Once again there was plenty of pre-season action this week, here is a round-up of what went down.
Tuesday 18th August
FC Elmstead 6-1 Bromleians
Carshalton Ath 3-1 Beckenham Town
Corinthian 4-2 Cray Wanderers
Deal Town 1-2 Whitstable Town
Fisher 2-1 Epsom & Ewell
Glebe 2-0 Stansfeld
Hackney Wick 2-2 Tower Hamlets
Hollands & Blair 2-2 Hythe Town
Margate 1-4 Sheppey United
Raynes Park Vale 0-1 Croydon
Rusthall 2-4 Herne Bay
SC Thamesmead 4-2 Welling Town
Snodland Town 1-1 Maidstone u23s
Wednesday 19th August
Holmesdale 3-0 VCD Athletic u23s
K Sports -0 Kings Hill
Thursday 20th August
Chatham Town 1-1 Sittingbourne
Chipstead 0-4 Croydon
Lordswood 0-1 Faversham Town
Punjab United v Ilford
Margate FC gave many of us our first view of Sheppey United thanks to an excellently delivered live stream of their game at Hartsdown Park. We were glad they did as Sheppey looked very good in a 4-1 win, ramping up the anticipation of the new season among the Ites fans. New recruit Warren Mfula was the star of the show with two fabulous goals, following a Billy Bennett opener and before a stunning finish from Harrison Carnegie late on. Watch out for Sheppey this year!
SC Thamesmead retained the Ford Cup with a 4-2 win over Welling Town. Although they share Bayliss Avenue this one was played at Cray Wanderers and the change of location did no harm to the Acre who took the trophy thanks to two late goals. Danny Edwards and Chris Hubbard were among the scorers for the SCT but it was a couple of trialists that wrapped the game up.
Two other groundsharers met on Tuesday night too, with Glebe playing Stansfeld at Foxbury. All was even at the break but the introduction of Charlie MacDonald made the difference as he scored both goals in a 2-0 win for Gary Alexander’s side.
Croydon continued to pace their progression through pre-season well with Kieran Dias getting the goal in a 1-0 win at Raynes Park Vale. Another clean sheet in a ‘decent performance’ means that the Trams are looking good for a First Division promotion push this season.
Back in the games involving Premier Division sides there were a couple of Desmonds with Hollands & Blair v Hythe Town and Hackney Wick against Tower Hamlets both finishing 2-2, while at Fisher the fans peaking over the fence saw their side claim a late winner against Epsom & Ewell.
The ‘Kent Manager of the Season’ debate ended in our favour with Michael Golding’s Corinthian getting a 4-2 win over Tony Russell’s Cray Wanderers. The two teams had great campaigns last time and will be hoping for more of the same when we get going again in September.
Not all results went our way though as a few SCEFL teams fell to defeat, albeit against sides from the levels above. Danny Lear and Tommy Lawrence scored for Rusthall in a 4-2 loss at home to Herne Bay, Carshalton Athletic beat Beckenham Town 3-1 and Deal Town led against but then lost to Whitstable Town.
The biggest scoreline of the night went in favour of FC Elmstead as they entertained Kent County side Bromleians. The Broms were hit for 6 as Antonio Gonnella, Dom Weston, Steven Karkari and Gerry Gonnella got among the goals for an on fire Elmstead.
Elsewhere onTuesday night, an Omar El Mantawy goal helped Snodland Town to a 1-1 draw against a young Maidstone side while Crowborough Athletic fell to a 2-0 defeat at Peacehaven.
Just the two games on Wednesday evening but both went our way, without either SCEFL side conceding a goal. A youthful Holmesdale beat VCD Athletic u23’s 3-0 and K Sports won 1-0 at home to Kings Hill.
On Thursday night many of us tuned into the live feed of the Chatham Town v Sittingbourne game and by doing so surely saw a side that will be battling away at the top end of the Premier Division table this Season. The Chats may have only drawn the match 1-1 but they were dominant throughout with their visitors scoring from their only decent attack on goal. It could and should have been more than the solitary goal from Chatham but one it was and that came from a bundled effort by Ryan Hayes following some good work on the right wing by Ike Orji.
Croydon picked up another pre-season win in a strong display at Chipstead. Jubril Adamson and Jack Sims were among the scorers for the Trams in a 4-0 win against their Kent County opponents.
Elswewhere Lordswood went down by a single goal to Faversham Town.