Darren Phillips, hailed the Jersey win as a “great result”. The 3-1 victory and a place in the last eight  is the reward, but manager Phillips reckoned the margin of victory could have been bigger. He struggled to name a squad before the 3-2 win in Dorset in October, following numerous cry-offs, but it was a different story this time with Greenways player-manager Rob Jeffrey, the only withdrawal.

Phillips said: “It was a great result, but I thought we made hard work of it really.

“We started slowly against a side who showed they play together a lot, and had plenty of possession, but didn’t do a great deal with it.

“For us it is all about picking the squad and see who turns up, but this time Rob was the only one missing because of an injury and replaced by another Greenways player Josh Taylor🍋

“It’s just nice to have the players you pick here, and obviously coming all this way and winning is good for the lads.”

He added: “Conceding the first goal was perhaps what we needed to get us going.

“We scored straight afterwards and I said to the boys at half-time we only had three attempts on goal, and scored two of them.

“Second half we didn’t create too many clear chances either, but Dan Hanshaw went on and scored the third with a brave header because he could have been wiped out by the keeper.

“George (Latham) is a striker who has been around the league a long time with Borden Village.

“He is one of those players who hits 20 goals a season, so can score at this level, and took both very calmly.

“Tactically we looked to play 4-5-1. but changed to 5-3-2, with skipper Jamie Knight playing in another different position.

“Everything revolved around him – a player who has probably now played around 25 games for the Rep side which must be some sort of record.

“He has been involved in every one I have been in charge of in the last six years.”

Jersey manager Martin Cassidy. speaking to BBC local radio after the game, said: “Their keeper was man-of-the-match, and won every single crossed ball.

“He is a bit of a maverick, but it worked for him, everything came off, and we didn’t have the savvy to work something out ourselves”

Phillips hopes to arrange a friendly next month ahead of the trip to face the Essex & Suffolk Border League in February, with date and venue to be confirmed.

He said: “The more we play together you never know what my happen.

“We have got to treat it as another Cup Final. and go for it.”

SATURDAY, 9th December

Kennington and Greenways will head into the Christmas and New Year break as joint Premier Division leaders, separated only by goal difference. Both have a free weekend with players named in the Representative squad for the FA Inter League Cup second round tie against the Jersey Combination League in St Helier on Saturday.

With Kennington’s trip to Stansfeld postponed due to a frozen pitch, Greenways took advantage, moving level on points,  courtesy of a 5-2 home win over Lydd Town Reserves, Simon Walton scoring twice.

Peckham Town are third after Ali Amisu and Adam Tarrant netted in the 2-1 victory over Lewisham Athletic, a first win in five matches. Tom Bradshaw, made it three in three games, with the winner as Tudor Sports beat Farnborough OBG to move fourth in the table. Joe Abbott hit his eighth of the season in Bexley’s 2-2 home draw against New Romney, Roy Godden scoring  his ninth of the campaign for the visitors.

Luke Blackaby hit two as Otford United chalked up their third win in four games, 4-1 at home to Borden Village. Staplehurst Monarchs came from 4-2 down to earn a point, sharing eight goals with Metrogas. They led twice -1-0 and 2-1, Gas then scored three times to go 4-2 up,  Monarchs clinching a point, thanks to Peter West. Nathan Bertrand, brother of Southampton and England defender Ryan, Luke Wallond and Ed Rosetti were Monarchs other scorers, with Mitchell Hill and Luke Whitehead, hitting two each for Gas.

Fleetdown United chalked up their third successive win, 2-0 against Faversham Strike Force, with goals by Lee Anderson and Jordan Dapaah.

Hollands & Blair Reserves are looking for a new manager after Keith Patching stepped down due to work commitments. The team lost 3-0 at Hawkinge Town on Saturday, an 11th successive defeat, travelling with only 12 available players, but the club were pleased to fulfill the fixture. It’s all change at the Medway club with Laurie Plummer stepping down as club manager and lead executive. He will be succeeded by former manager Paul Piggott and Phil Knights, who assume the roles of joint chairmen, but stays as secretary.

Damian Abel, Toby Heydon and James Walton netted for Town, who join Kings Hill on points, but a plus-10 goal difference keeping the West Malling outfit top.

Old Roan continue to enjoy themselves in Division 1 West, 4-2 winners at home to Club Langley, a fourth successive win, scoring 15 goals in the process. They are second behind Old Bromleians, again on goal difference, the latter left without a game after opponent Long Lane failed to raise a side.

Halstead United progressed in the NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ IRCC, 4-2 winners at Guru Nanak, Lewis Longhurst hitting two, making it 16 for the season.

Chipstead’s player-manager Fred Dillon is the latest County League player in the wars, sustaining a dislocated elbow, as his side hit a late winner in the 3-2 win at FC Woodlands to reach the quarter-finals of the Sevenoaks Senior Charity Cup.

Ashford FC beat local rivals Bromley Green 5-2 in the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup.

This weekend sees the final programme of the year before the mid-season break – the season resumes on Saturday 6th January.

SATURDAY, 2nd December

Five goals, two red cards, three penalties and a clutch of bookings all added up to an eventful Kent Reliance sponsored Intermediate Challenge Shield quarter-final as Hawkinge Town beat Tudor Sports 3-2.

Home goalkeeper Dan Cook and visiting top scorer Ross Morley were both dismissed just before half-time. Town scored twice from the spot through Damian Abel and James Everitt, with another from Nathan Hardwick sandwiched in between. Sports replied with another spot-kick by Tom Bradshaw and Joe Minter. Hawkinge now meet Bexley 3-1 winners at Kings Hill – with goals by Tyler Norbert, Joshua Armfield and Joe Abbott.

Brad Cross scored twice in Greenways 6-1 win over Ide Hill to earn a last four meeting with Jersey club St Peter. Fellow-sub Junior Farrell, Harry Gann, Josh Taylor and James Truman added the others making it a double celebration following player-boss Rob Jeffrey being named Aford Awards Premier Division Manager-of-the-Month.

Jake Prince’s hat-trick set-up St Peters’ 6-0 win at AFC Mottingham – all the goals coming in the second half as they did in the previous round at Farnborough OBG.

The semi-finals take place in February with the final on 14th April.

Carlum McCleod’s double helped Kennington claim a 6-1 win at Farnborough OBG, top the 50-goal mark for the season and move seven points clear of third placed Peckham Town.

Last season’s league sharpshooter Abraham Opuku scored both as Peckham were held 2-2 at home by Staplehurst Monarchs United, a third successive draw.

Luke Blackaby and sub Andy Knight netted for Otford United as they claimed a third away win -2-1 at New Romney. Frankie Steer’s hat-trick helped Lydd Town Reserves win 5-2 at Faversham Strike Force.

Joby Smith grabbed the winner at Metrogas as Fleetdown United made it two wins out of two. “Great performance” was manager Martin McCarthy’s verdict. 

Riley Alford, runner-up behind Opoku last season, scored twice, making it 16 for the season as Deal Sports moved second in Division 1 Central & East with a 3-1 win over Guru Nanak. 

