Kent FA 18s returned from Devon FA still in the FA County Youth Cup having secured a 2-1 win at their headquarters in Newton Abbott. Goals from Tom Barton & skipper Sidney Warden in the first half made the difference, Devon got a goal back with 15 minutes left to make it a nervy finish but Kent held on for a deserved victory. Kent largely dominated the first half and the early part of the second half but were made to work hard for the win against a determined Devon side. The last time the sides met was the third round in 2013 where Devon won 1-0 despite Kent completely dominating the match.
Kent’s reward for victory is a home tie against last season’s finalists Cornwall FA which will be played on Saturday 28th October at Margate FC with a 1pm KO. The last time the sides met was the first round in 2012 where Kent came out 2-0 winners at Tonbridge Angels FC.
In a frantic opening few minutes, Kent had a chance in the first minute, Devon failed to deal with a long throw and the ball fell to Nelson whose curling effort just went wide, then at the other end Devon threatened to break through but Tom Carey came out to block. Kent started brightly though and were creating chances, a great Crossfield ball by Sam Macallum found Josh Stirman on the right, and his low cross just had too much pace for Barton to get onto.
Kent did take the lead soon after with a free flowing move. Carey caught a through ball and threw quickly to Stirman, who played inside to Warden, who played a slide rule pass to Barton who cut inside and curled the ball into the far corner. 3 minutes later Kent were celebrating again, Devon struggled again with a long throw and the ball fell to Warden, who turned brilliantly in the box to wrong foot 2 defenders before calmly finishing from 10 yards.
Devon tried to respond quickly but Carey made a good save from a free kick with Rumbol blocking the second effort. Carey then almost got an assist when a clearance went straight through to Warden, who cut inside and bent it towards the far corner but the keeper made an excellent stop. Devon nearly lost a player with near identical challenges on Rumbol & Macallum but after the first got a yellow, he didn’t receive a second.
Kent continued to create chances in the first half, a long kick from Carey beat the defence again, this time Stirman, who rounded the keeper but had to go wide and the cut back was blocked. Barton then got through after a pass from Stirman and the keeper saved his effort but he was outside the area, but escaped any further punishment. The free kick from Warden hit the wall and the follow up was blocked on the line.
Kent started the second half much in the same fashion but failed to kill the game off. Barton got onto a clipped ball through and controlled the ball well but the chip didn’t have the height and the keeper saved then minutes later he broke through again and elected to take the shot early but again the keeper was equal to it. As the match wore on, nerves seemed to creep into the Kent performance as Devon started to throw caution to the wind with nothing to lose. Devon had a corner cleared off the line by Will Palmer while at the other end Riches tried his luck from range which the keeper palmed to safety.
Devon got a goal back with 15 minutes to go, Kent gave the ball away cheaply in midfield, it was played out to the right and the low crossed was finished from 8 yards. As you’d expect Devon threw everything at Kent in search of an equaliser and in the closing stages saw a deflected shot go wide and a few efforts blocked by Nelson and Rumbol, but Kent held on for the win.
Kent Squad: Tom Carey (Sittingbourne) George Porter (Bromley) Sam Macallum (Herne Bay) Dylan Riches (Sittingbourne) Ted Nelson (Hollands & Blair) Freddie Rumbol (Sittingbourne) Josh Stirman (Maidstone United) Will Palmer (Chatham Town) Tom Barton 10’ (Faversham Strike Force) Sidney Warden © 13’(Erith Town) Joe Sharp (Herne Bay)
Subs: Eban Gurung 63 for Joe Sharp (Kennington) Jacob Gilbert 72 for Will Palmer (Bearsted) Dillon Cole 88 for Tom Barton (Hollands & Blair) Unused Subs: Ben Folkard (Aylesford) Ross Johnstone (Kennington)
For more information about Kent Representative Football, please contact Dwayne Ellis (Football Services Officer - Competitions) on Dwayne.Ellis@KentFA.com or 01622 791850.