Ashford & District Sunday Football League
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Author: Ryan Mills, 13/01/20

O'Leary at the Double to send South Willesborough through in Kent Cup, while Ashford United end Singleton Barn's unbeaten record

KENT SUNDAY JUNIOR CUP- ROUND FIVE


Hythe Royal British Legion’s county cup interests are over for at least another season as their cup run was ended by Sutton Common Rovers in a 2-1 home defeat. Dan Arnold scored Hythe’s only goal of the game as the Division One side were beaten by their visitors from Croydon who play in the Redhill Sunday League Premier Division.

 

KENT SUNDAY JUNIOR TROPHY- ROUND FIVE

Lewis O’Leary scored twice to help send South Willesborough into the quarter finals of the Kent Sunday Junior Trophy as they returned from their trip to Gravesend beating Marlee Royals 2-1. Brad Horne’s side continued their incredible run of form extending their unbeaten sequence to 12 league and cup fixtures and now await the draw for the last-eight of the competition on Friday. O’Leary opened the scoring for the Frog Islanders inside the opening five minutes when the ball landed kindly for the young forward to finish well from close range, but the hosts levelled things up with a fantastic strike leaving the otherwise unbeatable Tom Moon no chance to make it 1-1. But in the second minute of injury time and just as the game was heading to extra time, O’Leary popped up again to send South Willesborough through when he converted from Jordan Horne’s excellent run and through-ball to grab the winning goal.

Fox Sunday’s luck come to an end as after two previous penalty shootout victories in the competition this season as they crashed out on spot kicks after holding Sheerness East to a 2-2 draw at the end of normal time. Sheerness took the lead midway through the first half before Tom Wilmshurst won and converted a 61st minute penalty to level things back up again. Wilmshurst then scored his and Fox’s second goal with 13 minutes left to play when he headed in from Stuart Margetson’s free kick, but Craig Rayfield’s late equaliser drew Sheerness level setting up another dramatic penalty shootout. Fox goalkeeper Dan Noden saved one in the shootout, but with only Dave Gray hitting the back of the net, it was Sheerness keeper Tom Cobbold who emerged the hero as the visitors went through 3-1 on spot kicks.

Also bowing out were Division Three side Mersham Sports Reserves who were beaten 3-1 at home by Park Regis Fountain from the Medway Sunday League. Luke Goddard’s single goal proved not to be enough for Tom Shaw’s brave side as they were outdone by an impressive Park Regis outfit who demonstrated why they have won all eleven of their league fixtures so far this season with a match winning performance.


 

PREMIER DIVISION

Stanhope & Beaver Rangers ended Premier Division leaders Brewmaster’s unbeaten record with a shock 2-1 home win at Pitchside. Goals from Luke Walder and birthday boy Liam Sheldon-Smith saw Rangers take all three points and a well-deserved victory cancelling out Josh Squires-Quinn’s reply for the Brews. Stanhope have settled into life in the Premier Division well having already held 22-times champions Market Hotel to a 3-3 draw earlier this season and beaten reigning league champions Kennington 3-2 in the Kent Sunday Premier Cup, and moved up to fourth in the league standings following their latest victory.

In-form forward Bradley Baker scored five times as Market Hotel got themselves right back into the title race beating Red Heathens 8-3 away from home. Baker has incredibly scored 18 times in his previous five appearances for the Market as Ryan Smith’s side recorded a fifth successive victory in all competitions to rise to third place in the table. Craig Haynes moved into double figures for the season netting a brace for Red Heathens, with the hosts other goal coming courtesy of former Crystal Palace forward and Wales under-21 international Gareth Williams.

 

BILL HILLS PREMIER DIVISION LEAGUE CUP- QUARTER FINAL

Holders Kennington returned to winning ways to book their place in the semi-finals of the Bill Hills League Cup as they just got the better of Mersham Sports winning 3-2 at Sandyacres. Kennington had to come from behind when player-manager Rob Clark gave Mersham the lead scoring his 12th goal of the season for the visitors, but two goals from Carlum Macleod and one from Robbie Greenfield saw Mike Hodges’ side recover to go through despite Tom Wilson’s late reply for Mersham.

