Jets 2016 - 2017

Sunday April 30th, KYL Under 15 south

Langton Green 4 - 0 Kennington (Watkins 2, O'Shea, Manuel)

The season ended as it began, at home, at the Rec. As the boys grow ever larger what once felt a huge pitch now feels rather smaller, but it remains home, and will always be home to great memories, for as long as they live. Having ended two fantastic seasons with tears and 2-2 draws, there was a determination to end a more roller coaster season in some style. This would not be helped by the absence of Anton (overseas) and Jack, sadly still injured and therefore unable to add to his league leading goal tally.

The resilience shown when Jack was injured out of last week's game would be needed again. This time Ben lined up as the sole striker, supported by Tom and Dec. Harry moved up into the midfield for the first time all year, whilst Toby handed the gloves to Gus, and took his place in the back 4.

The wind blew down the hill, and the Kennington keeper had been landing drop-kick bombs most of the way down the field in the warm up, so whilst Harry was given license to attack more than ever before, it was handy to have a surfeit of centre backs for those situations. With him, Toby, Nathan and Ben, all lined up to deal with the problem, what might have been an aerial threat was largely nullified. Going forward the dry bouncy pitch made neat passing difficult - moves would break down even without defensive interventions. Declan curled a shot onto the bar, James saw a shot smuggled onto the post by the diving keeper, and Ben didnt make the best use of a brilliant scoop-pass from James. Three good chances. At the other end the biggest problems were posed from corners, of which there were several. Angus was very assured in dealing with the aerial ball, and the moments passed safely, and half time arrived without goals.

0-0 can be deceptive. In the conditions it was like being up a break of serve, with every likelihood of the game being taken to Kennington for the final 40 minutes of the season. To reinforce that intent the Jets went to 3 at the back (Toby, Nathan, Ben) and pushed Declan higher in support of BenW. The tone was set very early as James sent Ben away on the left and his pace into the box made a lunging tackle too much of a risk; Ben opened his body to shoot right-footed from the left and the deadlock was broken. It was a lead that always looked likely to be added to rather than protected. It almost happened with the best move of the match, Nathan chipping forward, Ben back-flicking to Declan, to square to George, alone at the penatly spot. His shot produced one of the best saves we saw all season. Missing the chance felt a little more meaningful soon after when Declan picked up a nasty cut over the eye, and needed repairs. Matt limped on to put in another painful shift - despite terrible luck with injury this season only he and BenW played in every game; a credit to his desire to do whatever he could to help the side. 

Whilst Dec was being patched up Matt put in some dangerous corners and free kicks that almost brought the second goal. It finally came as Ben burst through and delivered an accomplished finish across the keeper. Like Anton the week before, when given responsibility to lead the line he delivered the goals needed. Thereafter the result was not in doubt. Dec returned to the field and scored the goal of the game with a left footed volley of great technique - he has finished the season in great form, and this was his 7th goal in the last 8 weeks. BenW then  turned provider to send Tom away; his finish was also neat and tidy, his 10th goal of a fine debut season. At the other end Angus was rarely troubled but exuded confidence and good handling. 4-0 was a solid reflection of a game well played.

And so the curtain came down - players and parents decamped to the fantastic new clubhouse for an end-of-term celebration. It's a strange season to look back on. 15 wins, 87 goals, and some very fine performances, not least the away wins at Welling and Bromley in the cups. Only 5 sides beat the Jets this year, but in only 2 games was it true to say they had been outplayed. To give the credit out, Dover's performance at the TWBG 3g in December was the best seen this year; Maidstone's storming second half comeback was powerfully impressive when they prevailed 5-3. It was a tough year in terms of injuries and sickness, with the list of players who were sidelined at some point much longer than the list of those who were not. The deflections and the woodwork will even themselves out over the years, though this year the bad things seemed to occur all too often against the biggest opponents, and the in-game injuries always seemed to happen when there was least cover.

But....that's football, and to their credit the boys, the coaches, and the supporters on the sideline carried themselves sportingly throughout. Sadly there was more ugliness observed than in previous seasons. Some would say that is the age of the boys, and how they become. But some do not, which proves what is possible, and it is no excuse for parents and coaches, who should know better. So....a shout out to Dover; not only did they play well, they played fair, and their coaches stood out as sporting and decent, proving a side can be successful, and do things the right way, something the Jets believe in too.

