Ashford & District Sunday Football League
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Author: Ryan Mills, 25/11/19

Goalkeepers impress as Possee and Noden emerge as shootout heroes in Kent Cup

Kent Sunday Junior Trophy- Round Three

Fox Sunday and Mersham Sports Reserves both progressed to the last-16 of the Kent Sunday Junior Trophy thanks to heroics from their respective goalkeepers in their rescheduled third round fixtures. Fox Sunday went through thanks to a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over fellow Division Two rivals Troggs with goalkeeper Dan Noden saving two spot kicks before going on to score the winning goal himself converting from 12-yards to seal Ben Rolfe’s sides place in the hat for the full county draw next month.

During normal time Fox recovered from going 3-0 down as Troggs raced into a comfortable lead with some clinical finishing, with Alex Philpott giving the visitors the lead just after the half-hour mark with a low finish. Sam Lopez doubled the Smarden sides lead soon after before Ben Allen made it 3-0 four minutes into the second half after rounding home keeper Noden before finishing well. But Fox got back into the game when first Denzel Ndoko fired home a free kick before Junior Brown converted a 65th minute penalty setting up Byron Price to grab an equaliser with a perfectly weighted lobbed effort.

Troggs thought they had won the game when Ben Allen rose highest to head in from an 89th minute corner to put the away side 4-3 up, but Fox came back again to level things up when Junior Brown scored his second goal of the morning to score Fox’s fourth goal. Brown and Price both scored in the resulting penalty shootout along with Syrus Gordon before Noden sealed the victory with his spot kick following his two earlier saves.

Meanwhile another goalkeeper proved to be the difference as Mersham Sports Reserves joined Fox Sunday in the fifth round as they beat Singleton Barn 5-4 on penalties after the two Division Three promotion rivals drew 2-2 in normal time. Mersham stopper Andrew Possee (pictured above) saved three penalties in the shootout to help send the villagers safely through on his return from a two-week suspension. Top goal scorer Luke Goddard scored twice for Mersham, including an outstanding volley to put Tom Shaw’s side in control but Singleton hit back through Bradley Freund and George Lloyd before Possee came up trumps in the shootout.


Premier Division

Brewmaster moved six points clear at the top of the Premier Division league standings as they returned from their trip to mid-table Nailbox 7-0 winners. Recent signing Piers Fuchter scored a first half hat-trick as the Brews made it seven wins from seven league games this season to move clear of second place Bromley Green, although having played one game more than their closest rivals. Defender Tom Ripley made his Brews debut after completing his midweek transfer from Market Hotel as the league leaders continue to strengthen their squad in a push to claim a first Premier Division title in six years. Brad Burton gave the visitors the perfect start opening the scoring within the first two minutes before former Bethersden and Mersham striker Fuchter pounced to score three times in 23 minutes to put John Ripley’s side 4-0 ahead at the break. Ben Squires-Quinn added a fifth early in the second period before substitute Matt Goldsmith wrapped things up with a brace to complete the scoring.


Ashford Sunday Charity Trophy- Round One

Kennington eased their way in the second round of the Charity Trophy with a one-sided 11-0 away victory at Division Two side Biddenden. The reigning Premier Division champions proved too strong for a young, brave Biddenden side as both Antonio Comparetto and Callum O’Neill netted hat-tricks for Mike Hodges team as they set up a second-round clash against Mersham Sports next weekend. Kieran Lynn added two more goals before further strikes from Carlum Macleod, Steve Tutt and Kris Melachrino completed the scoring to see last seasons runners-up comfortably through to the last-16 of the competition.


Bodkin Challenge Cup- Round Two

Bradley Baker scored twice as Market Hotel recorded their biggest winning margin of the season beating Division One side Horsebox Bars 4-0 in the second round of the Bodkin Cup. Recently appointed player-manager Ryan Smith saw his side move into the next round in what was only their fifth game in three months as Baker’s brace and one each from Reece Mortimer and Gary Lockyer sealed the victory.

Sellindge SSC are also through to the quarter finals as they enjoyed a 9-2 away win at Charing. Liam Middleton grabbed a hat-trick for the Swans to help them progress to the last-eight where they now face a trip to Division One promotion rivals Ashford Genclik in the next round. Three other players weighed in with important goals as Tony Dunham, Kieran Byrne and James Gibson all scored twice while at the other end of the pitch visiting goalkeeper Dan Green saved two penalties. After a slow start to the season Charing had gone into this fixture with two wins from their previous three games but came up short against an in-form Sellindge side despite goals from Ben Harte and Glen Hothersall.


Bodkin Challenge Cup- Quarter Final

Bromley Green eased past Division One side Hythe Royal British Legion to book a place in the semi finals of the Bodkin Cup. The Green ran out 12-2 winners at South Road with top goal scorer Luke Burdon netting five times to take his goal tally for the campaign to 27 in all competitions. Midfielder Kieran Shrimpton moved into double figures for the season with a brace while forward Pat Kingwell also scored twice as the visitors ran riot to move into the last-four of the competition. Further goals from Casper Floyd, Ryan Carter and Andrew Trott put the icing on the cake to cancel out goals from Jacob Haywood and James Sherwood from the hosts.