K Sports Reserves’ Jay Wells became the third KCL player to suffer a serious injury this season, forcing the home game against Cuxton 91 to be abandoned. Wells faces a long lay-off and was due to undergo surgery this week.

Player-coach Martin De Fede said: “Jay has broken his tibia at the joint.

“There was no malice, he landed awkwardly and it was very unfortunate.”

Michael Day and Ryan Martin hit two each as Old Roan won 4-0 at Welling Park to move second in Division 1 West

Lewis Longhurst also scored twice to also move to 16 for the season as form team Halstead United stretched their unbeaten run to seven games, beating Old Bromleians 3-2. New manager Peter Nolan is settling in at the club after seeing them beat Halls AFC 4-1 in his first game in charge last month.

He said: “I have played in and around the Kent Leagues for nearly 10 seasons and was part of the management team at Chipstead with Lee Roots.

“I went with him to Holmesdale, doing the whole pre-season and the first 10 games there, including an FA Cup tie which was a great experience.

“A few reasons led me to leave in the middle of September, but whilst out of football, I watched a lot of games, keeping an eye out for the right role.”

He added: “I went to speak with John and Kevin Brett  and we had very productive talks.

“I have been extremely impressed with the squad, and club as a whole.

“There is lots of work to do, but it is a great base to become successful as well as a very good group of players to work with.

“Training has been extremely good since starting, and the squad responded brilliantly to the small things I have tried to do.

“I wanted to have a really strong end to 2017 to set-up well for the New Year, which we have done over the last three games.”

Danny Rowe’s hat-trick helped Wateringbury move into the quarter-finals of the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup, 6-2 winners over Rusthall Reserves, on the day Greg Ivey received the Aford Awards Eastern Section Manager-of-the-Month award.

Connor Morrow scored twice and sent off as Tonbridge Invicta joined them,  beating Lordswood Reserves 3-1. Tenterden Town are also through after Matt Goldsmith’s winner settled the tie at West Farleigh. 

Lee Hedges of new-boys Red Velvet was the third Manager-of-the-Month winner. The Division 3 West leaders maintained their good form, as Harry Taylor grabbed a hat-trick in the 5-2 victory at Sporting Club Thamesmead Reserves.

SATURDAY, 25th November

Carlum McCleod’s hat-trick ensured Kennington manager Dan Scorer celebrated his century of games in charge in style with an 8-1 win at Staplehurst Monarchs United.

McCleod’s hat-trick, made it 16 for the season, Sam Conlon adding two more as Monarchs conceded eight for the second successive week.

Scorer was pleased to see his side hit their straps again quickly after the 4-0 ‘Bill Manklow’ IRCC defeat at local rivals New Romney the previous week.

He said: “Very proud of the response. 

“Great team performance and buzzing to get a big win on my 100th game.”

He added: “I took over at end of June 2014 at the age of 23, and had to start from scratch really, as most of the team had left.

“We won promotion in my first season, then came runners-up in our first team in the Premier, followed by a disappointing fourth placed finish last season.

“Hopefully this is the season to finally win the title.

“We have certainly got the squad to do it.”

Goalless draws are a rarity in the Premier Division, but featured this weekend as the third vs second meeting between Peckham Town and Greenways and Otford United’s home game against Farnborough OBG both produced shut-outs.

Borden Village are fourth after coming from behind to win 4-1 at home to New Romney. Billy Wier-Somerville put the visitors ahead before two goal Tyla Clements helped Village come from behind to win, goalkeeper Harrison Rooke also saving a penalty.

Tudor Sports and Lydd Town Reserves shared six goals at Oxford Road, with Tom Morgans scoring twice for the visitors. Lydd led 1-0 before Tudor went in front twice, 2-1 and 3-2. Lydd then converted a penalty 10 minutes from time to earn a point.

Teenager George Gibbard made his debut for Tudor after signing on dual registration from Erith & Belvedere as cover for injured Simon Vanderhook who suffered a broken finger in the win over Borden the previous week.

Fleetdown United earned only their second win of the season with a 3-1 victory at Faversham Strike Force.

Manager Martin McCarthy said: “A hard fought win where luck finally started to turn for us.

“It was a deserved win and should have been more. Things that haven’t been going in finally did.”

Reflecting on a difficult campaign following last season’s impressive fifth place finish he added: “It’s been a tough season so far. 

“(We were) victims of our own success as we lost players pre-season to higher league clubs….. and trying to promote from within with younger players has been slow.

“However once settled the club will be in a very strong position. 

“We knew this season would be tough, however, we’re not feeling sorry for ourselves, it’s all part of our learning process.”

The defeat sees 2015 champions Strike Force bottom of the table, a team still in transition following huge changes on and off the pitch.

It was a point raised by club manager Gary Axford in his report at last week’s annual meeting.

He said: “It is important we have a presence at this level going forward.

“How do we develop our next side, from within, or do we recruit.”

Dan Hanshaw hit five as free-scoring Cuxton 91 beat Herne Bay Reserves 7-0, the visitors not helped by seeing their goalkeeper forced off with injury.

Old Roan boasted eight different scorers in their 8-0 IRCC win over Orpington who have confirmed Alan Hughes as their new manager.

John James’ winner clinched Lewisham Athletic’s place in the last-16 of the competition, beating Old Bromleians.

Meanwhile Broms have named AFC Mottingham manager Michael Walsh as the latest recruit to Danny Wakeling’s management set-up.

Wakeling said: “I am absolutely delighted to add Michael to our growing team to help us continue to improve and evolve as a football club.”

Snodland Town Reserves progressed in the NRG Gym ‘Les Leckie’ Cup while Nomads and HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee completed the quarter-final line up in the NRG Gym ‘Barry Bundock’ West Kent Challenge Shield.

SATURDAY, 18th November

Goals galore across the day’s League and Cup programme on a damp and dismal Saturday.

Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) led the way in the Premier Division with Michael Zanelli and Omar El Mantawy both scoring twice in an 8-3 win over Staplehurst Monarchs United. Aaron Kleman hit two as leaders Greenways continued their prolific ways, with three in each half on their way to a second successive 6-2 win over Metrogas.

Luke Blackaby’s hat-trick led Otford United to a 4-2 victory at Lydd Town Reserves. Two-goal Danny Smythe helped Tudor Sports record a third successive league win, 4-1 over Borden Village. Tom Barton netted for Faversham Strike Force in their 1-1 home draw against Peckham Town, before joining up with other Kent youngsters taking part in England Schools trials the following day.

Jack Mayhew scored twice as Kings Hill won 4-1 at Hildenborough Athletic to go top of Division 1 Central & East. 

Steven Brady and Nick Craft hit five each as Old Bromleians registered the day’s biggest score, 13-0 at Orpington in Division 1 West. However home side boss Danny Wakeling was still full of praise for the beaten opponents.

He said: “I feel it’s right to pay respects to the O’s lads. 

