Kent U18s Secure Place in SECYFC Final!
Sussex FA 2 - 5 Kent FA
Kent FA U18 Representative Team came from two goals down to defeat Sussex 5-2 and in doing so secured top spot in their group and a place in the Final of the U18 South East Counties Youth Championship. Kent made the trip to Sussex for the third time this season, with previous defeats for the U16 & Ladies teams they were hoping it would be third time lucky knowing just a draw would be enough to secure top spot in the group.
However, things didn’t get off to the best start as the hosts took the lead after 8 minutes when Brad Santos was impeded in the penalty box and Jasper Pattenden sent Wayne Everest the wrong way from the spot. Three minutes later and the lead was doubled and once again Brad Santos was heavily involved as his cross into the box was tucked home by Rob Deda. This forced the Kent Management duo of Ian Varley & Lee Suter into a rethink and a change of formation but it was Sussex who continued to dominate with Wayne Everest forced into a great save to keep the score at 2-0. Jacob Gilbert had the first chance of note for Kent when his 20 yard strike flew over the bar and then Harrison Pont shot wide as Kent searched for a way back into the match. Kent were given a lifeline in the 28th minute when Charlie Dale was fouled in the box which allowed Ryan Kingsford to step up and reduce the deficit to 2-1 from the penalty spot. Kent drew level on the cusp of halftime, Charlie Dale latched onto a defensive error and showed great composure in finding team mate Jacob Gilbert who fired home to send the teams in level at 2-2.
The second half was only three minutes old when Kent took the lead for the first time in the match, Jacob Gilbert swung in a free kick from the touchline which appeared to take a slight touch off a Home defender on its way into the net but Jacob was very much claiming the goal. Things got even better for Kent just a minute later when Harrison Pont curled home a delightful free kick that left Sussex keeper Dan Tasker a mere spectator to give Kent a 4-2 lead. Sussex came roaring back in search of goals which saw Dylan Gifford come so close as his free kick went inches past the post and moments later they hit the bar courtesy of Tyrese Mthunzi. Any nerves for Kent were sealed in Injury time as substitute Charlie Deininger pounced on a mistake from Dan Tusker to find the bottom corner and seal a 5-2 victory.
A great advertisement for Representative Football as both teams contributed to a great match. Speaking after the match the Kent Management duo of Lee Suter & Ian Varley commented “A great game of football today, a true representation of what Rep Team football looks like against a very good Sussex team. We showed real character to come back from two goals down and push on in the second half. The boys were incredible after an initial bad start and to come away with a 5-2 win after being 2-0 down is a credit to them”.
Kent FA Squad: Wayne Everest (Faversham Strikeforce FC), Scott Jarvis (Bromley FC), Joe Muddiman (Faversham Town FC), George Porter ©(Bromley FC), Cameron Williams (Maidstone United FC), Baily Sinnock (Faversham Town FC), Charlie Dale (Hollands & Blair FC), Harrison Pont (Hollands & Blair FC), Ryan Kingsford (Faversham Town FC), Jacob Gilbert (Maidstone United FC), Luke Taylor (Faversham Strikeforce FC), Charlie Deininger (Bredhurst Juniors FC), Beau Landau (K Sports FC), Craig Appleby (Faversham Strikeforce FC)
We now await the winners of the other SECYFC Group which contains Hertfordshire FA, AFA, London FA & Essex FA with the Final date and venue to be announced in due course.