Aside from recognising opponents, the Jets had their own awards....Declan won goal of the season....James was voted the best newcomer to the club. Two players dominated the player of the season: BenR was consistently outstanding at the back, but just edged out by Jack, who despite missing the first and last games managed to sandwich 29 goals in between. He was a joy to watch, and his attitude and sportsmanship was an example to all. He also led the line for Kent with distinction, bringing credit to himself and his club.

So that's the end of another KYL adventure. It has been an utter privilege to have enjoyed the ride once again. An under 16 season beckons, albeit knowing it will be different. With GCSE's and other school commitments, it would be nice to add to the squad for next year, though hard to find players of the calibre to fit in.

And....finally....whilst these reports are on the Langton website, and written for our own entertainment, it appears others have become regular readers. For the kind words you have written....'thank you'. For those who have disliked the perspective, the intent has always been to be fair, but in the end everyone is free to write their own reports. As Winston Churchill put it: 'History will be kind to me, for i shall write it.'

Sunday April 23rd, KYL Under 15 south

Bredhurst Juniors 1 - 5 Langton Green (Gallagher, O'Shea 2, Bachorski 2)

Plenty of contrasts between Tuesday night and Sunday morning. Instead of a home game at night, on 3g, it was an early morning road trip to play on grass. As always the Bredhurst coach went out of his way with a warm welcome. His side had won 7 of their 9 home games this season so this would not be easy. And before the game the size of the challenge was growing fast: No Tom, Will, Angus or Simon; Matt had only lasted 10 mins versus Aylesford and was only along as a supporter. Neil was also absent. James arrived carrying a knock, And Jack arrived with a nosebleed that had lasted the whole journey, feeling dizzy!

The first job was to bung a lot of tissues up Jack's nose, and then figure out how to approach the game. George and Jack took ownership of the pre game warm up, as the team debated how to line up. Luke was welcomed back into the side for his first game in just over a year, and started as a left back, with James on the right, and Nathan a stand-in midfielder.

Things didnt click in the first 15 minutes, partly perhaps due to the unfamiliar set-up, but also because the dry bouncy pitch (blame the dry English weather!). In the previous 8 weeks every Jet game had been on 3g, so it was unfamiliar territory, with the ball bouncing above waist height, though James did point out at his height it was like this for him every week :)

Bredhurst looked more comfortable, though neither side was in possession in their opponents' penalty area. The opening goal came when a headed clearance was presented to the wrong person on the Bredhurst team, who despatched it over Toby from 25 yards out. The mantra all year has been to avoid clearing to the top of the box. That's why. So on a day of contrasts with last Tuesday, this was a mirror reflection, 1 nil down early, from distance, and at this stage the portents were ominous.

But....James was feeling better than expected so a switch was made, returning him to partner George in the middle, and adding Nathan's height at the took a lot more for the ball to bounce above his waist...Defensively thereafter the Jets were solid. Luke was thumping his headers away, and BenR, as usual, managed to come out of every tackle wit the ball at his feet. And....the play was increasingly flowing the other way. Ben W went clear through and was only denied by the keeper's legs. Then Dec, Ben and Jack combined with some beautiful short passing at speed, that allowed Jack to pretty much walk the ball into the net. A brilliant goal given the bobbly conditions. 

Just before half time a key moment....Jack burst past the Bredhurst midfield and went unstoppably into the box. A despairing tackle seemed to affect his shot which was scuffed. The goalkeeper probably went down early in consequence, and briefly spilled the ball. Declan had gambled and kept running, and was rewarded with a 2 yard tap in. But the elation of taking the lead was quickly tempered with the realisation that Jack was still down, and hurting badly. The goal had been scored on the stroke of half time so he was carried off, and the Jets had 15 minutes to regroup.

For the third time this season the Jets had come into a game with no margin for injury error only to see a player carried off. Most painfully it occurred in the lost to Chatham when they went down to 9 players. The difference this time was there was a lead to protect, rather than a game that needed chasing, and enough time in the half time interval to get everyone on the same page. Matt had brought his kit, even though not intending to play, and whilst immobile could still fill a gap, so on he came. The team decision in the half time break was that conditions were making tidy passing football very hard, and the bouncing ball was making it hard for defenders. And it was a big pitch. And in Anton the Jets had a sprint champion (literally). The game plan was simple. Everyone bar Anton was going to get behind the ball, and where possible he was going to be fed long, and early.

