SCSFA match reports
Suffolk lose away to Kent in last 16
SUFFOLK lost 2-0 away to Kent in the round of 16 of the ESFA Under-16 Inter-County Cup.
Despite having a squad of 25 players Suffolk could only muster the bare eleven, with the game at Thamesmead Sports Club on Saturday, April 24th on the brink of being postponed on Friday evening.
The hot temperature came as a bit of a surprise considering how cold it was the previous day in Suffolk and without any substitutes against a strong Kent team, this was always going to be a tough encounter. However, the boys who turned out are of great character, heart and skill, so they were always in with a chance.
In the first few minutes Kent were on top with the signs not looking good, however on eight minutes Ashdon Fowler got behind Kent’s back line and with only the keeper to beat he pulled his shot.
After 13 minutes Suffolk had a quick counter attack with Seth Carroll-Chambers’ shot being saved by the Kent keeper. Carroll-Chambers had another effort saved after 15 minutes before a mis-communication led to Kent going ahead after 16 minutes; Ted Johnson made a great goal line clearance only for the player following up to slot the ball in the back of the net.
This setback would have made lesser players crumble but the Suffolk players’ characters shone through and they battled on.
Kent hit the woodwork from distance a few times and Suffolk goalkeeper Luke Staniforth made a great save from the penalty spot.
The Suffolk back four of Dan Smith, Oliver Hart, Ted Johnson and Brae Smith, with Lewis Woolnough in a holding midfield role showed their determination not to concede any more goals, with Hart making some crucial interceptions and Smith playing in an unfamiliar right back role having a blinder.
The Suffolk team pictured before the match against Kent
Suffolk showed signs of their ability and in spells played some good football, however they looked most dangerous when on the counter attack. The hosts led 1-0 at the interval.
In the second half with the temperature rising and no substitutes Suffolk expected an onslaught. However, Kent failed to produce many moments where you would say they should have scored, this in large part was due to the strength of Suffolk back four doing just about enough.
In the 47th minute a good move led to Liam Pearce having a crack at goal, then Suffolk had a great attack between Fowler and Josh Stephens, and further attacks involving captain Smith, Archie Simpson and Carroll-Chambers all led to shots on goal.
However, a long ball over the top nearly caught the Suffolk defence out but it would appear Kent didn’t have their shooting boots on.
In the 61st minute Stephens had a shot followed by Carroll-Chambers on 63 minutes, unfortunately without either hitting the back of the net.
In the last ten minutes Suffolk changed their formation in an effort to get back in to the game. Without any substitutes to freshen things up, the heat and the effort the players had put in, there was nothing left in the tank and with two minutes to go Kent got their second goal to seal a 2-0 win.
Report by Daniel Hart, U16 team manager