Match Report: Kent FA v Jersey FA

Adrian Swan

Kent FA Youth 4 v 0 Jersey FA Youth

1-0 Kingsford (50) (pen)), 2-0 Ishola (70), 3-0 Kingsford (88), 4-0 Isola (89).

Kent maintained their perfect start in this year’s South East Counties ‘under 18’ Youth Championship with an excellent win against previously unbeaten visitors Jersey to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the knock out round of the competition.

Despite the recent wet weather the 3g pitch at Sevenoaks Town was in fine condition and played well throughout.

The first half was a tight cagey affair with not much to choose between the teams but a few tweaks from the Kent management at half time meant that Kent dominated the second half for long periods and ran out worthy winners.

It was the visitors who had the first shot on target on 4 minutes when Thomas Harris fired in a 30 yard shot that Kent keeper Ben Folkard took comfortably. Minutes later Kent’s Freddie Entwistle tried his luck from a similar distance but his shot whistled over the bar.

Kent might have taken the lead on 14 minutes when another fierce drive from Entwistle deflected off a Jersey defender into the path of Ryan Kingsford who with only Jersey keeper Josh Jehan to beat dragged his shot wide of the target.

After this the game settled down to a bit of a midfield stalemate. Jersey then had a couple of chances on the half hour mark when firstly Sol Solomon curled a 25 yard free kick over the home defensive wall that Folkard moving to his right was able to claim before Harris made a strong forward run at the heart of the Kent defence evading a couple of tackles before hitting a low shot that flew narrowly wide of the target.

Just before half time Kent also had a couple of chances from left wing corners taken by Jacob Gilbert, the first of which was pulled back to the edge of the box where Harrison Pont volleyed wide and the second sent deep to the far post where a stretching George Porter could only turn the ball over.

Kent started the second half brightly and were awarded a penalty on 49 minutes when Pont’s run into the box was halted when he was up-ended by James Sunley.

Kingsford took the spot kick firing home low to the right of Jehan, who dived the correct way but was beaten by the power of the shot.

The hosts almost made it two shortly afterwards when Gilbert’s free kick from wide right found Pont rising highest in the box but his towering header was held by Jehan high above his head.

Another  fine Gilbert delivery from a right wing corner then picked out Cameron Williams whose header flew straight at Jehan.

Just after the hour mark the Jersey defence were giving their first indication of the searing pace of debutant Hamid Ishola when he raced through onto Pont’s lofted pass over the visitors back line, easily outpacing the covering central defenders, as he made his way into the box and although his low shot beat the advancing Jehan to his left it ran just the wrong side of the post.

Minutes later Entwistle’s pass found Ishola down the left and he again engaged the after burners as raced away from the covering defenders into the box but this time Jehan was quickly off his line and managed to make a good close range block for a corner.

Jersey’s Solomon then made space well on the edge of the box before drilling a low shot narrowly wide before Kent got their second on 70 minutes with a fine solo goal from Ishola. Picking the ball up on the half way line he pushed it beyond his marker and raced through on goal, leaving several desperate Jersey defenders in his wake, before calmly slotting home low to the right of the advancing Jehan.

It was now all Kent as they pushed their dispirited visitors back. Entwistle’s left wing cross found Kingsford in the box but his header flew over before Kingsford tried his luck with a curling free kick from wide left of the area that Jehan saved moving to his right.

The icing was then put on the cake for Kent as they scored twice in the dying minutes.

On 88 minutes Scott Jarvis’s free kick from the half way line found Kingsford in the box and rising highest he scored with a trade mark centre forwards header guiding the ball back across goal and home low to the left of Jehan.

Then a minute later it was four as Beau Landau’s through ball put Ishola  in on goal and although Jehan managed to block his initial shot on the edge of his area, the ball spun up and Ishola off balance then showed great skill and awareness to hook the bouncing ball over the stranded keeper into the net.