Bredhurst could see Jack lying on the side of the pitch, and knew this was their moment. They pushed hard, but the defence held firm. Toby's willingness to come out and deal with anything early was crucial. James won the ball deep in the Jets' half and sent a long ball forward. Anton gave the defender a 3m head start, got there first and was through on goal. The keeper got a touch on his shot, and the ball trickled inches past the post. Agony. Was that the game winner that had slipped away? The corner did at least allow half the team to make a first journey into the other half of the pitch, and Harry headed Matt's corner over the bar. Two missed chances might have let heads drop, but instead the atmosphere changed. The pattern became clear - scrap for everything in midfield, and then look to break fast.

Declan sent a ball over the top, Anton won the race, 3-1. Exactly as discussed at half time. Then more battling and scrapping. Then James (or was it George?) sent a ball over the top, Anton won the race, 4-1. Exactly as discussed at half time. Then more battling and scrapping, Then George (or was it James?) sent one over the top, Anton won the race, and this time the defender managed to attach himself to Anton's shirt which stretched out behind him. Anton's shot skewed wide. As the game ticked down the lead allowed more Langton midfielders the luxury of a trip over the half way line. Declan had turned down one long range effort a few minutes before, but encouraged to shoot then volleyed a worldy from 30 yards.

The final score 5-1 makes the game look on paper very different to how it felt. There were plenty of ways to have had a different outcome. Any time it is possible to think of several man of the match performances you know there has been a great team effort. The most satisfying part was to watch the boys take ownership of the situations they faced, and deal with them, making good choices.

Jack missed all the home win versus Bredhurst, and half of the away one, but still did enough to ensure his side had a half time lead. Hopefully he is not done for the season - despite having 5 goals taken away when Tunbridge Well folded, he remains the league's top scorer, and has 29 goals in league and cup to show for his efforts. This was Anton's last game of the season, 13 goals at better than one every other game - that he scored against each of the top defences of Dover, Maidstone, Welling, and Bromley, speaks of how hard it can be to defend against raw speed.

It will alway be an 'almost' season, and a 'might-have-been' season for a host of reasons, but overcoming disappointments and clearing the next hurdle requires character. There was nothing 'almost' about an outstanding effort on this day. With a game to go 4th place in the toughest of divisions remains a possibility.

Tuesday April 18th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 1 - 2 Aylesford (O'Shea)

After the disappointment at Dover the Jets regrouped to face Aylesford, who are still in the hunt for the league title. BenR was stuck in traffic so Nathan lined up alongside Harry for the early stages. Unfortunately Aylesford got off to a flyer - unfortunate being an understatement as a speculative shot from distance hit Harry on the head on the edge of the box; Toby was well placed to make a routine save, but utterly stranded as the ball sailed into the other corner. Harry can at least say he has scored for Maidstone and Aylesford as well as Langton Green this season!

Ben came on, and Matt limped out, sadly done for the day after only 10 minutes, as the Jets rolled up their sleeves and took over. Chances came and went - Jack was virtually unplayable but the goal just would not come. Declan managed to hit the post when it seemed easier to score, but 5 minutes later redeemed himself by side footing home the very overdue equaliser. James and George were excellent in midfield, winning the ball and starting attacks, going box to box.

Football wise it was a good contest, marred only by the constant haranguing of the referee by the Aylesford players and coaches. 'Ref, ref ref' squawked the daddy parrot on the sideline.....'ref, ref ,ref' screeched the junior parrot on the pitch. It was tiresome to listen to, but reflective of the discomfort Aylesford were experiencing as the game wasnt going their way.

The second half was much like the first. Most of the traffic was towards the Aylesford goal, but Louis up front for the away team was a constant breakaway threat, with pace and two good feet. He and Jack showed clearly why they are up front for Kent, in a successful county side. From a free kick Harry had a header brilliantly saved, and a collection of corners and crosses kept threatening without falling to the right feet in the right place. And then another break by Louis, a classy finish, and Aylesford had regained the lead. The pursuit of an equaliser meant more gaps at the back, and an ever greater breakaway threat, but it was a risk worth taking. George hit the bar with the keeper stranded, Anton saw his half volley parried, and the Aylesford centre backs made some key blocks.

