Support the Rainbow Laces campaign

The Kent Youth League is proud to join the Kent FA, Premier League and The Football Association to once again take part in the Stonewall Charity campaign running from 17th November until 2nd December.

The campaign’s purpose is to amplify the conversation around making football inclusive for everyone; whether you are a fan, player, manager, coach or referee.

Please see below ways you can you get involved:

  • Most colourful football session: Take a picture of your rainbow sessions and get it on social media remembering to tag @KentFA  and #RainbowLaces.
  • Most colourful football match day: Challenge your clubs to can get as many rainbows shown during one of the 3 activation weekends (17th/18th November, 24th/25th November or 1st/2nd December).
  • Pledge your support: Get your staff, coaches, managers, players and parents/spectators signing the ‘Let’s make sport everyone’s game’ pledge which can be found in the attached documents.
  • Educate everyone: See below link to Stonewall’s Rainbow laces tool kit which is a brilliant resource you can share with officials, club & league staff, players and parents/spectators to educate on LGBT issues and how to make your club more inclusive:

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/resources/rainbow-laces-sports-tool-kit

Resources available to you:

  • Opportunity to have your badge ‘rainbowed’ for social media purposes via the twibbon using this link (please only do this once the campaign has started on 17th November):
  • You can request an activation pack from The FA by emailing charlotte.richardson@kentyouthleague.co.uk for you to use and share to help with amplifying support for activities.
  • Click here for access to more digital resources to download.

Glebe Youth vs K Sports Youth

Adrian Swan

This was an excellent victory for Glebe against K Sports in the second round of the KitToFit Challenge Cup and although the final result looked comfortable for the home side they were pushed hard throughout by their opponents.

After an even start it was the home side that took the lead on six minutes through a stunning strike from midfielder Zak Emmings, who picking the ball up on the wide left some 30 yards from goal, he cut inside and then unleashed a powerful dipping shot that flew over the outstretched arm of the back pedalling K Sports keeper Nicky Tolhurst into the net.

K Sports tried to hit back immediately with midfielder Charlie Roberts firing in a low drive that flew straight at Glebe keeper Ted McDonald before minutes later Roberts hit a long range free kick that McDonald gathered moving to his left.

A neat pass from Emmings then put Jack Porter in on goal but Tolhurst was quickly off his line to make a good block on the edge of his area.

A mistake in the home box then nearly gifted the visitors an equaliser when an attempted clearance was deflected straight to Jack Ward some 25 yards from goal. He controlled the ball well on his chest before hitting a first time volley that flew narrowly wide of the target. Glebe almost increased their lead on 19 minutes when Oscar Powell did well to win the ball on the edge of the visitors box and run through on goal, but spotting Tolhurst advancing off his line, he tried to chip on the on-rushing keeper but had insufficient height on his shot and Tolhurst was able to make a catch.

After this early excitement the game settled down into a bit of a midfield stalemate.

It was not until the 33rd minutes when there was another real chance of note and that was when K Sports’ Ward hit a swerving shot from wide left of the area that McDonald held moving to his left.

The visitors then pulled level on 39 minutes when Morgan Tasker turned well on the edge of the box and drilled home a low shot that beat McDonald to his left with the ball entering the net off the post.

K Sports then took the lead early in the second half when a Jake Bates corner from the right found the head of Sonny Cook rising highest in the box and although his powerful header beat McDonald high to his left, it rattled the bar sending the ball flying out to where Alex Selntigia was able to tap home from close range.

Glebe then went close to equalising on 56 minutes when McDonald’s long goal kick was headed into the path of Porter who raced through on goal but he hit his low shot too close to Tolhurst who was able to make a close range save.

However minutes later the hosts were level when Powell’s teasing cross from the right was bravely headed home at the far post from close range by a diving Jonas Whitmore low to the right of Tolhurst.

Just after the hour mark Glebe went ahead when Emmings played a free kick onto the run of Porter on the left side of the box and he took a touch before hitting a deft shot from an acute angle that flew across the face of goal, beating Tolhust to his left as the ball found the bottom far corner of the net.

Glebe’s Emmings then scored another spectacular goal as he picked the ball just outside the area and then drifted passed two defenders before calmly slotting the ball home low to the left of Tolhurst.