“They were dignified in defeat and showed highly admirable qualities to keep ploughing on in real adversity. 

“It’s clear the club are having difficulties at present but I wish them well and they have enough history and pride to pull through.”

Welling Park upset Premier Division Fleetdown United 3-2 to progress in the NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ Inter Regional Challenge Cup, along with New Romney, Farnborough Old Boys Guild and Club Langley.

Elsewhere in the competition, Matt Gething’s hat-trick and Dan Hanshaw’s double sent Cuxton 91 through 6-0 against Hawkinge Town, while substitute Riley Alford hit four as Deal Sports won 8-2 after-extra-time at Rolvenden. Jason Perry clinched K Sports Reserves’ 1-0 win at Hollands & Blair.

Sporting Club Thamesmead Reserves, FC Elmstead Reserves, Johnson & Phillips, Welling Town and Red Velvet, 7-2 winners at Sydenham Sports, are through to the quarter finals of the NRG Gym ‘Barry Bundock’ West Kent Challenge Shield.

Meanwhile Halls Athletic members have voted unanimously to change the club’s status to a charity. The decision was taken at an EGM last Wednesday.

Kent FA & KCL Representative  and club Life President Harry Martin ratified the vote and outlined the new future direction of the Princes Park club.

He was one of five “interim custodians” appointed, also including chairman Steve Vanstone and secretary Chris Michaelas, with the existing elected committee structure and function remaining unchanged until the 2018 AGM.

Following the vote, and close of the EGM, a further discussion followed, leading to the launch of an independent Focus Group from the membership.

The club statement said: “This is to ensure communication between the members and the ‘new charity’ is clear and able to continually relay the needs and wishes of the members as it unfolds.”

“We will reach out further for assistance with this as we look to survey the membership, gather lots of information and push forward with a credible and feasible community sports project.”

SATURDAY, 11th November

League wins have been hard to come by for Farnborough Old Boys Guild so far this season.

However they succeeded in turning the Premier Division form book on it’s head at third placed Peckham Town on Saturday as Jamie Spiteri’s impressive first half strike grabbed the points. A goal, stylish in both creation and execution, according to delighted manager Byron Beard.

He said: “It came after a great six player passing move, finished off from 25 yards, a real team goal.”

He added: “It was a good win and fully deserved. 

“We brought in a couple of new players and they have started to settle in now, we defended well and had two or three good chances in the second half to extend our lead.

“The game in general was a great advert for the KCL with both teams playing good football and played in the right spirit.

“Unfortunately we picked up another two injuries which means more changes.”

Reflecting on the team’s season so far, Beard said: “Having won three on the bounce, we were disappointed to lose to New Romney, St. Peter and Tudor Sports, a game in which we had a couple of good chances, only for them to score with their only real one in the second half which was a credit to them.”

“Our start has not gone to plan and that’s due to two main issues which I think most teams face.

“We lost 14 players to the Southern Counties East League, and have had no few than 12 different centre back partnerships due to injuries (ligaments, triple leg break, ankle).

“We don’t pay and therefore work takes priority, so it’s hard to get the same 11 turning up every week to training and matches but we are working on that and the last two games has seen 10-11 individuals turn out each week which has seen the improvements. 

“We had two players aged 36 and 38 year old playing at the weekend, while seven of the starting eleven came through the club from our 2nd/3rd and 4th teams showing the progression of the club on both Saturdays and Sundays.

“Hopefully Saturday’s result will put us back on the upward curve and we now have the IRCC tie (at home to Long Lane on Saturday) to look forward to.”

Lee Friend capped a good day for the Guild, scoring the winner for the Reserves in the 1-0 at Metrogas Reserves to progress in the NRG Gym ‘Barry Bundock’ West Kent Challenge Shield.

Elsewhere, 13-goal Carlum McCleod scored twice and Harry Goddard hit his fifth in as many games as leaders Kennington beat Faversham Strike Force 3-1. Two-goal Harry Gann, Brad Cross and three substitutes, Alex Clare, Aaron Kleman and Ty Omer netted as second  placed Greenways won 6-2 at Staplehurst Monarchs United. Bexley are fourth, an own goal earning them their 1-0 home win over Metrogas.

Borden Village made it seven points out of the last nine, winning 4-1 against Lydd Town Reserves, goals by Liam Baxendale, Jack Sayer, Lee Sayer and sub George Latham.

Home wins too for Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) (3-1 against New Romney) and Tudor Sports (3-0 over Fleetdown United), Ross Morley on target again, his 16th of the season, and sixth in five games.

Wes Foord and Liam Dickson netted as Hawkinge Town won  2-1 at Kings Hill to join them and leaders Cuxton 91 on 21 points in Division 1 Central & East.

New boys Red Velvet top Division 3 West after a 4-0 win at Peckham Town Reserves.

Welling Town were 3-0 winners at HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee in their Kent Reliance Junior Cup Group A First Round tie.

Congratulations to Marc Vicary of Deal Town Rangers on being named October’s Aford Awards Eastern Section Manager-of-the-Month.

He received the award from chairman Cyril Windiate on Saturday, then saw his team beat Tenterden Town 3-2 in Division 3 Central & East.

He said: “I have been with DTR for 10 years as Assistant Coach and now Manager, my colleague Mike Drane has also been with the club for the same time.

“He started as a parent watching, then got roped into help and is now part of the coaching set-up.

“In the last two seasons we also recruited our friend Simon Farrow who has brought great experience to the club.”

He added: “We ensured we had a competitive squad by bringing in some old heads with experience to help the younger players.

“We now have a balanced group with ages ranging from 17 to 35 – including my son George and Mike’s boy Charlie who was captain against Tenterden at the weekend.

“We still have seven of our original under- eights squad playing an active part every week.

 “I would like to thank the league for the  opportunity to win the award, the club, my two very good assistants Mike and Simon, but most of all the whole squad for working so hard.”

SATURDAY, 4th November

New Romney from the Marsh – are  on the march.

An indifferent beginning to the season is in the past, culminating in boss Dave Johncock being named  October’s Premier Division Aford Awards Manager of the Month. He received the award from League Chairman  Cyril Windiate and Kent FA Chairman  and County League Vice President Philip Smith, at the 1-1 draw with morning leaders Peckham Town on Saturday.

Johncock is in third season in charge at the club working with assistant Devan Johnson.

He said: “We had a slow start to the season for numerous reasons, and to be fair, the players didn’t hide and have really worked hard to put things right and turn things around.

“It’s nice to receive the MOM award – and I accept it on behalf of the squad of players that I have, who have played really well throughout the month and deserve recognition. 

“We finished runners up in Division 1 Central & East, in my first season, won it last season and are now moving in the right direction in the Prem.

“The hard work continues  to maintain the progress throughout November.”

Daniel Welsh put New Romney ahead before Kenneth Ilo levelled things up. Egan admitted the journey to South London wasn’t the best but says going home with a point made it all worthwhile.

Goalkeeper and Fitness Coach Paul Egan said: “The trip there was a nightmare and took us two hours.