Maybe there was something in the water but as the Jets pressed on seven times the game was stopped - mysteriously after no incidences of cramp in 20 games this season there was a mass outbreak amongst the Aylesford players. Even their goalkeeper. Cynics might wonder if the score had anything to do with it. Cynical fouls also reared their head - in the end Aylesford had more players booked than the Jets have had booked in 3 seasons, but they held their lead. Anton went clear through, beat the keeper to the ball and was taken down. A clear penalty. Not given. And just briefly there was peace and quiet, as the 'ref, ref, ref' screeching was put on hold. Funny that.

And that was how it finished, at least in football terms. A close game that easily might have had the opposite result. Much like the week before, and much like the Maidstone game as well. The difference was post-game. Where Dover's players and coaches were graceful and humble in victory, some of the Aylesford players, and one particular coach failed miserably. Form is temporary, class is permanent, and Aylesford are in good form and on a roll. When they lose form if they aren't careful they'll discover that in climbing the ladder they have lost some of their soul, and some of their friends. The Langton coaches were left to reflect that they would much prefer to be in each other's company, with their boys on the pitch, whatever the result.

Those who think winning is all that matters went home with what they wanted. Those who think that's not everything will remember what they heard and saw for longer than they remember the game, which is a shame. It is for the Jets to prove to themselves and others that winning games doesnt require constant bleating to the ref, cynical fouls, time wasting, and bad-mouthing opponents and the coaches after the game. One of the Aylesford players after the game ungraciously said 'that's why we're at the top, and you are at the bottom'. Proving him wrong is next season's mission.

Sunday March 26th, KYL Under 15 South

Dover 3 -2 Langton Green (Bachorski, Gallagher)

Mother's Day, and the most westerly team travelled to the most easterly, with only 11 fit players, two of them goalkeepers. Angus took the gloves, Toby and Matt lined up as full backs outside Ben and Harry. George had Tom and Dec for company in midfield, with the fast-three spread across the front.

Dover are on track to win the league this season, and in the first meeting were worthy winners, but this was a very different day. The Jets ought to have gone ahead in the first minutes as they reached the by-line inside the 6 yard box, but the pull back eluded everyone....The pattern of play saw much Dover passing in their own half, as they probed forward, with occasional and dangerous counter attacks in the other direction. At the back Angus' handling was excellent, going forward the unfamiliar midfield 3 linked nicely. Jack thundered a shot from 18 yards out but picked out the keeper, and after 40 minutes it was 0-0, a fair score and an excellent game.

The second half saw the tide flow one way. Jack, Ben, and Anton were a constant threat, whilst Angus was largely untroubled as the back 4 won every aerial ball. With 25 minutes to go Anton was sent through on the left, and he finished across the keeper......more returns on his willingness to use his less favourite foot. The lead didnt change the shape of the game, and a second Langton goal always seemed more likely. It came in a similar manner to the first as Anton was put through on the left side of the goal, the keeper parried, and Jack was there first to poke home with 15 minutes to play.

Time crept on. Still the defence held firm, still the better chances were coming on Jet breakaways. With hindsight the key moment came with 10 minutes to go as Jack lined up to put the game away and was caught from behind. An obvious penalty, but the referee hesitated and then gave a decision in the opposite direction, mystifying everyone. The clock ticked. Dover had to send players forward, making it an end to end finale. With 5 minutes to go the Jets burst forward, 5 players in the Dover area, but the chance was blocked, and the ball was sent quickly back the other way.....a cross, a block, a second cross, and a fine finish into the roof of the net. Against the run of play it was 1-2. Was it naive to have presed forward with a 2 goal lead? Yes, but that was how the lead had been earned.

Two minutes later and Dover were sending their keeper up for every set play. A hopeful ball sent in was deflected and fell straight to the feet of a Dover player in the right place. 2-2, pandemonium. Not necessarily deserved but Dover had gambled on crowding the penalty area and it had worked out. Then, in injury time, Matt was caught from behind as he went to cler his lines. A free kick. But the referee gave the kick to Dover. Unexplainable. Wrong. And inevitably, again with the keeper up from the back, a winning goal.