On 69 minutes the visitors went close to pulling a goal back when Bates whipped in a dipping free kick from wide left of the area that McDonald bravely diving forward managed to parry in the crowded box but the loose ball fell to Sam Newland whose hooked volley flew narrowly over the bar.

Glebe then promptly made it five on 72 minutes when Whitmore’s fierce free kick was parried by Tolhurst into the path of Porter who slotted home from close range.

Minutes later it was nearly six when Whitmore’s right wing cross was turned goalwards by Nathan Agyapong but Tolhurst managed to block his effort with his legs before the ball was cleared to safety.

Emmings then went close to completing his hat trick when he spotted Tolhurst off his line and tried an audacious shot from a 40 yard free kick that saw the ball sail narrowly wide as Tolhurst scrambled back to his goal.

The visitors then went close to reducing the arrears in the final minutes of the game. Selntigia had a low shot flash narrowly wide across the face of goal before on 86 minutes a Roberts free kick from wide left found Cook whose powerful header was well saved by McDonald diving high to his right, turning the ball over for a corner.

It was then the turn of Glebe’s Porter to go close to completing his hat trick when he had two chances late on in the game.

On 90 minutes he got onto the end of Whitmore’s right wing cross to hit a fierce volley that Tolhurst did well to save diving to his left before deep in stoppage time he did well to win the ball in midfield and then race through on goal but his rasping drive was well saved by Tolhurst diving high to his right for a corner.                          

President’s Cup Draw

First Round Draw

Dorking U18 v West Wickham Junior – 19:45 – 22/11/2018     

Three Bridges  v Whyteleafe FC – 19:45 – 30/11/2018   

Chatham Town Youth  v Sittingbourne – 19:45 –  27/11/2018                 

Faversham Town FC v K Sports Colts – 19:45 – 21/11/2018     

Margate FC  v Dover Athletic FC – 19:45 – 02/11/2018                     

Sittingbourne Youth FC  v Bromley – 19:45 – 6/11/2018                   

Cray Valley (PM)  v VCD Athletic FC – 19:45 – 15/11/2018     

Second Round Draw

Glebe U18 V Dorking U18  or West Wickham Juniors U18                                

Three Bridges U18 or Whyteleafe U18  v Cray Wanderers                     

Ramsgate FC U18  v Sittingbourne Red       SITTINGBOURNE WITHDREW – RAMSGATE BYE         

Chatham Town Youth U18 or Sittingbourne U16 v Faversham Town U18 or K Sports Colts U18      

Folkestone  v Margate FC U16 or Dover Athletic FC U18                                  

K Sports Youth v Hollands & Blair – 22/11/2018                    

Sittingbourne Youth U18 or Bromley U18 v Cray Valley (PM) U18 or VCD Athletic FC U18 

Margate FC U18 v Ramsgate FC U16

OCTOBER 2018

OCTOBER 2018

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  • Faversham Town U16s vs Deal Town U16s
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Match Report: West Wickham vs Thamesmead Town

Adrian Swan

West Wickham eventually ran out comfortable winners against visitors Thamesmead Town on a wet and windy day at their Corkscrew Hill ground.

Despite rain falling almost continuously throughout the game, the pitch played very well and an exciting match of attractive football ensued which was well officiated by Referee Paul Agboola.

West Wickham playing down the slope and with the wind at their backs had the first chance of the game on 2 minutes when Ben Mortimer hit a long range shot just wide.

The visitors then took the lead on 6 minutes with their first attack when

Lewis Armstrong raced away down the right before whipping over a low cross that was flicked on by Jerrell Watkins into the path of Ryan Solan who slotted home low to the right of home keeper Louis Youles.

Minutes later it was nearly two when Ben Fridd’s free kick from wide right found the run to the near post of Axel Ahouzan whose glancing header deflected off a defender for a corner.

On 10 minutes West Wickham’s Charlie Smyth played a clever lofted pass onto the run of Tyler Dobson into the box. He showed good control to bring the ball down with his first touch and then with his second send the ball fly low to the left of Mead keeper Jordan Ireson but narrowly wide of the target. Mortimer then tried his luck with another long range shot that flew straight at Ireson.

