On a wet and miserable evening, Town stepped onto the pitch for the first time in nearly four weeks and it showed. A goal down midway through the first half, the defence was having problems coping with their best player, the midfield couldn’t control the ball, and the forwards wasted any chances that came their way. Still, there was another 45 minutes to go.
A two-goal deficit isn’t insurmountable but it makes it pretty hard, and within 60 seconds of the restart that’s the task we faced. We then managed to cause the hosts a few problems, not least when a free kick thumped against the base of a post and bounced to safety. The travelling support was given something to cheer when Jim dispatched a penalty, the only person not mystified by its award being the referee. Soon after, a third from Fisher knocked us back down the slope but Kieran put us back in contention once more. It wasn’t to be and we suffered our first league defeat of the season.
Team: Toby Wood, Tom Webb, Kari Creed, Justin Howard, Kehinde Mosaku, Leon Iloghalu, Jamie Ades, Dan King, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Kieran Oliver, James Amey-Drew, Dom Wood, Bradley Weston, Jake Stebbeds, Ben Lawrence. ....................................................... 10.11.12 | FA Youth Cup 2nd Rnd Proper
Colchester United 8
Faversham Town 1
(Scorer for the Lilywhites: Kehinde Mosaku)
Of the 24 Kent clubs that entered the FA Youth Cup, being the sole survivor, we carried the county flag into the second round proper, which is an achievement in itself, as it’s probably fair to say the Lilywhites tend not to progress this far too often (at least 30 years so the records suggest) So, after the last ‘biggest game they’ve ever played’ came this one; a tie against Colchester United.
An early afternoon Saturday kick-off, a supporters coach; a match day programme and tannoy announcements; £7 admission and expensive burgers and tea. The only thing missing were the Sky cameras. That was all pre kick-off. Unfortunately, we were then given a footballing lesson. The hosts were two up within 17 minutes and we had struggled to get out of our half. That all changed on the half hour when a breakaway resulted in a corner, which went out for a throw in, the ball being sent back into the area. A shot from the right side was parried by their goalie and Kehinde was there for the rebound. We were then a whisker away from grabbing another when a cross skimmed across the area just eluding our onrushing forwards. Ten minutes later, United had scored two more and it was rather a steep uphill task from then on, a task made nigh on impossible shortly after the restart when we conceded a fifth. To our credit, though we knew the game was over by then, the team never gave up and maybe another three goals in six minutes was a bit of an injustice. Toward the end, a free kick was bent round the defending wall and the Colchester ’keeper pulled off a superb save to deny us a second. A header then thumped against the bar and that was it.
Yes, we were well beaten but it’s no disgrace to lose to a far superior team (and the two clubs are five divisions apart in the football pyramid). Congratulations to all the players.
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Kari Creed, Justin Howard, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Kieran Oliver, James Amey-Drew, Josh Holness, Dom Wood, Bradley Weston, Toby Wood, Will Davis, Jake Stebbeds, Ben Lawrence, Samson Maagbe.
In a frantic final 60 seconds, defenders flung themselves in front of the ball, debutant goalie Toby produced a stunning save and our opponents piled into the penalty area in a desperate attempt to grab an equaliser as the ball ricocheted all over the place. At the end of that excitement, the Lilywhites had regained pole position in the table after a hard match against the Stones in a game in which we can claim to be somewhat fortunate. As it was, the Stones got no satisfaction from throwing everything at us in the last fifteen minutes.
Before all that, however, we more or less dominated the first half but had to be satisfied with a single goal lead going into the break. In the 44th minute, Liam latched onto a long cross-field pass, controlled it, outpaced a defender and gave the ’keeper no chance. Preceding that opening goal, we were getting round the back of their defensive line but, much to everyone’s dismay, the artificial surface meant the ball was running away from the forwards. It was still an advantage at half time, a position that was doubled within 90 seconds of the restart. As the ball found its way to Kieran, everyone appeared to stop, believing him to be offside. To the consternation of the home support, the linesman kept the flag down, he shrugged his shoulders and added to the score.
Spurred on by what they considered to be an aberration (and how spectators on the halfway line can claim a player is offside when in the penalty area is beyond me), Maidstone began causing us problems, especially when they reduced the arrears. We rode our luck at bit during that second half, none more so than when a yellow shirted forward found himself with just the goalkeeper between him and the goal; a target he somehow contrived to miss. Then came that frenetic finale.
Sitting top of the league with games in hand, and with a record of ten wins and a draw in the eleven matches played so far, it’s been an encouraging start to the season. Tonight’s victory was also retribution for the first team being beaten by the same opponents on Saturday.
Team: Toby Wood, Tom Webb, Ben Lawrence, Kari Creed, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Samson Magaabe, Jim Coppins, Kieran Oliver, Bradley Weston, Will Davis, Josh Holness.