To draw was undeserved, to lose insane. To have two massively wrong calls impact the final result was a bitter pill. Far too many players had run their socks off, given everything, tohave this happen. The always sporting Dover coaches were generous in their post game assessment. It looks to be their season. The way the luck flowed they will believe so.

Twice in 3 weeks the Jets have lost a game 3-2 they deserved to win by 2 goals or more. To have done so against the top 2 teams in the division explains why top teams are at the top. But it also tells the Jet boys that they are as good, if not better, than anyone in the division. This was injustice of the top order. Life isnt fair, and there are always lessons to be had from adversity. Closing games out is a skill and a habit, it is just harder when the free kicks are given the wrong way round! No-one will forget this game. Some will perhaps want to, but the 11 boys in green should hold their heads very high.

Sunday March 19th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 7 - 1 Bearsted (Gallagher 4, Manuel 2, Allen)

It didnt shape up well, with Nathan and Simon being injured midweek, Angus still concussed, then Harry dropping out with injury after Saturday, and Matt still only 50/50. On top of that Will was supposed to be away too, so plenty of ingredients for things to go sour. Nathan strapped his ankle and stepped up, and Will re-directed, arriving just 30 seconds before kick off. Tom and Matt began the game as two of the more attacking full backs ever fielded.

On a blustery day it had classic game-of-two-halves potential, and the Jets took the wind and the slope first....with a limping defence the plan was to stay up the other end of the pitch, and put up a half time lead. Things went to plan, although the unexpected part was how much the defence would contribute to the goal-scoring. BenR set the tone, with a gorgeous dink pass to Anton down the left. Anton's left footed crossing may not threaten Leighton Baines' career prospects but he keeps having the courage to try, and this attempt had the virtue of finding Jack's left foot, 1-0.

Corners were part of Friday night training, and the wind suited Jack's delivery from the right, and Matt's from the left. From one taken on the left side Matt's in-swinger saw two defenders try and fail to execute a clearance, and the ball nestled in the net. No-one else can lay claim to it, so credit another goal to the Langton defence. Matt claimed another notch for the defensive belt when his through ball sent Jack clear on the right, and he finished decisively - more returns on Friday night training, and the effort put in to practice finishing with weaker feet. If that wasnt enough Toby got into the act. His enormous goal-keeping clearance travelled the length of the pitch, down-wind and Jack headed home. It doesnt get much more route one than that, but it is a wise team that plays to the conditions. 4-0 looked good, but chances also went begging....BenW clipped one over with the keeper stranded, then had a chance well saved only to see Declan pass the rebound wide of an empty net, George almost burst through. Lots of good things.

The wind did create the potential for a change of game in the second half, and the Jets set Bearsted off in that direction by going backwards from the second half kick off, then backwards again, then gave the ball away and saw it smashed into the top corner. Suicidal and unnecessary. It made the next 15 minutes more important than they needed to be, but eventually the boys reasserted their control.  The wind demanded an intelligent approach to attacking and the front 3 delivered that, with excellent prompting from George and James, who continue to be an unrelentingly good central midfield double act. The fifth goal kept proving elusive, but in the end it came with a classy finish as Tom pulled the ball down, looked right, then left, and decided to pass the ball into the corner from te top of the D.

This goal opened the door to some flowing football. Jack went clear, rounded the keeper and claimed his 4th, or his 13th in the last 4 games, depending how you look at it. Tom poked home the 7th from a yard out, and it might easily have been more as BenW saw a header cleared off the line. Anton created several good chances, James curled one close, and again the Jets made a big score look like the minimum return on the chances created. Sadly George was the victim of a horror two-footed tackle, Ben took a kicking and Declan endured an elbow to the chest, as the frustrated opposition let themselves down. To their great credit the Jets responded with their football.

Pre-game a banana skin beckoned. Will's arrival, and Matt and Nathan lasting 80 minutes were all a huge bonus. For some the high point was Toby's unexpected contributions. His one assist in the first half perhaps ought to have been two, but that was nowhere as much fun as watching him leave his box to intercept a second half through ball and set off up the right wing on a run that left Matt and the imperious BenR wondering how to cover their rampaging goalkeeper. He even had the composure to hit a fine pass down the wing.