Mead’s Jack Kelly then had a shot on the turn flash wide before the hosts drew level on 19 minutes through a spectacular goal from Smyth. Picking the ball up on the left edge of the Mead box he hit a rasping drive that flew like an arrow high to the right of the diving Ireson into the top corner of the net.

West Wickham then had a series of corners that the visitors managed to defend until the 25th minutes when Mortimer’s inswinging corner from the left was headed home from close range by Oliver Denham low to the left of Ireson.

Shortly afterwards with the rain having stopped briefly and the sun shining brightly, West Wickham scored their third with another spectacular goal from Smyth.

Receiving the ball just over the half way line he raced forward and then, perhaps spotting Ireson slightly off his line and with the sun in his eyes, he hit a dipping 35 yard shot that flew over the outstretched arm of the back pedalling Mead keeper into the net.

The visitors then reduced the arrears almost immediately scoring just after the half hour mark when Armstrong’s excellent defence splitting pass found the run into the box of the speedy Solan, who outpaced his marker as he raced into the box before neatly tucking the ball home under Youles from close range.

A minute later though West Wickham restored their two goal cushion when another excellent pass from Smyth put Dobson in on goal and he again showed good control before smashing the ball home high to the left of Ireson.

It was nearly five on 35 minutes when Robert Hinkley’s deep cross from wide right found the run of Mortimer to the far post who stretching could only divert the ball into the side netting. The last chance of the first half saw Dobson’s shot on the turn fly just wide.

After the all action first half the second took time to get going as the rain came back with a vengeance.

Unfortunately the first thing to note was on 55 minutes when Mead’s Luke Bollington stretching to make a tackle appeared to twist his knee requiring lengthy treatment.

After a 5 minute delay he had to be carried off the field on a stretcher with an ambulance arriving subsequently to treat him.

Back to the match it was the visitors who then had a good spell with Ahouzan’s through ball on 65 minutes putting Watkins in on goal but Youles, spotting the danger, was quickly off his line to make a good close range block on the edge of his area.

On a day for spectacular goals it was the Mead who got the next one on 71 minutes when Cole Gordon’s fierce 35 yard shot beat Youles high to his right to put the visitors right back into the game.

However any thoughts of a comeback were firmly squashed in the 78th minute when the hosts made it five when Smyth’s free kick was turned home by Mortimer high to the left of Ireson.

Into the final minutes of the game West Wickham scored twice more to put the icing on the cake.

On 87 minutes a neat passing move involving Smyth, Denham and Jonathan Kwakwa saw the latter set up Freddie Yeats to score from close range and then a minute later another deft pass from the impressive Smyth put Mortimer in on goal and he showed good composure to beat two defenders before firing home low to the left of Ireson.

 

Match Report: Homlesdale Youth vs Maidstone United

Adrian Swan

Maidstone United Under 16’s continued their impressive start to the season with their fourth consecutive win defeating hosts Holmesdale 6-1 in the second round of the League Cup.

After an even start to the match it was the home side who had the first chances of the game.

On eight minutes Suhuyini Osman’s through ball had put Dennis Osei in on goal but his fierce shot was well saved by Stones keeper Liam Northwood for a corner.

From this taken by Lucas Torre the ball was cleared out to the edge of the area where Bethel Gboda struck a low effort narrowly wide. The visitors then started to get their passing game going and went close to taking the lead on 16 minutes when the lively Danny Partis made space well on the edge of the box before hitting a low shot that was well saved by Holmesdale keeper Jake Hennis.

Minutes later Hennis made an even better save to thwart Partis, after he had been slipped through on goal by a deft pass from Joshua Strouts, when he dived low to his right to turn the ball out for a corner. From this taken by Strouts the ball fell to Alfie Eyles whose shot on the turn flew just over.

On 22 minutes a great run by Sam Green almost gave Holmesdale the lead when he made a powerful mazy run at the heart of the Stones defence evading at least three tackles and getting through on goal but Northwood, spotting the danger, was quickly off his line to make a good close range block diving low to his left.

A minute later Holmesdale’s Osei hit a long range effort narrowly over before the hosts took the lead on 29 minutes from the penalty spot after Osman having got through on goal was upended by Ike Orji.