With the incentive of a second round glamour tie at Colchester United awaiting the winner, we hosted Sevenoaks Town in a first round FA Youth Cup tie for the privilege of travelling to Essex (and how often has that been said about the youth team?). It was probably the biggest game most had played in to date and a decent crowd of 114 gathered to watch. (And for all those first timers, especially the two standing behind the goal at the covered end, you now know it’s worthwhile coming along.)
The opening minutes were a bit of cat-and-mouse with both teams sizing up their opponent and it was the visitors that took up the initiative and gained a couple of corners along with a few attempts on goal that, fortunately, didn’t trouble our goalie. Truth be told, Sevenoaks probably enjoyed most of the early possession but couldn’t produce anything of significance. Down the other end, we managed to get beyond their defence but nothing came of it until a shot was deflected for a corner. It was sent over, Taiwo leapt highest, got a good header in and the ’keeper could only help the ball on its way into the top corner.
The game was then held up for 15 minutes or so when the referee sustained an injury. A replacement linesman was found, the match restarted and the visitors equalised. Despite two fine saves in succession from Zach, he couldn’t make it three and they drew level. Towards the end of the first half, some nifty footwork by Kieran meant the Lilywhites went into the break ahead.
Town saw the majority of the ball in the second half, though once or twice Sevenoaks came close to parity to show they were dangerous and still very much in the game. It was going to be a close match. A shot came in, the ball was deflected on the line for a corner, which nearly brought a third goal as an opportunity then took a lick of paint from a post. Another goal would let the hosts breathe more easily and when it arrived, it was a beauty. Liam ran down the left and crossed only for the ball to be too high but lurking on the edge of the area was Josh, who ran in and volleyed it high into the net from ten yards. Applause all round and it wasn’t long before three became four when Jim sent their goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot. Sevenoaks then saw a chink of light when they grabbed a second but we held out for the final ten minutes and deserved their victory.
When this cup competition started, manager Kevin said, “If we win tonight, we play Tooting in the next round and after that who knows…” Well, now he does know; win at Colchester and the club entertain Chelsea!
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Ben Lawrence, Kari Creed, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Josh Holness, Jim Coppins, Kieran Oliver, Bradley Weston, Taiwo Mosaku, Will Davis, Samson Maagbe, Toby Wood.
Played at their Buzzlines Stadium, a first round tie in the Lucas Fettes Cup matched us with Folkestone Invicta, a team against whom we had already scored double figures in August, albeit in a friendly, so hopes of another victory was high on the agenda.
Not a game to live in the memory, the gloom in which it was contested wasn’t just down to the mist but also a floodlight being out of operation, something that actually made it easier to see in that part of the ground, as the lights were not reflecting the thin fog. As the second half wound its way to a close, also gloomy was the away contingent as we were losing to a tenth minute goal and heading for a first defeat of the season.
However, one thing of which this team is capable is scoring goals. It wasn’t until the match was well into its last quarter that we started causing Invicta problems. A shot thumped against a post, the rebound was well saved; a header was scrambled from the line; their goalie gratefully pounced on the ball as it was on its way into the net; a further header was inches over. To the relief of those who mad the trip down the M20, Samson then managed to get a foot to a cross and grab an equaliser. Sixty seconds later, a corner from the right was punched out by the ’keeper, the ball hit a Town player on the back and Tom stuck out a leg to send the rebound over the line. Subsequently, the irate goalkeeper then chased the substitute referee around the pitch believing he had been fouled in the process of us scoring. There was just enough time for the hosts to restart the game.
A second round tie against unknown opponents awaits; just don’t leave it until the 89th and 90th minutes to score. A school of thought suggests taking the lead in the final minute gives the opposition no time to recover and whilst this is true, it’s no good for nerves.
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Kari Creed, Ben Lawrence, Kehinde Mosaku, Bradley Weston, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Dom Wood, Josh Holness, Samson Maagbe, Will Davis, Tom Webb, Liam Stone, Jamie Ades, Toby Wood.
The third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup saw Bognor Regis visit Salters Lane, the winners progressing through to the first round proper for a match against either Welling United or Sevenoaks. Having served up the worst 25 minutes of football this season, we held a single goal lead going into the last ten minutes. When Liam gave Town the lead after skipping over a heavy challenge to beat the advancing goalie and a fine solo goal from Kieron followed soon after (he also thumped a shot against the bar early in proceedings), it all looked rosy at half time for the Lilywhites.
The second half was a complete turnaround. Passes went astray, tackles were lost and it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors got back into the game, which they did on the hour from the penalty spot. Indebted to their poor crossing, we were hanging on to that slender advantage until Dan side footed home from 20 yards to give us some breathing space. The home support exhaled as one when Samson won the ball out on the right to give Josh the opportunity to make it safe, the away contingent bemoaned their luck and the three watching scouts put away their notebooks. Bognor grabbed a second straight from the restart but time had run out. We’re fortunate that the giddy heights of that first round awaits.