“Peckham are a great passing team, and by far the best we have played so far.

“We didn’t really give them any time to create, now it’s onward to next week for us.”

Peckham slipped to third behind Kennington and Greenways. Carlum Mcleod’s double earned Kennington their 2-1 win at Fleetdown United.

Manager Dan Scorer tweeted: “Love that feeling of being top of the league. Not at it at all, but we still had the character to grind out the win.”

Greenways maintained the only remaining unbeaten record beating Otford United 4-0. Player-Manager Rob Jeffrey and James Trueman both scored for the first time this season, with Brad Cross and Junior Farrell getting the other two.

Metrogas are fourth, manager Mark Warner praising the “great performance” of two 16-year old’s Connor McCormack and Tyler Bennett in the 2-2 draw against Borden Village. Bennett made his senior debut while McCormack was involved in his second match – two products of Phoenix Sports FC’s Youth Development. Warner said: “If they are good enough, they are old enough.” Toyeeb Babatunde, his 10th of the season and Joe Plant’s penalty netted for Gas, with George Latham and Lee Sayer replying for Borden.

Bexley grabbed a late winner to clinch a 2-1 victory at Faversham Strike Force, Owen Griffiths and sub Ryan Cornish the scorers. Jake Biggs and Harry Fox were both first time scorers as Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) won by the same score at Lewisham Athletic.

Ross Morley’s 15th of the campaign earned Tudor Sports their 1-0 win at Farnborough OBG, on a good day for  away teams, winning four of the seven games.

Jack Morrison and Frankie Steer both scored twice as Lydd Town Reserves progressed in the NRG Gym Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Challenge Cup, beating Staplehurst Monarchs United 9-1.

Matt Gething made it 16 for the season with two more as Cuxton 91 won 3-1 to top Division 1 Central & East, on goal difference from Kings Hill.

Old Bromleians, boosted by being granted planning permission for their ambitious new ground development plans,  moved top of the West Division,  Adam O’Neill getting the winner to beat AFC Mottingham. 

Clyde Pullen of Sydenham Sports was the day’s other MOM award recipient. Winner of awards in their maiden league campaign last season he gained more recognition for their success this season, receiving his Aford Awards Western Section award before the 2-0 Kent Reliance Junior Cup (Group A) win over Tudor Sports Reserves

Mixed fortunes for other clubs in the competition. West Farleigh and Wateringbury, SC Thamesmead Reserves and Red Velvet all going through.

Goalkeeper Levi Rutherford’s sudden-death penalty save helped Crayford Arrows progress in the London Junior Cup, courtesy of a 5-4 shoot-out win at South East London (Wimbledon). Arrows conceded a late equaliser to draw 3-3 in normal time. Daniel Probets, Jamie Cox and Erol Hassan were the scorers.

Long Lane and Peckham Town Reserves also won on penalties while Club Langley, Drummond Athletic, Bridon Ropes Reserves and Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) Reserves went through in normal time.

The League’s representative side are back in action next Wednesday,  15th November, when they face the Essex Olympian League in the annual fixture between the two competitions.

The match is being played at Aveley FC (7.45pm) and is preparation ahead of the FA Inter League Cup Second Round trip to Jersey next month.

SATURDAY, 28th October

Luka O’Neill is the latest addition to the ranks of Peckham Town’s hat-trick scorers.

Abraham Opuku set the bar high last season with nine and marked his only  game for the club so far this season with another. Rep XI pair Ali Amisu and Kenneth Llo have hit 18 goals between them so far this season, but O’Neill claimed the weekend scoring honours with his treble in the 4-2 win at Staplehurst Monarchs United. Llo netted the other, the victory taking the South London club back to the top of the table.

Kennington’s lead proved short lived as opponents Farnborough OBG cried off due to being unable to field a side at Ashford.

James Austin was another new name on the score sheet netting his first of the season as third placed Greenways beat Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) 4-3. Brad Cross, Aaron Kleman and an own-goal were the other scorers.

Joe Plant got the winner for Metrogas in the 1-0 win over Faversham Strike Force. Lewis McCrory scored twice as Borden Village beat Fleetdown United 3-1.

Two-goal substitute James McInerry came off the bench as Lewisham Athletic beat Lydd Town Reserves 5-3. Top scorer Ross Morley hit his 14th of the season as Tudor Sports drew 1-1 at Otford United. Luke Parker netted for the O’s.

Bexley and Kings Hill won their respective Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield ties and now meet in the quarter-finals at West Malling in early December.

Bexley were 4-0 winners at home to Cuxton 91, while Kings Hill were 7-6 penalty shoot-out winners at New Romney after the teams were locked at 2-2 after-extra-time.

Two teams hit 13,  Mo Kamara hit five as AEI Sports in their win at Aylesford in Division 3 Central & East, while four-goal sub Louie Clarke was one of eight marksmen in HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee’s big win at AFC Lewisham in the West.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Club Langley’s Kaiyo Peake after suffering a potentially serious leg injury in the 2-1 Division 1 West defeat at Halls AFC.

Club photographer David Terry reports: “The medical people are unsure of the extent of any injury due to swelling, so it could be a fracture or ligaments. Either way we will probably be without him for a while which will be a big loss.”

Congratulations to AFC Ashford Athletic’s Stuart Kingsnorth on his first Aford Awards Manager of the Month award. Kingsnorth received the award from chairman Cyril Windiate before scoring in the 2-2 Division 3 Central & East draw at CC Sports.

He said: I am very proud to pick up the award for the first time and being new to the league. 

“A massive thank you to my assistant manager Charlie McKenzie and our Head Coach Rick Howlett.

“It is as much theirs as mine.”

Both teams also won praise from referee Nic Derrane. The Thanet official said: “They were excellent in accepting decisions.

“Both teams should take a lot of credit for making it an enjoyable match to referee”

SATURDAY, 21st October

Two-goal Jordan King helped Kennington come from behind twice to beat Bexley 4-2 and top the Premier Division for the first time since being promoted three seasons ago.

Carlum McLeod and Dale Davis added the others as the Ashford villagers moved three points clear. Manager Dan Scorer said: “It’s been a really positive start to the season, and we seem to have real mental toughness about us this year.

“Over the past two seasons we would have struggled to come back against a side like Bexley after being behind twice. We showed great character, and the boys knew we would go top with a win so mentally I think we are making big improvements. We are all enjoying this season so far, but there is a long way to go.”

Metrogas were another team to come from behind to win, beating Lydd Town Reserves 3-2 to move fifth. Manager Mark Warner “hailed a great last 20 mins” as Tom Warner, Toyeeb Babatunde and a fourth in three games by Mitch Hill earned the result.

New Romney chalked up their fourth successive win, made it seven unbeaten, and scored four for the third game running at home to Lewisham Athletic. Billy Weir Somerville, Warren Smith, Simon Rainbow and Josh McCue were the scorers.