Osman took the spot kick himself and was fortunate to score as he scuffed his effort and although Northwood dived the right way low to his left he allowed the ball to bobble over him into the net.

Incidentally this was the first goal the Stones had conceded this season. However the lead did not last long as almost straight from the re-start Charlie Meade’s excellent low cross from the right flashed across the face of goal to the far post where it was tucked home by Bashri Ryan high to the left of Hennis.

Worse was to follow for the home side seconds later as from the kick off the ball was lost to Jack Palmby whose astute through ball put Partis in on goal and he made no mistake firing home low to the left of Hennis.

It was nearly three for the visitors on 39 minutes when Joe Abraham made a good run down the left before whipping over a low cross that Partis fired over.

In added on time at the end of the first half Holmesdale went close to drawing level when Osei made a strong forward run into the box, leaving Orji in his wake, but with only Northwood to beat his low shot flew  just wide of the target.

Early in the second half the speedy Abraham made another good run down the left before sending over a low cross that Meade fired into the side netting. Another good pass from Palmby then sent Abraham free down the left and he raced in on goal but his low shot was saved by Hennis diving to his right for a corner.

However Hennis was powerless to prevent the Stones going further ahead on 51 minutes when Scott Sanders hit a stunning shot from all of 35 yards that flashed home high to the right of the home keeper.

On 53 minutes the Referee Roger Wells, who officiated the match well, played a fine advantage allowing Ryan to continue his run through on goal after he had been fouled but Ryan’s shot flew narrowly wide of the target.

The Referee then booked the offender before restarting play. A minute later another slide-rule pass from Palmby put Partis in on goal but his low shot flew wide of the target. Partis then went even closer on 56 minutes when another fine Palmby pass put him in on goal but this time although his shot beat Hennis to his left the ball hit the post and bounced out to safety.

On 72 minutes Partis did get his second from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the box by Mason Rutherford, converting the spot kick low to the left of Hennis who dived right.

Minutes later Strouts found the run into the box of Meade whose close range shot was blocked by Hennis.

Holmesdale’s George Olayanji then had a close range effort blocked by Northwood before the visitors added two further goals in the final minutes.

On 76 minutes Palmby’s pass put Meade through on goal but as he tried to dribble around Hennis he was fouled resulting in the award of another spot kick.

This was again taken by Partis, who slotted home low to the left of Hennis as the home keeper dived right, to complete his hat trick.

A minute later it was six as another Palmby through ball found the run of Meade who fired home high to the left of the exposed Hennis.

Apply For Rainbow Laces

The Kent Youth League is delighted to announce it will be joining the Kent FA, The Premier League and The Football Association to once again take part in the Stonewall Charity campaign Rainbow Laces.

Taking place Mid-November to early December, the League is inviting Kent Youth League sides to join us by donning their Rainbow Laces to amplify the conversation around making football inclusive for everyone; whether you are a fan, player, manager, coach or referee. 

Any Kent Youth Leagues wishing to take place should register an interest by emailing charlotte.richardson@kentyouthleague.co.uk with the following information.

Club contact name:

  • Club name:
  • Number of laces required:
  • Fixture laces will be worn for:
  • Age group:

Clubs are requested to submit their interest by Friday Thursday 18th October. We apologise for the short turnaround time but this is the deadline requested by The FA.

Under 18s: Holmesdale Youth v Sporting Club Thamesmead

By Adrian Swan

Holmesdale picked up their first league win of the season with an impressive victory against visitors Sporting Club Thamesmead.

They started the game brightly and took the lead after 4 minutes through a superb solo goal from Nathan Lewer-Smith.

Picking the ball up just in the SCT half he raced forward into the box, evading a number of tackles before slotting home low to the right of SCT keeper Nathaniel Ratcliffe.

Holmesdale’s Isacc John was next to make a powerful forward run but his long range shot flew straight at Ratcliffe.

After these early chances the game settled down until the 22 minute when the hosts scored their second goal of the game. William Keene’s corner from the right was met by a towering header from Lewer-Smith that saw the ball rocket home high to the left of the unmoving Ratcliffe into the top corner of the net.