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Ben Lawrence, Kari Creed, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Josh Holness, Jim Coppins, Kieron Oliver, Bradley Weston, Taiwo Mosaku, Dom Wood, Samson Maagbe, Justin Howard.
After the euphoria of the previous Thursday, league action resumed with the visit of a Ramsgate team languishing at the bottom of the table. Though the visitors had three corners within the opening two minutes, that was the only time they threatened in the first half. The opening goal may have taken a while, a smart side footed strike by Samson after Liam bamboozled their defence, but from then on it was one-way traffic, and that same player doubled both his own and our tally before half time.
As much as they tried, and credit them for not giving up, the visitors struggled to get out of their own half and it was no surprise when Samson headed in a third from a corner. Kieron got the fourth from 20 yards before Samson bought the place down with another, having his hand trodden on in the process. (The sole supporter who started singing ‘Delilah’ wasted his time, as the reference appeared lost amongst the other spectators.) Jake met another corner full on and his powerful header gave the goalie no chance, his celebration leaving the impression that he was quite pleased to have scored. His brother Zach then made a fine save to ensure a clean sheet and it was left for Will to react quickest to pounce on a rebound and complete the scoring.
By no means a vintage performance, and the game over as a contest quite early in the second half, our biggest win to date, and the league’s biggest so far, meant we moved back to the summit. With 20 goals in just four home matches, I told you it was worth getting down here and handing over your £2. (As a side note, of the 18 games played in our division so far, we have the two biggest victories.)
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Jake Stebbeds, Justin Howard, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Kieran Oliver, Samson Maagbe, Will Davis, Josh Holness, Dom Wood, Bradley Weston.
Two minutes from time, Town were staring at not only a first defeat but also elimination at the second qualifying round stage in this season’s FA Youth Cup. The travelling support was resigned to a silent journey home. Well, they were until Kieron managed to poke home an equaliser that is, which caused a hasty reopening of the tea bar. Earlier, South Park had themselves equalised three times before taking a deserved second half lead in a game in which we served up possibly our worst football of the season to date. Regardless of that, Josh put the Lilywhites in front after 27 minutes; Will then regained the lead only for the home side to bring it back to parity just as the first 45 minutes were up.
Had the aberration of missing two one-on-ones with their goalie not occurred, the match would have been over at that point. As it was, Josh put his team back in front once more but Park drew level from the 12-yard spot then went ahead for the first time. Everyone thought that was it until that fourth goal went in. Even then it wasn’t over, as, with literally the last kick, Dan hit the post and the ball spun along the line.
Extra time and, while we had the upper hand, we couldn’t break them down although Taiwo shot against an upright and the crowd watched the ball spin across the vacant goalmouth for a second time. That was it and the dreaded penalty shoot-out began. With eight successful penalties well taken, the home side’s fifth nestled in the netting behind the goal. Our fifth also nestled in some netting, but in the back of the goal! South Park was sportingly applauded off the field.
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Kari Creed, Ben Lawrence, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Kieran Oliver, Josh Holness, Will Davis, Dom Wood, Bradley Weston.
Reigning Champions and current second placed Corinthian visited Salters Lane on Monday night and departed smarting from a 5-1 defeat. Whilst not a vintage performance, three points and another hatful of goals meant the Lilywhites ended the evening looking down on the rest of the teams in the division. Things may had been different had Kari not headed out a cross from under the bar early in the first half, but as it was Town went on to dominate the game with Liam opening the scoring in the ninth minute following a very swift counter attack. The goal tally was doubled five minutes later from 12 yards courtesy of Jim after a surge into the box came to an end which contravened Law 12. With Zach pacing his own area to give him something to do, Kieran latched onto a smart ball into the middle from Dan and took it round the prone goalie for number three. That there were still 20 minutes of the half to go made many think more goals were to come. The home support had to wait.
The visitors saw a glimmer of hope when they pulled a goal back but any thoughts they had of gaining a share of the points were extinguished when Liam beat the advancing ’keeper and desperate defender to the ball to slide in the fourth. To keep his goal-a-game ratio intact, Taiwo headed in the final goal of the night from a delightful cross out on the left. Credit the opponents for battling to the end even though they realised it was a lost cause. If we can win comfortably playing in third gear, some exciting games lay ahead when we reach cruising speed.
The only downside was two silly yellow cards, though those cautioned may have simply been giving the female referee their number for later. Also cause for concern was the attendance of just 43. If those reading this want to watch some great football with plenty of goals and excitement, pay your £2 and come along. Having played five, won four, drawn the other and averaged four goals a game, leave the telly and get down here for some real Monday Night football. You won’t be disappointed!
Team: Zach Stebbeds, Tom Webb, Kari Creed, Justin Howard, Kehinde Mosaku, Jamie Ades, Liam Stone, Dan King, Jim Coppins, Taiwo Mosaku, Kieran Oliver, James Amey-Drew, Josh Holness, Dom Wood, Bradley Weston, Tom Barnes.
League and Cup Fixtures:
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