The U16's KYL team hosted Maidstone United in the Quarter Finals of the Kent County Cup. Our opponents boasted an impressive record of playing 14 games in all competitions and scoring a total of 59 goals - giving them an average of 4 goals per game. The winners of today’s fixture, would host either Kennington or Bredhurst FC in the Semi Final.
The game commenced at a frantic pace with both teams competing to take control of the midfield area. This was to be a typical cup tie, with whole hearted challenges and end-to-end play. On the 17th minute, Cooper picked up the ball just inside our opponent's half. Darren’s initial piece of skill, took him away from his marker and his strong running and pace saw dazzling Darren drive into the Maidstone penalty area. His cleverly disguised reverse ball, found Della Valle who had pulled away from his defender. Della Valle moved the ball to his right and then dispatched the ball past the outstretched Maidstone goalkeeper and into the back of the net. 1-0
However, on the 30th minute the Oaks defence failed to clear a cross and the ball landed at the feet of a Maidstone striker who levelled the score. 1-1
Shortly after the equaliser, a Maidstone player had to leave the field of play due to a head injury. An ambulance was summoned and we wish the player a quick and speedy recovery. A few minutes later the Oaks goal scorer Della Valle, had to be carried off the pitch with a knee injury. Again we wish Max a speedy recovery. The first half ended 1-1 with it all to play for in the second half.
The second half commenced with Maidstone FC being first to every ball and winning challenges in crucial areas of the pitch. The Oaks conceded an early corner which they failed to clear. Maidstone took full advantage of our defensive frailties and scored to take the lead. 1-2
The Oaks started to look a little tired and passes were going astray and tackles were being missed. Maidstone were on the front foot and Oaks were having to deal with wave after wave of attack. A goal kick from our opponent's keeper saw a free header leave their attacker one on one with our goalkeeper. The result was a cool finish from the Maidstone attacker. 1-3
The Oaks could not regain control of the game and Maidstone began to dominate play. Their hard working midfield were increasing the pressure, with the Oaks attempting to hit their opponents on the break. Maidstone then commenced a break down our right and a speculative cross fell to their striker who guided a free header into the corner of our net. 1-4
On the 77th minute Strachan received the ball on the edge of Maidstone’s penalty area. He jinxed his way past two players before dispatching a powerful shot which our opponent’s keeper pushed away to his left. The ball fell to Sam Wolfe, who wrapped up the scroring with a shot that was so powerful that it almost ripped the goal net from its frame. 2-4
This was always going to be a mouth watering tie between two talented sides and we wish Maidstone United FC all the best in the Semi Final. John Chirnside had a solid debut for the Oaks in midfield and we look forward to playing our opponents again in the league. This was our first competitive game since December and there were signs of some of the great football that we had played in 2015. However, hard work is now required from the whole team and maybe some extra training sessions to bring us back to winning ways. The boys need to stay strong and support each other as there is still a long way to go before the season is complete.