Two goals from Reece Hamsi and a third from Robert Tanner sealed Selhurst FC a Kent Junior C Cup Final triumph against TNS United FC at Maidstone United’s Gallagher Stadium.
After Hamsi netted the opening goal of the game, TNS were level shortly afterwards courtesy of Leonard Tare. But just as TNS looked to get a foothold in the game at the start of the second half, two quick-fire strikes from Hamsi and then Tanner gave Selhurst the cushion that they, to be fair, never looked like losing.
Selhurst grabbed the early advantage when Hashmi did brilliantly on the edge of the box to create some room and as he advanced into the box, the striker gave keeper Charlie Wooton no chance from ten yards.
The lead lasted just minutes however as a free kick into the box saw Dan Weeks superbly denied by the feet of ‘keeper Liam Sallis, but Tare was on hand to blast TNS level.
Selhurst continued to enjoy the better of the opening exchanges – Jordan Tapp stung Wooton’s gloves with a fierce drive from 20 yards; Sid Djennard saw a free kick clip off the defensive wall before Wooton denied him with a fine finger-tipped save from a low skidding drive. Selhurst continued to threaten and thought that they had retaken the lead when Harry Williams’ corner went straight into the net – referee Fitzpatrick rightly though ruled a foul on the TNS ‘keeper.
On the half-hour, Hashmi was magnificently denied by Wooton – the ‘keeper doing brilliantly to deny the striker after Tapp’s fine through ball had split the defence with the striker looking set to round him and roll the ball into the empty net. Robert Tanner was then next to be denied by Wooton – the ‘keeper quickly off his line to block as the half ended with Selhurst in the ascendancy.
And it was an ascendancy that continued at the start of the second half when Hashmi netted a second – battling for possession 25 yards out, the striker did well to get a shot in which was just fractionally out of Wooton’s reach and Selhurst’s lead was restored.
Williams then crashed a shot fractionally too high before Selhurst made it 3-1 before the hour mark. Hashmi was denied his third by a brilliant block before Wooton made another fine save to deny Callum Lansley. The ball though fell to Tanner who volleyed home.
Indeed, such was Selhurst’s dominance in the second half after their third goal, TNS really struggled to make any impression on Sallis’ goal as Reece Cowley and Jake Seager were outstanding at the heart of the defence. With Man of the Match Tapp patrolling magnificently just in front, the cup was heading Selhurst’s way. It was tough on TNS and keeper Wooton in particular for his first half defiance, but on the day the red of Selhurst proved too much.
SELHURST – Liam Sallis, Jay Bateman, Reece Cowley, Jake Seager, Ben Donaldson, Jordan Tapp, Callum Lansley, Sid Djennad, Reece Hashmi, Robert Tanner, Harry Williams
Subs – Kyle Rennock, Liam McEvoy, Ben Camara, Elliot Gibson, Saif Almoussani
TNS UNITED – Charlie Wooton, Toby Teverson-Greig, Harry Baker, Tommy Harman, Joe McDaid, Leonard Tare, Zak Leech, Harry Jeal, Dan Weeks, Reuben McPherson, Conor Hanifan
Subs – Conor Byers, Jai Worley, Nick Tay, Max Gardiner, Rob Taylor
REFEREE – Mr Fitzpatrick
ASSISTANTS – Mr Bone & Mr Peerlesst
FOURTH ASSISTANT – Mr King