Lewer-Smith might have completed his hat trick minutes later when running onto Omar Belazregue’s clever ball over the visitors back line but with only Ratcliffe to beat he shot straight at the SCT keeper.

Just after the hour Mark Ratcliffe was called into action again making a good save low at his near post to turn out John’s fierce drive after he had made another powerful surging run into the box.

From the corner taken by Keene, Lewer-Smith again got free of his marker but this time his downward header bounced narrowly wide of the left hand post.

The visitors had found it difficult to make inroads against the Holmesdale defence well marshalled by Reece Stevens-King.

However on 40 minutes they went close to reducing the arrears when Jayden Amoako’s curling in-swinging cross from the left saw the ball bounce dangerously across the face of goal, narrowly being missed by the on-rushing Pernel Wood, before hitting Daniel Mamas’s left hand post and flying out to safety.

On 43 minutes Ratcliffe made another good diving save low to his left to keep out Keno Myrie’s shot on the turn but in stoppage time at the end of the first half Holmesdale made it three from the penalty spot.  

John, running onto Belazregue’s through ball, was brought down in the area by Elisha Lawson and he took the spot kick firing home low to the right of Ratcliffe who dived left.

Holmesdale continued to dominate proceedings in the second half and on 53 minutes went close to increasing their lead when Lewer-Smith’s cross field pass found Keene on the edge of the box but his deflected shot was well saved by Ratcliffe diving to his left.

Minutes later Stevens-King made a good interception on the half way line before playing the ball up to Lewer-Smith and continued his run, Lewer-Smith then deftly slipped the ball through into the box for Stevens-King but his shot was defected out for a corner.

Just after the hour mark it might have been four when Keene made a good run down the right before whipping over a low cross that Lewer-Smith turned narrowly wide.

The visitors then pulled a goal back on 67 minutes from the penalty spot after Marley Markham was adjudged to have handled Stephen Oswu’s right wing cross after the ball had hit his arm from close range. The penalty awarded after the referee had consulted the linesman.

Euan Vosper converted the spot kick firing home low to the right of Mamas who dived left.

Shortly afterwards SCT nearly scored again after Vosper’s right wing cross found Wood whose close range header was blocked by a defender, the loose ball falling to Amoako who had his close range shot well blocked by Mamas before Samuel Coulibaly had his follow up shot deflected out for a corner.

However having survived this melee in their box the hosts made sure of the points scoring twice in the final minutes of the game.

On 81 minutes Belazregue’s through ball found the run into the box of Keene whose powerful shot on the turn flashed to the left of Ratcliffe striking his left hand post before flying into the net. Minutes later it was five when Keene’s through ball found the run of Franco Obi and he neatly slotted the ball home low to the right of Ratcliffe.

Under 18s: Phoenix Sports versus Holmesdale

By Adrian Swan

Phoenix Sports Youth 3 v 1 Holmesdale Youth 1-0 Mills (66) (pen), 1-1 Obi (68), 2-1 Alymer (70), 3-1 Birch (72).

On a bright Sunday morning Phoenix Sports maintained their perfect start to the season by winning their third league game against a battling Holmesdale side. This match was a good advert for the Kent Youth League with both sides trying to play attractive passing football on the lush grass surface.

After an even start it was the home side who had the first chance of the game on 9 minutes when a flowing passing move saw Harry Cottey do well to win the ball in midfield before racing forward and laying the ball out to Harry Alymer on the right of the area.

His low cross was well controlled by Joseph Stowell with his back to goal but he then turned and hit a low shot that flew narrowly wide of Holmesdale keeper Daniel Mamas’s right hand post Holmesdale’s powerful midfielder and captain Omar Belazregue then made space well before hitting a long range effort that flew straight at home custodian Bobby Mortlock.

Phoenix then thought they had taken the lead on 27 minutes when another swift passing move saw Stowell play the ball up to Alymer who then found the forward run of Stowell on the right of the box. His low cross flew across the face of goal to the far post where George Jardine slotted home high to the right of Mamas but it was disallowed for offside.

Just after the half hour mark Holmesdale’s Belazregue again tested Bobby Mortlock with another long range shot that he gathered well diving full length to his right.

