Milton & Fulston had a shaky start to the competition which saw their opening round fixture go to extra time and penalties before securing the win. The Sittingbourne club then disposed of NK Aces and Bexlians FC in the subsequent rounds before following up with a 1-0 semi-final victory over Fleet Leisure. Since the round 1 penalties win, Milton & Fulston have kept clean sheets in every game and will go into the final having not conceded a goal in over 4 hours in this competition.
Greenways FC, by contrast, have had a scoring streak that has taken them to the top of the goal scoring charts with 19 in the competition in just 4 rounds. A home win against Otford was followed by a 9-4 thriller against Gillingham Green, before winning on the road at Bromley Green and Tudor Sports in the later rounds to confirm their place in the final tie.
A win would be a welcome reward for Greenways’ club secretary Will Miller, who has served the club continuously for over 65 years. Will recalls when the club lifted the Intermediate Challenge Shield in 1987 with a 4-0 victory against VCD Athletic at Tunbridge Wells. “I’ve been involved for 65 years with Greenways, first as a player then as club secretary. We’d love to win this cup again.”
The two club captains visited the Kent Air Ambulance, sponsors of the competition, earlier this month.
Ben Parkinson, centre-half for Greenways, has played for the club for 11 years. “We’ve been looking forward to this final for a while. It’s been a while since the club won this competition so we want to get our names on the trophy again.”
Milton & Fulston captain Jamie Warren is a relative newcomer to the club, joining from AFC Wimbledon earlier in the season but has a family connection with the club through his dad, club Chairman David Warren. “It’s been a difficult season, with the weather meaning several fixtures have been postponed. Getting to the Intermediate Challenge Shield final is a reward for all the hard work we’ve put in this year and we intend to finish off with a win.”
The Intermediate Challenge Shield supports the Kent Air Ambulance, a partnership which has seen the Kent FA and the participating clubs raise money for the charity throughout the season.
The Kent Air Ambulance service operates during daylight hours all year round days a year and is capable of delivering medical crews anywhere in the region in less than 20 minutes. The helicopter is crewed by specialist doctors and paramedics, meaning that a number of clinical procedures that are normally only available in a hospital emergency department can be delivered to patients at the scene and in-flight, including general anaesthetic and surgical interventions.
The Kent Air Ambulance Intermediate Challenge Shield will be played at Sittingbourne FC’s Central Park Stadium on Saturday 6th April, with a 6.30pm kick-off.