Kent Suffer Heavy Defeat In Season Opener
Kent FA 1 Essex FA 6
Kent FA U18 fell to a heavy defeat in their opening match of this season’s South East Counties Youth Championship against Essex FA at Chatham Town Football Club.
In the first of two matches in four days it was certainly not the start the side wanted in their defence of the Tony Elsey Cup they claimed in May last season.
The first half failed to produce many clear cut chances as defences were on top but it was the visitors who had more of the possession. Essex came close to opening the scoring on the half hour mark, but Rashaad Ogun’s cross come shot flashed inches wide of the post. Kent goalkeeper Jack Scott was called into action on 37 minutes when he produced a fine save to deny the dangerous Ogun again. Just before the Interval, Kent had a great chance to take the lead hitting their visitors on the counter attack, with William Powell creating a chance for Perri Iandolo whose shot went narrowly wide. The teams went into the halftime break tied at 0-0.
The second half was barely two minutes old when Essex took the lead from the penalty spot. Obi Molefi converted the spot kick after he’d be upended in the box. Kent reacted superbly to falling behind and within five minutes had levelled the game up. Excellent work by Hamid Ishola saw him take on and beat three defenders and cross for Malik Adekunle to fire the hosts level. Sadly, this was as good as it got for Kent as straight from the kick-off Essex regained the lead courtesy of Sonny Dutton and just a minute later Essex scored again through Rashaad Ogun to give themselves a two-goal cushion. With an hour on the clock, Essex extended their lead when Callum Newson crossed for Obi Molefi to grab his second of the night. Two minutes later Newson got his name on the scoresheet as he struck from distance to send his side into a 5-1 lead. Molefi missed the chance to get his hat trick when Essex were awarded a second penalty of the evening but he put his kick wide of the post. By this point, Kent were down to ten men through injuries and Essex took advantage late on to grab a sixth goal through Teejay Chiororo. Kent finished with nine men following the late dismissal of Barney Halls who collected his second yellow card of the match.
A very disappointing evening but the chance to turn it around comes quickly as this Sunday we host Guernsey FA in the FA County Youth Cup at Chatham Town Football Club, kick off is 2.00pm. Victory would see us face Essex in the second round and a chance to prove last night was a one-off.
Kent Squad: Jack Scott (Whitstable Town FC), Craig Appleby (Faversham Strikeforce FC), Jayden Wilson (Ashford United FC), Malik Adekunle (Bromley FC), Cameron Williams © (Maidstone United FC), Jamie Watson (Bromley FC), William Powell (Bridon Ropes FC), Jacob Gilbert (Maidstone United FC), Hamid Ishola (VCD Athletic FC), Alfie Prior (Ashford United FC), Perri Iandolo (Bearsted FC), Barney Halls (Ashford United FC).