After this both sides probed for openings but the respective defences held firm and the first half ended goalless. Phoenix started the second half brightly and went close to opening the scoring when David Jones dinked the ball forward onto the run of Billy Mills whose shot from an acute angle flashed just wide across the face of goal.

Minutes later Mills had another powerful shot deflected over for a corner as Phoenix pressed for the lead.

The hosts finally made the breakthrough on 65 minutes when Jones played the ball into Alymer in the box and his clever sharp turn caught out Reece Stevens-King who brought him crashing to the ground for a penalty. This was coolly dispatched by Mills low to the left of Mamas who dived right.

Amazingly having waited almost 3/4 of the game for the first goal the second came immediately as Holmesdale equalised straight from the re-start.

William Keene threaded the ball through a static home defence onto the run of Obi who neatly tucked the ball home low to the left of the advancing Bobby Mortlock.

Holmesdale’s talismanic captain and holding midfielder Belazregue then limped off causing a re-arrangement in the visitor’s line up.

Shortly afterwards Phoenix restored their lead with a superbly taken goal from Alymer, who receiving the ball on the edge of the box took a touch before hitting an exquisite curling shot that flew home high to the left of the diving Mamas into the top corner of the net.

Mills then had a shot well saved by Mamas for a corner from which Phoenix made it three when Daniel Birch powerfully forced the ball home at the near post to make it four goals in a mad 6 minute spell.

It was nearly four for the hosts minutes later when Billy Hallly won the ball on the edge of his own box and went on a surging run upfield before playing in Mills on the right of the area and his fierce low shot brought out a good diving save from Mamas at his near post.

Holmesdale’s Keene then showed good skill to fire in a half volley from the edge of the box that Bobby Mortlock held well.

Into the final 10 minutes of the match another good passing move from Phoenix might have produced another goal when Stowell played the ball into Oliver Smith who in turn found the run into the box of Kieran McMillan but he dragged his shot wide of the target when well placed.

The last chance of the game on 88 minutes was for the visitors when Nathan Lewer-Smith’s right wing cross fell to an unmarked Husnu Can at the far post but he also pulled his shot wide of goal when well placed. The game was played in a very good spirit and well officiated by Matt Charles, ably assisted by his linesmen Jonathan Gage and Andy Brown.

Mention should also be made of the excellent behaviour from both benches who shouted positive encouragement to their sides throughout.

SEPTEMBER 2018

SEPTEMBER 2018

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  • Maidstone United vs Ashford United
  • Stagecoach Launch
  • Phoenix Sports 18s v Holmesdale 18s
  • Margate versus Folkestone
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Under 18 Premier North: Greenwich Borough versus Phoenix Sports

Under 18 Premier North: Greenwich Borough versus Phoenix Sports

By Adrian Swann

Greenwich Borough Youth 2 v 5 Phoenix Sports Youth
0-1 Main (8), 0-2 Maynard (9), 1-2 Ayodele (13), 2-2 Assi (22),
2-3 Main (25), 2-4 Main (27) (Pen), 2-5 Middleton (52).

Phoenix Sports opened the season with an excellent victory away at Greenwich Borough.

After an even start Phoenix stunned their hosts with two quick goals within a minute.

On 8 minutes Harry Main opened the scoring with a superb goal after making space well wide on the right, he hit a curling 30 yard shot that flew over the outstretched arm of Greenwich keeper Frankie Barbieri into the top right hand corner of the net.

Then a minute later Main’s floated corner from the left found the run of Teddy Maynard ghosting into the box unmarked at the far post and he scored with a powerful close range header high to the left of Barbieri.

Although suddenly finding themselves two down early on Greenwich were not undaunted and halved the deficit on 13 minutes with a slick passing move. Kairhen Quintos’s defence splitting pass found the run into the box of Alaine Assi who had his close range shot well blocked by Phoenix keeper Harry Hepworth, who was quickly off his line to narrow the angle, but the loose ball fell to Ayomide Ayodele who fired home low to the left of Hepworth.

On 18 minutes Greenwich went close to drawing level when Bernny Brito hit a 25 yard free kick that drifted narrowly wide of the target and shortly afterwards they went close again when Ayodele made a surging run into the box before laying the ball off to Brito whose shot on the turn was well saved by Hepworth diving low to his left.