Division One

New Aldington manager Paul Guest marked his first game in charge of Aldington with a victory as his new side beat Appledore 2-0 at the Reynolds Ground to move to within two points of Division One league leaders Sellindge SSC. Guest named a handful of players from the reserve squad to bolster his side and included Sam Petto who re-joined the club in midweek as goals from Alex Williams and Matt Moon sealed all three points. Petto made an instant impact as his delivery from the right-hand side set up Williams to put Aldington ahead after just two minutes. At the other end Aldington goalkeeper James Sutton more than earned his clean sheet keeping out the lively Craig Pierce for the hosts, but the visitors made sure of the victory 15 minutes form full time when Stephen Cowell crossed for striker Matt Moon to cheekily backheel home their second goal to claim all three points.

Meanwhile Robbie Westbrook continued his excellent recent goal scoring form netting four times to help Folkestone United to a 6-3 away win against local rivals Cheriton AFC. Westbrook has scored eight goals in the previous two appearances and 13 in total this season for United as the visitors ended a four-game losing streak in the league. Goalkeeper Josh Allon pulled off two great penalty saves to help to secure the points while further goals from Callum Russell and Danny Clark’s long-range effort extended their winning margin. Cheriton remain in fourth place in the table having only won one of their previous four league fixtures and replied with their goals coming from Teddy Easthope, Ben Ashton and Jack Taylor.


Division Two

Ashford Spartans beat neighbours and close rivals Lolzors Reserves 4-1 at the Ridge to move up to fourth place in the Division Two standings and level on points with the three teams above them. Just one point separates the top five teams in the division as the title race continues to get competitive going into the Christmas period with Spartans only denied from going top of the pile due to their inferior goal difference. Four different players got on the score sheet for the home side as goals from Tom Wilkes, Ben Deeble-Rogers, Daryl Whiffen and Liam Edmonds sealed all three points and cancelled out Stephen Fuller’s sixth goal of the season for Lolzors who drop one place to ninth in the league table.

Dan Hall netted a hat-trick for Park Farm Rangers as they turned the form book on its head beating promotion chasing Ashford Cavaliers 7-2. Rangers hadn’t won for eight games going into this fixture, but Hall’s treble helped the hosts to only their second league victory of the season to jump up three places to seventh in the table. Tyler Loosemore added two more goals while single strikes from Adam Draper-Lewis and Mark Potten made sure of the win. Cavaliers suffered their first league defeat of the season and missed out on the chance to go clear at the top of the table, replying through Neil Cheesman and a Paul Mabb penalty.


Sheber Challenge Trophy- Round Two

South Willesborough continued their excellent cup form this season with a 4-3 extra-time victory away Burton Grove to progress to the last-eight of the Sheber Trophy. The Frog Islanders recovered from going 2-1 down at the start of the second half to level things up before the end of the 90 minutes before Dion Fitzgerald scored a fantastic long-range effort to seal the win in the 117th minute in extra-time. Two goals from Ryan Hollingsbee and one from in-form striker Mike Norris saw Brad Horne’s side get back into the game after Jurgen Ahmetaj scored twice for the hosts before setting up Matt Johnson to score Burton’s third. South Willesborough have now gone eight league and cup games unbeaten, and now face either Lolzors Reserves or Singleton Barn in the quarter finals.


Sheber Challenge Trophy- Quarter Final

Division Two leaders AFC Guildhall dusted off the cobwebs to go through to the semi-finals of the Sheber Trophy beating an unlucky Smeeth & Brabourne side 3-0 at South Road. It was James Walton’s sides first fixture for four weeks due to recent postponements due to the wet weather and despite the lack of match action the hosts did enough to see off their young visitors thanks to goals from Steven Masters, Stuart Graham and top goal scorer Nathan Simms. Goalkeeper Alex McNeice picked up a clean sheet for the hosts who now turn their attention to a top of the table clash away at Troggs next weekend.


Division Three

Ashley Sales moved onto 25 goals for the season as he hit the back of the net four times to help Division Three leaders Folkestone United Reserves to a comfortable 9-0 home victory over Charing Reserves. Sales was once again prolific in front of goal for United who increased their lead at the top of the table to five points and they have now scored 45 league goals from their nine home and away fixtures to date this term. Further goals from Ben Parker, Ryan Jeffrey, Stanley Dickson, Jevon Hraboweckyj and an own goal completed the rout as goalkeeper Jack Johnstone picked up his second clean sheet in as many weeks for United.

Hot on their heels are second place Ashford United Thirds as midfielder Tom McDonald’s hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 home win over bottom of the table Kingsnorth Pilgrims. After a goalless first-half McDonald took advantage of a tired Pilgrims side in the second period scoring three times in 22 minutes for the hosts before substitute Liam Overy wrapped up the victory two minutes before full-time with United’s fourth goal of the game.

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