Andy Knight, Dave Finnigan and skipper Jamie Knight netted as Otford United moved off the bottom with a 3-1 home win over Staplehurst Monarchs United. Elliott Payne converted from the spot as Faversham Strike Force drew 1-1 at home against Stansfeld – Michael Zanelli scoring for the visitors.

Away from League, Brad Cross hit both as Greenways progressed in the Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield, winning  2-1 at Welling Park.

Ryan Taylor scored twice in Division 1 Central & East Hawkinge Town’s 3-0 win at Premier Division Fleetdown United.

Substitutes Charlie Tagg and Antony Tye and top scorer Ross Morley were on target as Tudor Sports won 3-0 at home to Borden Village.

Ide Hill grabbed the extra-time winner beating local rivals Chipstead 3-2 with goals by Tom Wright, Craig Jackson and Steve Boyle.

Farnborough Old Boys Guild went out, beaten 5-0 at home to Jersey club St Peter, all the goals coming in the second half.

Riley Alford, 45-goal runner-up to Abraham Opoku in last season’s race for the Sharpshooter of the Year Award got the winner as Deal Sports won 1-0 at Division 1 Central & East leaders Cuxton 91.

Player-of-the-Month Adam O’Neill was among the scorers as Old Bromleians beat Division 1 West front runners Sutton Athletic Reserves 2-1. Nick Craft got the other.

Adam Hill, back from his Kent Rep XI  debut in Dorset was on target as Division 2 Central & East leaders Rochester City beat Rusthall Reserves 2-0. Nathan Gordon added the second.

Division 2 West top-two Sydenham Sports drew 0-0 at home to Welling Town.

Goals aplenty in Division 3 Central & East with Faversham Town Reserves topping things, Callum Leader’s hat-trick helping them beat CC Sport 6-4. Rikki Christian and Mark Davison capped a good day for Deal Sports as the club’s second string won 2-1 at AEI Sports to top the standings.

Kushal Campbell’s hat-trick eased HFSP & Ten-Em Bee home 7-1 against Bridon Ropes Reserves in Division 3 West.

Leaders Drummond Athletic went out of the NRG Gym Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield, beaten 2-1 at Johnson & Phillips, Ben Charles getting both.

One managerial change sees Jack Bradshaw step down at Old Roan, wanting to concentrate on playing. Callum O’Shea takes over as he continues his recovery from injury. Goalkeeper Bradshaw moved to the Kidbrooke club at the start of the season.

SATURDAY, 14th October

Roy Godden has scored goals wherever he has played in his career.

The striker may be eight months past his 40th birthday but still hasn’t lost his prolific touch, and that’s good news for New Romney. Godden hit two more in the 4-2 win at Farnborough Old Boys Guild, the only Premier Division game of the day, making it seven in four games. Josh McCue added the other two setting up a third league victory in a row, putting them ninth in the table.

Matt Gething and former League Sharpshooter-of-the-Year Dan Hanshaw are trading goals as Cuxton 91 continue their rapid rise through the divisions. The pair have hit 27 between them so far this season, Gething hitting four in the 5-0 Division 1 Central & East win at Guru Nanak.

Godden’s in good company  with two more of the county’s top marksmen down the years, Paul Booth and Simon Austin, both on target for ambitious Kings Hill in a 4-0 win over Herne Bay Reserves.

Top scorer Adam Whatman hit Sutton Athletic Reserve’s winner at Halls AFC to top Division 1 West. Craig Jackson claimed four as Ide Hill ran out 9-1 winners at Orpington.

Danny Rowe scored twice as Wateringbury won 4-2 at Burgess Hodgson to take over top spot in Division 2 Central & East from Rochester City, whose game was called off due to Rep Team calls.

Joe Tucker’s hat-trick helped Fleetdown United Reserves beat Nomads 4-3 to sit third behind Division 2 West top-two Sydenham Sports and Welling Town.

Substitute Callum Leader was another of the day’s treble scorers as Faversham Town Reserves scored six without reply at Aylesford.

Four-goal Chris Plummer and Charlie Boyles’ hat-trick eased Drummond Athletic to an 11-1 at AFC Lewisham to take over at the top of Division 3 West.

Meanwhile Deal Town Rangers came from 5-2 down with half an hour left to beat AFC Ashford Athletic 6-5 in the Kent Junior Cup Group A First Round tie. Four-goal Jamie Ellertsen engineered the comeback with a 15 minute treble, an achievement matched by 12-goal AFC top scorer Dale Horton.

Referee Trevor Roberts has thanked Snodland Town and Deal Sports after being taken ill forcing the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup tie to be abandoned.

The official collapsed on the pitch with chest pains and was taken to Maidstone Hospital by ambulance. He was kept in for tests, before being discharged, and is awaiting further investigations.

In  a twitter message, he thanked them for their help.

SATURDAY, 7th October

Holders Greenways made an early exit from the NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ Inter-Regional Challenge Cup, beaten 4-0 at home by Borden Village. Three up at half time through goals by Ross Frost, an own goal and Lee Sayer, substitute Steve Goldsmith added a fourth late on to condemn the hosts to a first defeat of the season.

Femi Dada and Kenneth Ilo both scored twice as Peckham Town came from behind to beat Bexley 7-1. The defeat spoiled James Cornes’ day after the Bexley boss received the September Manager-of-the Month award.

Scott Gillman’s hat-trick paved the way for Kings Hill’s 5-3 win over Faversham Strike Force, youngster Tom Barton matching his scoring exploits for the Faversham club, including a penalty.

Beaten manager Gary Axford took the opportunity to field six under-18s, saying: “It’s important our young players have opportunities. They will only learn if they are playing.”

New signing Nana Mensah was among the scorers as Farnborough OBG made it three wins in a row with a 3-1 success at Ide Hill.

Kennington moved joint-top of the Premier Division, beating Lydd Town Reserves 5-0 with goals by Joe Fisher (two), Dale Davis, Rob Greenfield, his first of the season and Tom Scorer.

Otford United broke their duck for the season – scoring eight without reply in the Premier Division at Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey). Rory Catt’s treble and Jamie Knight’s double claimed the scoring honours. Chris Clemens scored both as Lewisham Athletic beat Tudor Sports 2-1.

New Romney claimed their second win of the season, edging through 4-3 against Metrogas while Fleetdown United shared the spoils and the goals in a 3-3 draw at Dartford.

John Smith produced the individual scoring display of the day with five for Hawkinge Town in their 8-1 Division 1 Central & East win at Hollands & Blair Reserves. Jake Beckett’s 40-yard “belter” and two each by Dan Hanshaw and Matt Gethin eased Cuxton 91 home, 5-0 at Herne Bay Reserves to go top on goal difference.

Two goal Adam Whatman helped Sutton Athletic Reserves win 4-1 at Halstead United to take over at the top of Division 1 West.

A last minute winner clinched Old Roan a  2-1 victory at Old Bromleians, ending their unbeaten 18-game home record, 16 wins and two draws,  stretching back to March last year. Tom Bradshaw and Micky Smith were Roan scorers.