However on 22 minutes the hosts pressure finally paid off as another superb pinpoint pass from Quintos found the run into the box of Assi who neatly slotted home low to the right of Hepworth.

Having got back into the game Greenwich then gifted the visitors the lead on 25 minutes when a high ball into the box saw Connor Walsh try and head the ball back to his keeper but his effort fell short allowing Main to nip in and poke the ball home low to the left of Barbieri.

Unfortunately for Greenwich another defensive error allowed Phoenix to restore their two goal cushion on 27 minutes when a dipping cross into the box was fumbled by Barbieri, the ball falling to Solar Weerdmeester who was then brought down by Barbieri in attempting to gather the loose ball and a penalty was awarded. Main stepped up and confidently dispatched the spot kick home low to the left of Barbieri who dived right, to complete a 19 minute hat trick.

Phoenix almost made it five on 34 minutes when Harry Wright hit a fierce 40 yard drive that brought a fine save out of Barbieri diving full length to his right to turn the ball out for a corner.

On 40 minutes Greenwich midfielder Bruno Mical Silva Souza made a good run into the box evading several tackles before having his low shot saved by Hepworth diving to his left.

The action the quickly switched to the other end with Ben Middleton making a good run down the left before cutting into the box and hitting a fierce drive that Barbieri saved well diving high to his left for a corner.

Just before half time Greenwich twice went close to scoring. Firstly Ayodele made a strong run down the right before cutting into the box and hitting a powerful shot that flew straight at Hepworth. Then Brito’s clever pass put Assi in on goal but Hepworth was quick to react and made a good close range block to deny the Greenwich winger.

Phoenix made it five early in the second half with a route one goal as Ryan Debenham’s lofted pass was headed on by Dean Neary into the path of Middleton who scored with an assured finish neatly tucking the ball home high to the left of the exposed Barbieri.

On 58 minutes Phoenix went close to increasing their lead when Middleton’s right wing cross was only cleared to the edge of the box where Weerdmeester hit a controlled volley straight at Barbieri. Both sides then made a number of substitutes which meant that play became a bit scrappy.

However on 68 minutes the hosts were unlucky not to reduce the arrears when Souza made a good run down the left before cutting into the box and hitting a rasping dipping shot that beat Hepworth high to his left but rattled the bar and flew over. After this few clear cut chances were created as both defences stood firm.

On 82 minutes Godfred Adjei had a long range effort fly just over for Greenwich before in stoppage time Main got onto the end of a Victor Sonnah through ball but his shot flew narrowly over.

All aboard for the new season!

Thousands of young footballers across Kent kick-started their seasons playing in the Kent Youth League on Sunday afternoon.

To mark the occasion, the county’s leading youth league teamed up with sponsors Stagecoach South East to gift each of the 199 League teams with a free Nike football.

Stagecoach South East is part of the Stagecoach Group and is one of the main bus operators in Kent.

They operate local bus services across the county and their services play an important role in helping people in rural and urban areas access work, education, health, shopping and leisure.

Thanks to Stagecoach’s generous support, each League team received their football ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. Including Margate FC and Folkestone Invicta Under 14s who came together before their game at Hartsdown Park.

Kent Youth League Chief Executive, Ken Brooke expressed both his delight and gratitude to Stagecoach.

“I am delighted to confirm an initial one-year sponsorship deal with Stagecoach for season 2018-19. Stagecoach have kindly agreed to purchase a Nike match ball for each team in the League which is a great idea to support all clubs and teams across the County.”

“Stagecoach are celebrating 25 years as a business in the county and I would like to thank Matthew and his excellent marketing team for making this possible. It is fantastic recognition for the League.”

Stagecoach Commercial Director, Matthew Arnold added;

“In the wake of an historic world cup effort from England, nothing unites and inspires people like the game of football.”

“The Kent Youth League is a fantastic endeavour which brings young people together, empowering them in their communities to achieve.”

“At Stagecoach we’ve been serving Kent’s communities for 25 years and we’re excited to have the opportunity to sponsor the League for the 2018-19 season, providing a match ball for each of the 199 teams across the county.”