Ashford United Win the Kent U15 Boys Silverware!
Ebbsfleet United FC 1 - 4 Ashford United FC
A stunning hat-trick from Ronald Sithole won the Under 15s Kent Cup for Ashford United FC as Ebbsfleet United simply had no answer to their opponents; and the Nuts and Bolts gave their manager Martyn Halls a wonderful boost after the boss underwent major surgery just one month ago.
Halls, who had major liver surgery a few short weeks ago was full of praise for his side as he spoke to KSN after the game. “It’s a fantastic day for the boys not for me – it’s all for the boys; they were excellent! So well deserved – they’ve been improving all season and they’ve been marvellous! They were awesome today and I knew that we would get stronger during the game and can’t praise them enough. We had a nervy ten minutes when Ebbsfleet pulled one back, but we’ve got great discipline who can go far.” Halls also went onto heap praise and thanks on his assistant Kyle Galea who has been in charge in the boss’s absence. “I can never thank him enough!” Halls added!
For Ebbsfleet boss Paul Setters, it was a tough morning. “I thought the boys got stuck in, but Ashford are a strong side and we weren’t good enough on the day. The early goal didn’t help but I thought we’d get back into it and we did but then let another sloppy goal in for 3-1 and just couldn’t get back into it. We had a couple of chances in the end, but it wasn’t our day today which is a shame after winning it last year. Getting back here today I think is a massive achievement…”
Ebbsfleet never really recovered from going a goal down early on when Sithole outpaced the defence before slipping the ball beyond Fleet keeper Ieuan Ferris. The lead though didn’t last for long and Nathan Fialho was then on hand to crash home the leveller before Sithole put Ashford make in front as he sprinted away down the right before slotting past the advancing Ferris.
The second half was a lot more open as the Fleet knew that they had to take the game to their opponents and it nearly backfired immediately as Ferris made a stunning brave point blank save to deny Sithole. The Fleets response saw Alfie Raishbrook get on the end of a terrific move only to place his header onto the roof of the net.
Ashford then took advantage of some sloppy marking at a free kick as a long free kick found its way to George McIlroy who prodded the Nuts and Bolts into a two goal lead.
Ebbsfleet then laid siege to the Ashford goal but couldn’t find a way through – Alfie Bates Giles was denied by a terrific challenge, Adam Bisset fired wide of the left post and then Raishbrook sent in a volley wide of the right post. To then add more pain to the Fleet, Ferris did well to parry a drive from the edge of the box only for the ball to drop to Sithole who completed his hat-trick gleefully and send the Cup to Homelands.
ASHFORD UNITED – Matthew Lane, Barney Halls, Adam Potten, Rowan Shardlow, Freddie Grist, George McIlroy, Harry Sikirwayi, Alfie Prior, Patrick Underhill, Jeremiah Bamgbose, Ronald Sithole
Subs – Oliver Halls, Gus Barnes, Reuben London-Hobbs, Ebenezer Akporehe, Jayden Wilson
EBBSFLEET UNITED – Ieuan Ferris, Harry King, Frankie Burgess, William Currie, Ada Bissett, Nathan Fialho, Gabriel Duo, Youcef Guemar, Lewis Grainger, Jake Dallas, Alfie Bates-Giles
Subs – Alfie Raishbrook, David Falako, Toby Henley, Kyle Eam
Referee – Ben Al-Shaikh
Assistants – Rhys Jeffrey & Bart Chmielecki
Fourth Official – Joe Cox