Davinder Singh’s winner gained AFC Mottingham’s first three points of the season,  1-0 winners at Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermonddsey) Reserves leaving manager Michael Walsh expecting there is more to come.

He said: “Finally off the mark with a well deserved win. I just stood on the side. The boys put the work in. Need to keep improving though as plenty of talent in the squad. It will properly click soon.”

Dave Stevens scored two late goals as Halls AFC beat Long Lane 3-1.

Congratulations also to Darrell Queeley of HFSP & Ten-Em-Bee on winning the Aford Awards Western Manager of the Month award. They celebrated with a 4-2 Kent Junior Cup win over Farnborough Old Boys Guild Reserves,  Kushal Campbell hitting a hat-trick.

Steve Weatherley’s hat-trick and two more by Danny Stokley eased Sporting Club Thamesmead home 8-2 at Kingsdale.

SATURDAY, 30th September

Assistant referee Sam Hayon has thanked Peckham Town physios Paul Kemsley and Rohan Howitt for their quick actions after he was accidentally struck in the face by the ball during the club’s 2-0 win at Metrogas on Saturday. The official needed lengthy treatment, following  the incident early in the second half with the game at New Eltham held up for eight minutes.

Hayon says the efforts of Kemsley and Howitt aided his recovery, avoiding a  trip to hospital, enabling him to continue, and the match completed.  Armed with blood pressure and heart rate monitor and a defibrillator, the pair ensured Hayon was in safe hands.

He said: “I was keeping up with the last man when a clearance by a Metrogas player hit me on the left hand side of my face, affecting my eye socket and jarring my neck. I fell to the floor and was seeing stars for a time. I must thank the physios – they did everything for me – the gadgetry they had was fantastic.”

He added: “I managed to carry on, even though I wasn’t feeling 100%, and didn’t want to let down the teams. It was my lucky day,  I also managed to drive myself home, slowly.”

Referee Dave Hooker also tweeted his thanks – “superb work # professional.” 

Ali Amisu scored both goals to win the game, taking him into double figures for the season.

Town lead the Premier Division table by a point from Greenways, Simon Walton and Brad Cross scoring in the 2-1 home win over Fleetdown United. Bexley are third, Tyler Norbert hitting two in their 4-0 win at Borden Village.

Ross Morley’s 10th goal of the season and Harry Rogers earned Tudor Sports their 2-0 home win over Kennington, moving them ninth in the table, and stretching their winning run to four games. Six of Morley’s goals have come from the penalty spot.

New Romney are off the mark for the season, Roy Godden scored both in the 2-1 home win over Staplehurst Monarchs United. Alex Barnes clinched Farnborough Old Boys Guild’s first victory, with the winner at Faversham Strike Force who finished with nine men. Goalkeeper Liam Turner also saved a penalty.

Lewis Longhurst’s hat-trick helped Halstead United see off Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) 7-2 in the NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ Inter-Regional Challenge Cup, while Lewisham Athletic went through 4-2 on penalties at Otford United.

Three second half goals by Ryan Blake, Scott Gillman and Jack Mayhew carried  Division 1 Central & East leaders Kings Hill to a 4-3 win at Hawkinge Town, ending their seven-match winning run. Dan Hanshaw’s hit his 11th of the season as Cuxton 91 won 3-0 at Rolvenden. Hildenborough Athletic’s new management team tasted victory for the first time as they came from behind to beat Hollands & Blair Reserves 4-2.

Four-goal Lewis Bowler and Terry Knott’s hat-trick claimed the individual scoring honours as Sutton Athletic Reserves won 12-0 at Orpington in Division 1 West. 

Manager Danny Wakeling lauded his Old Bromleians side for their come from behind  4-3 win over Welling Park. He said: “I don’t often go OTT with praise, but to play with 10 men for over an hour and still win requires plaudits.”

Division 2 West leaders Sydenham Sports suffered their first defeat of the season, Barry Ryan and Eden Cummins scoring twice in South East Athletic’s 4-3 win.

Rochester City and Wateringbury progressed in the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup, while Old Roan, Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) Reserves and HFSP & Ten-Em-Be were all winners away from home in their London Junior Cup first round ties.

SATURDAY, 23rd September

Faversham Strike Force, Kennington and Staplehurst Monarchs United were three Premier Division sides who made early exits on Kent Reliance sponsored Intermediate Challenge Shield First Round weekend.

Tom Wright’s hat-trick set-up Ide Hill’s 5-1 win at Strike Force, while Wes Foord and James Everitt netted for Hawkinge Town as they won 2-1 at Kennington.  

Two of the home victors were both big winners. Roy Godden, Warren Smith and Lewis Butler all scored twice as New Romney beat Orpington 10-0. Five-goal Dan Hanshaw and Matt Gething’s  second successive hat-trick claimed the scoring honours in Cuxton 91’s 8-1 win over Staplehurst Monarchs United.

The Maidstone villagers’ twitter feed can always be counted on for an honest assessment of the team’s performance –  win or lose –  and this week was no exception.

“Apparently we were a shambles – did not learn from our mistakes.”

Dave Milton and assistant manager Chris Steadman netted as Chipstead marked their first home game of the season, beating Hildenborough Athletic 2-1. Bexley’s Owen Griffiths scored twice in the 4-0 win at Deal Sports.

Robert Dulan, Anthony Tye and sub Troy Abbey helped Tudor Sports progress with a 3-2 win at Halstead United.

Good wishes go to Mark Johnson of Farnborough Old Boys Guild who suffered a badly broken leg at Halls AFC. forcing the tie to be abandoned, now rescheduled for Wednesday night. Johnson is the second Premier Division player in the space of three weeks to suffer a serious early season injury, joining Fleetdown United’s Tom Eyres on the sidelines.

Teenager Sol Solomon ended Otford United’s interest in the competition. The 16-year-old substitute struck the 67th minute winner for Jersey club St Peter who now travel to the winners of the delayed tie.

Otford goalkeeper Justin Lee back from a spell with Gravesham Borough, denied Jack Prince a late second as the visitors looked to press home their advantage, having missed several chances in the first half. The Channel Islanders left around 9:00am, stopped for a pre-match meal at K Sports, before catching the 8:pm flight home. They are now planning an overnight trip when they make their return to the County next month.

Greenways won 3-0 with goals by Jack Jeffery, Junior Farrell and Simon Walton.

In the Premier Division, Metrogas pair Tom Warner and Toyeeb Babatunde both score twice in the 5-1 win at Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey). Tyrell Gebbie was a new name on the scoresheet as Borden Village earned a 2-0 win at Fleetdown United, George Latham getting the other.

Plenty of goals in the NRG Gym Les Leckie Cup First Round ties.

Callum Orpin and James Whyte got two apiece in Wateringbury’s 6-2 win at Deal Town Rangers. Max Savage’s double helped former winners Larkfield and New Hythe Wanderers claim their 3-2 extra-time win over Aylesford.