 

DIVISION ONE

Top scorer Ben Ashton scored three times as Cheriton AFC became the first team to claim any points from previously unbeaten Division One leaders Sellindge SSC in their surprise 7-2 away win at Swan Lane. Ashton’s treble helped Cheriton extend their unbeaten away league record to four games this term as they jumped up two places in the standings to third place with victory over a Sellindge side who had won their previous eight league fixtures. Ryan Hall added a further two goals for the visitors while both Kieron Wrigley and Jack Taylor also found the back of the net to cancel out strikes from Billy Somerville and Darren Winfield for the Swans.

At the other end of the table, Folkestone United pulled clear of the bottom two and up to sixth place with a 5-2 home win against Lydd Grasshoppers. Robbie Westbrook claimed the match ball netting a hat-trick for United and has now scored 16 goals this season for the hosts, while Josh Baker and Jed Burns were also both on target to seal the victory. Grasshoppers replied with their goals coming from Ricky Bingham and Jordan Boorer and have now lost six of their previous league and cup fixtures following this latest defeat.

 

DIVISION TWO

Leaders Hamstreet emerged victorious in the battle of the top-two teams at the summit of the Division Two league table winning 4-2. Joe Spicer scored twice for the ‘Street to take his goal tally for the season to 15 in all competitions and help avenge his sides defeat in the reverse fixture just before Christmas with their fourth league victory in five games. Additional strikes from Daniel Woodcock and Jake North helped seal all three points and deny Park Farm a third successive league victory who replied with goals from Adam Draper-Lewis and Mark Potten.

Nathan Sims scored a last-minute winner as AFC Guildhall moved back up to second place in the standings with a 3-2 away victory at Ashford Spartans. The 16-goal top scorer netted twice for the Reds to help them earn their first league success in three games as his brace and an own goal saw James Walton’s side claim all three points in dramatic fashion to cancel out strikes by Will Lawrence and Ben Deeble-Rogers for unlucky Spartans.

Troggs are back up to third place thanks to some prolific finishing from striker Ben Allen in their 8-4 home win over Burton Grove. Allen claimed five of the goals for Tim Archer’s side as they strengthened their promotion bid and an immediate return to Division One following relegation last summer. Allen’s five goal haul was accompanied by two Rob Giles strikes and one from youngster Sam Lopez to spoil Matt Johnson’s first game in charge for Burton Grove, who had Andy Crouch o n target with a brace and one each from Jurgen Ahmetaj and James Ross in reply.


Biddenden moved up four places in the table and up to fourth place with a 2-0 success over Ashford Cavaliers. Kieran Funnell scored both of the ‘Den goals to record their second win in their previous three league fixtures with goalkeeper Jason Davis claiming an important clean sheet for the hosts. Cavaliers fell to their fifth successive defeat and failed to score for the first time this season as they continue to look to get their season back on track, and host Park Farm Rangers at home next weekend.

 

DIVISION THREE

Ashford United Thirds came out on top in the battle of the two promotion rivals at Homelands Stadium beating previously unbeaten Singleton Barn 4-1. Tom McDonald fired home a hat-trick for United as they moved up to second place in the Division Three league standings and just six points behind long time leaders Folkestone United Reserves with a game in-hand. McDonald scored the only goal of the first half to give Ashford a fifth minute lead before Rhys Hodges doubled their advantage with twenty minutes left to play. Ricky Harden pulled a goal back for Singleton Barn two minutes later, but two quick fore goals from McDonald saw him complete his hat-trick and secure a second successive 4-1 victory of 2020 for United.

Bradley Humphrey’s outstanding strike helped Pilgrims Sunday take a share of the points and earn them a 1-1 draw against Smeeth & Brabourne. Humphrey scored his first goal of the season as Pilgrims move closer to the teams in the top half of the table with their third draw of the season. Recent signing Jack Combes replied for Smeeth who extend their unbeaten league run to eight games and haven’t tasted defeat in the league since the opening weekend of the season.

Sid Hone and Jordan Osborne both scored twice as Bromley Green Reserves enjoyed a 5-1 home victory over Charing Reserves at the Waterside Ground. Club legend Ashley Webster added the Green’s fifth to help them to victory and move up to fourth place in the table and cancel out Nathan Moore’s consolation goal for Charing.

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