The U16 Squad fell to their first defeat of the Season after the AFA twice came from a goal down to win 3-2.
Having drawn their three previous matches this Season the U16’s were keen to get that first win on the board. The pitch was heavy but passed a pre-match Inspection by the Referee and it was Kent that started on the front foot. The first effort of note came on ten minutes when Harrison Pont warmed the visiting keeper’s hands with a long range strike. Shortly after a Charlie Dale free kick was blocked by the AFC defensive wall and the follow up shot was well saved. Kent were dominating the play and Jacob Gilbert saw his effort deflected for a corner and moments later Joshua Ludlow’s free kick was saved by Harry Hauserman in the AFA goal.
Eventually Kent were rewarded for their dominance when they took the lead after twenty minutes. Harrison Pont picked the ball up in midfield and his surging run saw him feed Charlie Dale and his strike found the bottom left hand corner from the edge of the box. This stirred the AFA into life and Rigert Rama had his side’s first meaningful effort on goal but dragged his shot wide of Wayne Everest’s post. With halftime on the horizon Kent pushed for the second goal that their play deserved but ultimately headed into the Interval with a one goal advantage.
The second half was the mirror image of what happened during the first period with AFA coming flying out of the blocks and equalising after just two minutes through the dangerous Justin Dumfeh, two minutes later and Kent did well to clear a free kick from Liam Mulligan as AFA threatened to take the lead. Kent bounced back well and the introduction of the substitutes saw them back on the front foot, this lead to them regaining the lead just before the hour mark when Dwayne Kattah fired home after a goalmouth scramble. Some smart defensive work on the goalline from Kent’s Luke Exall kept his side ahead and then Wayne Everest produced a fantastic save to deny Rigert Rama getting his second goal of the match. David Ola saw his header from a Rigert Rama corner go narrowly over the bar as the AFA pushed for the equalising goal and their hard work paid off as a great team goal brought them level, once again the impressive Rigert Rama was at the heart of the move as his pass found Justin Dumfeh and he duly slid in Bailey Stevenson who tucked the ball into the bottom corner. The AFA then took the lead for the first time in the match and again it was Bailey Stevenson who scored to grab his second goal in the space of three minutes. Kent threw everyone forward in the remaining minutes but came up against a stubborn AFA defence who just about did enough to keep the hosts at bay.
A disappointing result for the Kent squad and one that their first half display didn’t warrant but full credit to AFA for the turnaround in the second half, with Kent Coach Ian Varley saying ‘It was a classic game of two halves’.
Kent Squad: Wayne Everest (Faversham Strike Force FC), Zach Collett (Dartford FC), Mali Emeka (Dartford FC), Joshua Ludlow (Bearsted FC), Luke Exall (Aylesford FC), Samuel Aziaya (Bromley FC), Charlie Dale (Dover Athletic FC), Jacob Gilbert (Bearsted FC), Eban Gurung (Kennington FC), Harrison Pont (Aylesford FC), George Hall (Bearsted FC), Ross Johnstone (Kennington FC), Joshua Coombs (Dartford FC), Alexander Oketta (Greenway Aces FC), Jacob Grant (Folkestone Invicta FC), Dwayne Kattah (Dover Athletic FC)