Matt Forster also scored twice for Ashford in their 3-1 success at Woodnesborough. Winning boss Ryan Norman has linked up again with new assistant Graham Prior, the pair having previously worked together at Kennington.

SATURDAY, 16th September

Abraham Opuku wasted little time in getting off the mark this season!

The Peckham Town striker, last  season’s Sharpshooter of the Year winner with 45 goals, made his first appearance of the new campaign, and started with a hat-trick in the 6-0 win over Lydd Town Reserves. Opuku scored four twice against Lydd last season, and hit seven hat-tricks spanning August to April, Brian Morgan’s team finishing on the wrong end of a third successive heavy defeat against the South London club. Ali Amisu hit two more, taking him to eight for the season.

Kennington are another free-scoring team, and moved second following their 5-3 win at Metrogas. Tom  Scorer hit two, with top scorer  Carlum McLeod, Joe Fisher and Dale Davis getting the others. Jake Williams scored twice as Stansfeld (O&B)  won 2-1 at Farnborough OBG to go third.

Fourth placed Greenways drew 0-0 at home to Staplehurst Monarchs United who hailed it as  “a great performance from the 11 who turned up.” Ross Morley scored twice for the second week running as Tudor Sports upset morning leaders Bexley 3-1. Ashley Cameron put them in front early on, before Morley completed his double in the space of 10 minutes around the hour mark.
He fired home from the edge of the box with a precise left footed finish, before converting a penalty after being brought down. Bexley substitute Sam Fullilove pulled one back with 10 minutes left – and also missed a great chance of a second before the end.

Lewis James netted for Lewisham Athletic in their 1-1 home draw against Fleetdown.  Tony Audino netted for the Dartford side who are still coming to terms with a serious injury suffered by Tom Eyres against Bexley the week before. Manager Martin McCarthy said: “It was terrible – he has a dislocated knee and fractured ankle.”

New Romney drew 0-0 against Borden Village who finished with eight men. Assistant Manager Paul Egan said: “We are becoming a team that seem to  be frustrating other teams and being hard to break down. “We just need to find some luck, having shots cleared off the line, hitting post and crossbars. “I’m sure it will come.”

Division 1 Central & East top-two Kings Hill and Cuxton 91 both won. Daniel Melvin scored twice as Kings Hill beat Deal Sports 3-0, while Matt Gething’s hat-trick paved the way for Cuxton’s 4-0 win over K Sports Reserves, making it 15 without reply in their last three games.

James Paull’s winner earned Old Bromleians their 1-0 win over Division 1 West top side Club Langley.

Six-goal Reece Gillies was the pick of the scorers as Rochester City claimed their second double figure win of the season in Division 2 Central & East, 16-0 over Larkfield and New Hythe Wanderers. Adam Hill hit five and Connor Linton four.

George Harris got two as Division 2 West leaders Sydenham Sports made it four wins out of four with a 4-0 win at Nomads.

Deal Sports Reserves, CC Sport, Ashford FC and AFC Ashford Athletic all progressed in the Kent Reliance Junior Cup.

Damian Abel was another six-goal man in Hawkinge Town’s 12-1 NRG Gym ‘Bill Manklow’ Inter-Regional Challenge Cup win over Herne Bay Reserves. Rolvenden and Long Lane are also through while AFC Bexley went through on 4-3 in penalties in the NRG Gym ‘Barry Bundock’ West Challenge Shield finish in a tie which ended  3-3 after-extra-time against South East Athletic.

SATURDAY, 9th September

Bexley manager James Corne admits he has enjoyed watching his side’s early season form which has taken them top of the County League Premier Division. Joe Abbott is the man in form, scoring his fifth goal in as many games with the winner against Fleetdown United on Saturday.

Corne said: “We had a good pre-season, kept most of the squad, and added where we thought we needed to.

“When the fixtures came out we thought we had a tough draw and see ourselves a target and we have reached that.

“We have already had tough games against Greenways and Kennington, who will both be up there this season.”

He added: “I am glad we are up there, and if we keep going, I hope we will be rewarded at the end. We just take it each game each week.”

He continued: “The game against Fleetdown  was a tough one – very tight “We limited their chances and our shape and defensive duties were good – we have the best defence record at the moment conceding the fewest goals which has all been down to hard work. The winning  goal came from a free-kick met by Joe who can’t stop scoring at the minute.”

Bexley lead on goal difference from Greenways who dropped their first points after being held at home 1-1  by New Romney, their second of the season. Billy Weir-Somerville netted for the second successive game with Brad Cross on target for the home side, his second of the campaign.

Adam Phillips marked his farewell from boyhood club Kennington with a goal in the 4-1 win at Lewisham Athletic. Phillips has joined Bostik South side Ashford United and was on the bench in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Ramsgate. Carlum McLeod maintained his impressive goal record – with his seventh, Joe Fisher and Tom Scorer getting the other two.

Boss Dan Scorer wished Phillips well saying: “Would like to wish Adam all the best and congratulate him on the move, well deserved.”

Ali Amisu hit his sixth of the season as Peckham Town won 3-0 at home to Faversham Strike Force. The visitors were left to rue a first half double penalty miss.

Stansfeld (O&B) came back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at home to Borden Village whose first five games of the new season have seen a total of 35 goals scored.

Ross Morley scored twice as Tudor Sports won for the first time – 3-2 at Lydd Town Reserves, their first defeat of the season, Ryan Easter again on target,  taking his tally to 11.

Dan Jeffery and Steve Turner were the Metrogas scorers as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Otford United. Boss Mark Warner said: “Tough game – Otford dominated the first half, and led 1-0, but we turned it around.”

Peter West scored both as Staplehurst Monarchs United beat Farnborough OBG 2-1.

No shortage of goals in Division 1, Paul. Booth has never stopped scoring goals in a prolific career and isn’t stopping now, with four as the Central & East  pacesetters Kings Hill overwhelmed Hildenborough Athletic 8-0.

Damian Abel is another who hasn’t lost the scoring touch with a hat-trick as Hawkinge Town won 5-1 at Guru Nanak.

Richard Aidoo’s hat-trick helped West leaders Club Langley to an 8-1 win over Orpington.

SATURDAY, 2nd September

Greenways made it four wins out of four with a 3-1 win at Tudor Sports to go top of the Premier Division. Junior Farrell hit his third in two games, with Nick Donaldson and Aaron Kleman adding the others.

Ryan Easter made it 10 in four games as Lydd Town Reserves dropped their first points of the season in a 2-2 home draw against Farnborough Old Boys Guild. Stansfeld (O&B) and Bexley are also into double figures, with away wins at Fleetdown United and New Romney. Joe Abbott netted his fourth of the season for Bexley in their 2-1 win on the Kent coast.

Carlum Mcleod is another in-form striker taking his tally to six, scoring a hat-trick as Kennington beat Otford United 7-3. Ali Amisu also hit three as Peckham Town won 4-2 at Borden Village.

Nathan Laker got off the mark for the season with  both as Staplehurst Monarchs United won 2-0 at Faversham Strike Force. Jay Green (Metrogas) and James McInerry (Lewisham Athletic) were the scorers as the two teams drew 1-1 in the other game.