So.....that's 48 goals in the last 10 games, 26 in the last 5 (even after hitting the woodwork 4 times at Maidstone!) The pre-Christmas injuries skewered the season, but the full strength Jets are a nightmare for KYL defences, top scorers in the division, and that's the plan till the end of the season.The season total is 78.....the target is 100.

Sunday March 12th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 9 - 0 Tunbridge Wells (Gallagher 5, Bachorski, Griffiths, Watkins, O'Shea)

Home at the 3G, against local neighbours from across the street, and still some flickering and painful memories of the last game of last season, when a crazy equaliser knocked the Jets out of first position. There was always the feeling that on a large flat surface that hurt could be expunged. The plan was to make the pitch big, with Ben, Anton and Jack stretched across the front line.

For the first 15 minutes TW held their own as the Jets figured out where the gaps might be. Like a damn the TW defence started firm, then a trickle of breaches, and then the whole thing burst open. The prime instigator was Jack, but he had plenty of accomplices. The first goal arrived when BenW's powerful cross shot was parried, and Jack arrived on the scene a yard out, 1-0. Then Jack showed his sea-lion qualities, winning a header, then heading again, and ball-juggling his way into the box, before hitting an unstoppable volley on the turn. To prove he's human he then missed wide with a scissor kick from outside the box.

But this was not a one man show. The next three goals had other fingerprints. Declan won (another) big header in midfield, and Anton, who is growing nicely into a left sided role, burst through, and cut inside onto his right foot to finish...George scored in a very similar way, and then James threaded a through ball to BenW, who was cutting in from the right to smash home across the keeper.

At 5-0 the game was over in terms of outcome, but the team talk was not a celebration as much as a demand not to lose desire, and to see home a clean sheet. As in the first half TW held out for 15-20 minutes. There were near misses, from Matt's free kick, from a few longer range shots, and very few threats in the other direction. But as the defence tired the speed and power of the Langton forward line created attacks in waves. Jack added 3 more goals in a ten minute spell, Harry came close, BenW curled just wide, and the goalkeeper positioned himself well for several other shots tht might have found the net on another day. Declan got on the end of Jack's cross to cap a fine performance, and for the final minutes even BenR went forward in search of a first goal of the season. Why he chose to pass unselfishly when all his team-mates were urging him to shoot, no-one knows - maybe he is saving his goal of the season for a later game?

This team, in this form, might have been serious contenders for the title, but all being on the pitch together didnt happen at key points in the season. Which leaves different goals to set: performance levels....and, well, goals.  51 in 15 league games (and 17 in the cup) means the boys are well on pace to outscore everyone in their division. They have scored 41 and conceded 13 in the last 9 games.  

21 games played this season, 5 to go.....playing well, having fun. All good.

Sunday March 5th , KYL Under 15 South

Maidstone United 3 - 2 Langton Green (Gallagher, O'Shea)

Most match reports attempt a degree of balance and impartiality. This one may fail.

On a wet and windswept morning it was a blessing to be travelling to the Gallagher Stadium, to play on 3g. By kick-off the wind had died, and the sun was out, perfect conditions to resume a rivalry of two top teams in the KYL. The Jets spent Friday working on a plan, reinforced it in the dressing room before the game, and then went out to execute it. Handling the pace of the Maidstone attack was in many ways the problem Langton Green sets teams itself. Behind the fast three of Anton, Ben and Jack was a new central midfield pairing of James and George, school-mates who each knew the other's game well.

Where the league table might suggest the Jets would be hanging on, hoping for a point, most of the flowing traffic was in the other direction. Jack pounced on a loose bal at the top of the D, left fly and the keeper was nowhere - but the ball clattered back off the upright. Twice thereafter the first goal proved elusive, as Ben shot just wide, and Jack forced fine saves from close range. The pressure was growing. But with everyone in the Maidstone half a long diagonal clearance left Toby in no-man's land and the ball was expertly lobbed over him, 1-0, very against the run of play. Efforts were redoubled, and Declan and Anton both reached the by-line in the box but their crosses managed to evade every outstretched boot. Then Tom was sent through, and he executed a left foot lob over the onrushing keeper. The ball bounced gently towards the goal, kissed the inside of the post and dribbled harmlessly across the front of the empty net. Agony. Before half time it was a case of two Bens; Ben W curled a shot that was finger-tipped around the post, whilst BenR made a fantastic defensive header to keep out a goal-bound shot.

