MATCH PREVIEW: Kent Reliance Veteran’s Cup Final 2017

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This Wednesday night, Crayford One Bell FC will take on Tankerton FC to try and hold onto the silverware in the Kent Reliance Veteran’s Cup Final at the Holm Park Stadium!

Kicking off at 7.45pm at the home of Sheppey United FC, this match is set to be a tight run as both teams have had dominant routes to the final! 

Crayford One Bell started their trip back to the final with a first round match against Social Munciangladbach. It was a comfortable afternoon for the squad though who ran out 8-0 winners with a great team performance.

Tankerton had an easy first round of the competition, with an opposition unable to field a team, they went straight into the second round and a step closer to the final.

In the second round Crayford were up against an East Coast opponent in Whitstable Town FC. Fortunately, the team had another good performance and progressed through 10-0 winners!

Tankerton’s first challenge of the competition was their second round match against Anchorians. Tankerton dominated possession from the outset and were rewarded after 25 minutes when Matt Barman pounced on a Lee Waldock cross. A rare apse in defensive concentration allowed Anchorians back in the game, but after a couple of changes at half time and a strong word from the manager saw Tankerton get two more in the back of the net thanks to Lee Waldock and Nick Green completing the job with a 3-1 win and into the Quarter Finals.

Crayford’s Quarter Final match against Thanet-based Hotel de Ville FC has been described as their ‘match of the season’! With an understrength side and scratching for numbers, Crayford knew it would be tough up against a solid, experienced side who was well up for beating us on their turf. They had a lot of the play in the first half and surprisingly Crayford found themselves 1-0 down. After starting the second half strong and against the run of play, the team soon found themselves 2-0 down. Shortly after, Crayford’s little Spanish wizard Marcos ‘Zubi’ Perona got them back in the game making it 2-1. Continuing to have the majority of the ball, Cray were rewarded with a penalty 15 minutes from time; which super striker Sammy Prett dispatched making it 2-2. As the final whistle approached, Cray continued to dominate and pushed hard for a winner which eventually came just before full time, when a lovely flighted ball from Marcos Perona was met by Danny Oakins, in front of the advancing keeper to nod it in and make it 3-2.

The Quarter-Final draw saw Tankerton FC drawn against local derby rivals Tankerton Slayers. Tankerton were able to progress relatively comfortably thanks to Matt Barman putting the squad ahead on 30 minutes, followed by further goals from Nick Green, Lee Waldock and a second from Barman; putting them team through to the Semi Finals.

For the Semi-Final match, Crayford has a replay of last season’s Kent Reliance Veteran’s Cup Final! Blair had a strong team out, and was out for revenge. Having seen a lot of the ball in the first half, it turned out to be a stalemate with the Blair side working extremely hard and a big pitch to stop Cray playing our game. After a few harsh words and truths given out by the Gaffa at half time, Crayford took the lead 10 minutes into the second half with left back, Drew Watkins scoring; their second followed shortly after that which seemed to knock the stuffing out of a tiring Blair team. Other goals from Nucky, Steve Rich and a brilliant penalty from Marcos Perona saw the squad go into a comfortable 5-0 lead. In the last 5 minutes Blair got a consolation and goal of the game via a magnificent finish from their midfielder. Final score 5-1 to the Bell and back into the final they go!

Tankerton were up against Phoenix Sports in the Semi-Finals, and despite the poor weather, the match had a cagey start. Tankerton soon saw Jon Watson off injured, and despite this neither side were creating much opportunity until Phoenix hit the post. Within a minute of this chance, Lee Waldock’s looping header put Tankerton ahead. Five minutes later Matt Barman had pounced on a Matt Knibbs cross to make it two; and from then on Tankerton never looked in danger. Paul Blagden made it 3-0 on the 60 minute mark, and though Phoenix did respond, but Steve Watts put the game to bed with a neat finish into the net, and Tankerton FC back in the Kent Reliance Veteran’s Cup Final with a  4-1 victory.

If you can’t make it along to the match, there will be twitter coverage on @KentFA. You can also tweet us, and our County Cup sponsor @KentReliance your #MagicOfTheCup experience on match day, to be in with a chance of winning a £25 high street voucher!