Kings Hill and Hawkinge made it two wins in two in Division 1 Central & East. James Everitt’s hat-trick helped the latter beat Herne Bay Reserves 4-3. Former KCL Sharpshooter of the Year Daniel Hanshaw and Matt Getjomg hit two each as Cuxton 91 beat Hildenborough 7-0.

Gabriel Braimah and Marcus Travers netted for Club Langley as they made it six points out of six in Division 1 West with a 2-1 win at Sutton Athletic Reserves.

Jordan Wylie hit five for Rochester City as they put 14 past New Romney Reserves in Division 2 Central & East. Adam Hill got four of the others.

Nomads and Sydenham Sports won their opening two games, Kane Walker’s treble helping Nomads win 5-2 at Dulwich Village.

SATURDAY, 26th August & MONDAY, 28th August

Ryan Easter continued his impressive scoring touch as the Premier Division’s early season front runners Lydd Town Reserves made it three-out-three with a 3-2 win at Otford United on Saturday. Skipper Easter scored twice to make it nine in three games.

Third placed Greenways are the other team with a 100% record, coming from 3-0 down to win 4-3 at Metrogas, Junior Farrell scored twice with Nick Donaldson and Brad Cross doing the others.

Borden Village are second after a six-point weekend with a 4-3 home win over Faversham Strike Force on Monday following a 5-0 victory at Farnborough OBG 48 hours earlier. George Latham and Lewis McCrory scored twice in both games.

Dominic Weston went one better with five, a hat-trick as new-boys Lewisham Athletic won 4-2 at Staplehurst Monarchs United on Monday and two in the win by the same score at Faversham Strike Force 48 hours earlier. 

Carlum McLeod, Harry Goddard and an own goal helped Kennington beat New Romney 3-0 on Monday, after a 1-0 defeat at Bexley. Joe Abbott got the winner, with Tyler Norbert on target in the 1-1 draw at Stansfeld (O&B) (Archie Johnson). The latter finished second best on Saturday, beaten 4-0 at Staplehurst Monarchs United, Ed Hodges scoring twice.

In Division 1, Daniel Melvin was the pick of the scorers with a hat-trick as Kings Hill started the season with a 10-1 win over Rolvenden.

David Barrington hit four as Nomads beat Belvedere 11-0 in Division 2.

Danny Stokley and Ryan Leaver both netted hat-tricks as Sporting Club Thamesmead Reserves won 10-0 at AFC Lewisham in Division 3.

SATURDAY, 19th August

Golden Boot awards are never won in August but Ryan Easter is proving a real sharpshooter and stealing a march on everybody else after scoring seven in two games for Lydd Town Reserves. Easter followed up his opening day double at Staplehurst Monarchs with five as Lydd thrashed Metrogas 6-1.

Stansfeld (O&B) head the table on goal difference having also been in free-scoring mood, beating Faversham Strike Force 8-1, and all by different scorers, Omar El Mantawy, Ben Mulrooney, George Martin, Mark McKenna, Archie Johnson, George Lyon, Sammy McDonald and  sub James Hammond.

Greenways are the third team who have won both games, Alex Clare scoring his third of the season, in the 1-0 win at Bexley.

Issac Hancock scored twice as Borden Village beat Staplehurst Monarchs United 4-2, with Jay Law and Lewis McCrory adding the others. Femi Dada and Kenneth Ilo earned Peckham Town their 2-0 win at home to Fleetdown United. Promoted pair Lewisham Athletic and New Romney earned their first Premier Division point in a 2-2 draw in South London. Alex Greenfield and James McNamara netted for Athletic while Jack Moran and Greg Hitchman made sure Romney earned reward for their long round trip.

All the goals came in the first half as Farnborough Old Boys Guild also drew 2-2 against another promoted club Otford United. Jourdon Howard put Farnborough in front after five minutes, before an own-goal helped the visitors pull level three minutes later. Rory Catt got the O’s second in the 24th minute, before Leon Farwell converted a penalty eight minutes later.

O’s new manager Mike Langston said: “We are still building the squad, but happy with the way it’s progressing.

“I thought we deserved three points, but I suppose their manager did as well.

“First game in the league, so pleased to get at least a point.”

Bank Holiday weekend sees Premier Division games on both days Saturday and Monday.

Saturday also sees the full programme of matches in Divisions 0ne, Two and Three.

Good luck to all teams old and new and even returning ones like former Premier Division champions Bromley Green who start in Division Three Central & East at home to Deal Town Rangers.

Enjoy the season!

SATURDAY, 12th August

Seven players scored twice in the opening weekend of the new Premier Division season on Saturday.

Joe Abbott and Owen Griffiths hit two each for Bexley in  the biggest win of the day, 5-1 at home to Farnborough Old Boys Guild. Former champions Faversham Strike Force, under new management this season started well with a 4-2 win at promoted New Romney. Chris Axford, son of Chairman and club founder Gary, got a couple, with Conor Young and an own goal completing the tally. Roy Godden and Reece Palmer netted for Romney.

Ryan Easter made sure Lydd Town Reserves started the season well, with two in the 4-1 win at Staplehurst Monarchs United. Tom Morgans and substitute Niall Gordon added the others.

Substitute Alex Clare came off the bench to net his double as last season’s runners-up Greenways began with 3-2 win at Borden Village. Aaron Kleman got the other, with Ashley Baverstock and George Latham on target for the hosts. Carlum McLeod hit two for Kennington in their 3-2 win over Peckham Town, in the meeting of two of last season’s top-four. Joe Fisher got the winner five minutes from time. 

Mark McKenna, Michael Zanelli and substitute Omar El Mantawy netted for Stansfeld (Oxford & Bermondsey) as they claimed the third odd goal in five win over Tudor Sports. Ross Morley converted twice from the spot for the visitors. He put them in front just before the half hour before Stansfeld levelled two minutes later with a free-kick from just outside the box. Morley converted his second penalty 10 minutes after the break, Stansfeld making it 2-2 soon afterwards. Sports had another effort ruled out for offside, before Stansfeld settled the contest with an 80 minute winner.

Alfie Coates  clinched an opening day win for Metrogas and new first team manager Mark Warner with the only goal of the game at Fleetdown United.

Five games and 30 plus goals has already set  the bar high as a new season takes shape.

Hildenborough Athletic have unveiled their new management and coaching team.

The appointment of Jay Bray, Matt Toms and Alan Swift comes ahead of the club’s opening Division 1 Central & East game of the new season at Guru Nanak on Saturday week.

The club said: “Between them they have a wealth of experience, both playing, managing and coaching at a proficient level. “Matt has played for and managed both at Maidstone and Whitstable, while Alan has been a prolific County League player and recently coached Stones under-21s.

“They collectively aim to apply their knowledge and skill to achieve a responsible and progressive approach to the development of Hildenborough Athletic FC.”

Dennis Hughes has been appointed the club’s new secretary.