Football match report - Year 9 Kent Cup

TeamDane Court Grammar School 3 - 0 Welling School

There are many uncertainties in life, the price of oil and David Beckham's hairstyles being examples, but, like death and taxes there is an inevitability about the performance of the Year 9 football team. As they took the field on Saturday against Welling School they faced another test of their character and ability and they rose to the challenge once more. The pleasingly large crowd of supporters witnessed another display of confidence matched by enduring effort which concluded with a comfortable 3-0 victory. The dream of retaining the Kent Cup is still very much alive after six rounds of increasingly skilful opponents and the ultimate test awaits against the very strong Hurstmere School from Sidcup.

From the start the semi final looked a cagey affair with neither side risking too much in search of early goals, preferring to keep a good team shape and defensive stability. Whilst both sides looked well organised it was Dane Court who dominated possession, which left the Welling midfield chasing the ball. It took some time for this dominance to translate into real pressure on their back four who initially dealt well with our early forays. But when Foster and McGuirk started to supply our wide men with passes in space the Welling defence looked more shaky. With the tireless Mileham hounding the centerbacks and linking with Paxman and Yogendran in turn the Welling penalty area was becoming a busy place. After seeing a Jordan effort well saved by the keeper Dane Court took the lead via an oft used conduit. Yogendran was released down the right flank and beat his fullback on the outside, his early drilled delivery perfectly placed between the keeper and onrushing forwards. However, it was the retreating defender who got the final touch to slot an unavoidable own goal into the corner of the net. This goal brought a further easing of tension and we finished the half in the ascendancy.

At the interval the team talk focussed upon a reassertion of our objectives and an exhortation to produce more of the same. With our defensive line playing with an increasing degree of cohesion Welling were offered very little opportunity to get on the scoresheet and although they remained a threat it was only in their potential rather than in actuality. Downer and Ives were enjoying confident games at full back and Holden and Adams displayed calm assurance in dealing with the Welling forwards and Henry Tucker was relatively untroubled in goal.

Early in the second period Todd Jordan struck a beauty into the far corner only to have his effort calked off for offside but the water was flowing downhill towards the Welling goal inexorably. Wave upon wave of attacks were repelled but the keeper must have felt like King Canute on Deal beach as the rising tide consumed him. Ten minutes into the second half Paxman was fouled near the corner flag. The resulting free kick was initially cleared but Mileham hustled the defenders again and a poor clearance fell to Tom McGuirk on the edge of the D, as the defender closed he shifted right and sent his shot into the top corner of the net. Tom's goalscoring exploits of last year have been curtailed somewhat by a change in his role within the team this season but this was a welcome and fully deserved goal for him and us. An onslaught ensued with Holden twice missing golden but split-second chances before subs Cohen and Cook combined to deliver an opportunity for Jordan to strike another beauty into the bottom right hand corner. This is the seventh consecutive game he has scored and another one in the final is our hope.

Welling threw men forward but their attacks floundered upon the rocks of Holden and the inspirational Adams. At the final whistle we enjoyed the victory, recognising what the effort and control had brought us. One more tough test to go, one more heads up, feet on the ground effort to hopefully deliver our stated aim. We hope we can be good enough on the day but we know the commitment will be there.

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