On Saturday, 4th February, Kent FA hosted the U12 Boys and U14 Boys FA Pokémon Futsal Youth Cup Local Qualifying Competition for the county.
The U12 Boys competition kicked things off bright and early at 9 am, with six teams entering the competition. Erith & Belvedere FC, Langton Green CSA, South London Inspire Futsal, JSA Futsal, Tune in 2 Futsal and Gillingham Town FC played a round-robin group stage of five 15-minute games each of futsal across the morning to determine the top two teams to go into the final for a place in the regional stage of the competition which is taking place later in the year.
Langton Green CSA finished the group stage with a perfect record, and South London Inspire Futsal followed closely behind to set up a fantastic final. The final was closely contested, but Langton Green CSA just had the edge and ran out winners to conclude a great morning of futsal and book their place on the regional stage of the competition!
The U14 Boys Competition got underway at 12:30 pm and saw nine teams from six clubs compete for the spot in the regional stage of the competition. South London Inspire Futsal Stoto, South London Inspire Futsal Barnes, JSA Futsal, Canterbury Eagles, Tune in 2 Futsal Yellows, Tune in 2 Futsal Blue, Finest Futsal, Rusthall FC and Rusthall FC UTD competed across two groups with the top 2 in each group progressing to the semi-finals. In Group A, South London Inspire Futsal Stoto came out on top, with Rusthall FC finishing in second place, a point behind. In Group B, Rusthall FC UTD topped the group with maximum points, with South London Inspire Futsal Barnes beating Canterbury Eagles to second place in the group, setting up an all-Rusthall FC semi-final in one side of the draw and an all-South London Inspire Futsal semi-final in the other.
Rusthall FC UTD ran out 7-2 winners against Rusthall FC, whilst South London Inspire Futsal Stoto beat South London Inspire Futsal Barnes with a last-gasp goal to claim a 1-0 win, setting up a highly competitive final. In a tense game with little to separate the two sides, Rusthall FC UTD found a breakthrough halfway through the game to take a 1-0 lead. South London Inspire Futsal Stoto battled to find an equaliser, but Rusthall FC UTD held on to win and book their place in the regional stage of the competition.
Toby Elgar and Rebecca Moore, Kent FA Football Development Officers, said: "We'd like to thank all teams, players, coaches and parents/carers for a fantastic day of futsal! The standard on the day was incredibly high, with some brilliant team play and individual skill on display, and everyone conducted themselves on and off the pitch superbly. Congratulations to Langton Green CSA U12s and Rusthall FC UTD U14s for winning the competitions, and we wish them all the best heading into the regional stages later in the year. We want to thank our fantastic futsal referees for their time and efforts on the day and our hosts, Medway Park.
"We look forward to hosting the girls' competitions back at Medway Park in a few weeks!"