The only thing wrong at half time was the score. All the team talk was positive, the realisation was there that Langton was by far the team creating all the chances. And blinded by that optimism, guard down, Maidstone took full advantage, and raced down the right wing in the first minute of the second half. The cross was blocked; the ball found its way back to the same player, right on the by-line, he crossed, and the ball was scrambled home. Lots of puzzlement at how he could be onside, but it was 2-0. No less amazement at the score. And things proceeded to get worse. Matt had just come on, only to be on the wrong end of a horror tackle. Two deep gashes in his knee and four stud marks from that knee all the way up the thigh told a gruesome story. The fourth time this season Langton had lost a player to an injury that didnt even merit a free kick.

The momentum of the game again turned towards the Maidstone goal, as attack after attack came forward. Ben down the right, Anton down the left, Jack down the middle. Also charging down the middle, relishing the new role was James.....who curled a right footer beyond everyone, and back off the left hand post, again! Then, finally, Jack made it into the box and was wrestled down for an undisputed penalty. With Matt incapacitated Jack took it himself, bottom corner, 1-2, and finally a foothold on the journey to a just result. So, inevitably perhaps, Langton over-pressed the equaliser and got stung again, back to the bottom of the mountain. The game resumed the same pattern of one way traffic interspersed with scary moments. Anton got away down the left, into the box, and his left footed pull-back found Declan. Smarter than the rest of his team-mates he volleyed down the middle, takingthe posts out of the equation, and the ball slammed in off the underside of the bar!

Once again it was a one goal margin, once again the Jets were hammering away for the equaliser. Once again the post rescued Maidstone. Possibly the first time in all history has the man of the match been eight feet tall, thin, and made of metal. Then Ben got clear on the right, round the keeper but taken wide; his chip went inches to the left of the post, and millimetres to the right of Anton following in. Jack poked the ball just wide froma corner, even Nathan was getting into the box! In injury time one final chance, a free kick from 35 yards out. Declan lined up a 'wobbler' and executed it, the ball arcing down right in front of the goalkeeper, who could only parry. Five green shirts were following in, and somehow the ball just danced between all of them. The final whistle came.

The scorebook says a 3-2 loss. The score rarely lies this badly. Two goals scored might easily have been 6 or 7. Maidstone are to be applauded for their clinical efficiency on the fast break, and were gracious in acknowledging the bullet they had dodged. What the Jets had left to show for it all was merely blood, sweat, and tears, no points, but those ingredients are fine things. In a season where the league had already been lost on other Sundays it is perhaps true that the performance mattered more, and this was a performance that underlined the potential and capability of these boys.

Over time the luck evens out.......we hope!

Sunday February 26th, KYL Under 15 South

Bearsted 1 - 5 Langton Green (Gallagher 3, Watkins 2)

An overcast windswept Sunday morning, but Bearsted's ground was in great condition for the first league encounter between these sides this season. Toby and Nathan were away, Angus took the gloves, Simon returned on the left side of midfield, and James made a second start at right back, with Will again showing much needed versatility as left back. Between them was the centre back pairing of Ben and Harry, both available together for only the second time since before Christmas.

Bearsted looked far more at home in the early stages, connecting passes and pressurizing the flanks. Most of the play was in the Jets' half so it was unsurprising when the home side went 1-0 up after a move down the left and a squared cross for a simple tap in. Sometimes it is a case of needing to wake up, sometimes of just finding the right shape. A defensive error almost led to a second goal, which really would have shaken things up, but gradually the pendulum swung, as Declan headed just wide. Bolstering numbers in central midfield seemed to do the trick, although the equaliser was a one man show, as Jack collected Harry's headed clearance and burst down the pitch with pace that sent him through; the finish was low and well placed. Soon after, Ben's deep corner was headed back by Simon and sat up begging to be volleyed: Jack obliged, 2-1.  

At that point the lead was a tribute to finishing rather than dominance, but the remainder of the half was one way traffic. Anton kept breaking through and coming close. Tom pressed the defense and forced an error, Declan controlled the loose ball, and threaded a perfect pass through to Ben who ran from deep to pass home. A goal that was easy on the eye and a reminder of the beauty of simplicity well executed.

Half time came with good things to say. There were reminders not to be sloppy and offer any way back into the game, and reminders that the strikers had enough pace not to need to tempt an eager offside flag. For most of the second half Bearsted were kept at arms' length. Angus handled safely when required without having to resort to much shot stopping, but his job was made easy by the excellence of Harry and Ben in dealing with anything that came down the middle. For a while the game grew in midfield feistiness, but the boys did not back off, and kept on playing good football. Matt's free kick came close on one side of the goal, Jack curled one just wide on the other side, Simon was clattered in the box but no whistle came. George was everywhere, and Ben and Anton also put in fine defensive efforts as strikers determined to help preserve the lead. In addition to strikers defending well, the defenders were attacking well too. James, Matt and Will regularly set moves up with fine passes instead of random clearances.

Tom twice came close but it was beginning to look like the first half lead would have to suffice, when Jack again blew beyond stranded defenders, and passed the ball inot the net. A fully deserved hat-trick on top of a strong midfield performance. Soon after he was again flying down the middle with Anton to his left and Ben to his right. It's very hard to defend pure pace, and impossible when there are three options. Jack looked left, but passed right, to BenW, who smashed the ball into the far corner to emphatically close the game out.

Before Christmas there were times when finishing was a struggle. In the last 5 league games the Jets have scored 23 goals. Jack and Ben have both recently scored their 50th goals for the club since joining the KYL. There have been games that went awry this season, but when everyone has been there and it has clicked it is still a sight to see. 12 points from the last 5 league games is good momentum.

Sunday February 19th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 3- 0 Sheppey (Watkins, O'Shea, Allen)

After the half term exodus folks came back from all directions to be at the 3g on a spring-like afternoon. Harry, Angus and James were absent, but it was a very welcome return from injury to Ben, and from sickness to Declan. The visitors were Sheppey, who in recent weeks had defeated Maidstone and run Whyteleafe very close; certainly no pushovers.

 The Langton back 4 was a previously unseen combination - Nathan paired up with Ben, and Matt and Will as the full backs.The unfamiliarity led to some occasional mis-alignments and Toby had to be excellent coming off his line to close chances down. At the other end chances were also coming and going, as the pace of Anton, and the running with the ball of Ben and Jack, kept leading to 'almosts'.

The first goal came when Matt's left foot cross was curled to the back post; Jack rose and unselfishly knocked the ball down for BenW to finish neatly. Three pieces of well executed skill, one goal. Toby then made a point blank save before the Jets found the breathing room a second goal brings. Jack found his way to the byline, and Declan ran on to the pull-back. His shot was deflected to leave the keeper stranded, 2-0. Despite being behind Sheppey were never out of the game, and it was only when JackO came on and played as protection in front of the centre backs that the quick route down the pitch became less of a threat.

The second half was attritional more than beautiful. The bursts of passing tended to come from the boys in green, but the final pass was never just right, or the shot was not as clean as it might be. A lapse in defensive concentration sent a Sheppey striker through - Toby's fingertips were just enough to turn the ball onto the inside of the inch or two different and the game would have taken a different twist. Instead Jack, Ben, George, and Anton all came close as the tide rolled the other way. The tackle to thwart Anton's effort left him injured and out of the game, forcing Matt's dodgy knees back onto the pitch for a second shift. As luck would have it this meant he was on hand to convert the penalty Jack's dribble had earned, which in effect left to much for Sheppey to do. However, credit to them, they came back and Toby pulled off 3 more saves that deserved the applause that followed.

Not every day has seen things go the Langton way this season, but today balanced the books somewhat. Not often can you say the man of the match was the goalkeeper in a 3-0 win, but Toby made 4 outstanding saves and commanded his area. There were other plusses; BenR reminded everyone what had been missing while he was out injured, blotting out attacks with crunching tackles. BenW's creative work was of high quality, JackG will wonder how he didnt score, but should take consolation in having his fingerprints over all 3 goals scored. George ran himself into the ground, having made it to the game via a morning flight from Italy (!), and a big hand should go to JackO, who found and filled a role on a day when it was badly needed. A good day.

Tuesday February 7th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 3 - 5 Maidstone (Watkins, Bachorski, Harvey)

Hot on the heels of a weekend disappointment the Jets had to patch themselves together 48 hours later to welcome top-of-the-table Maidstone United, under lights at the 3g. Still beset by injuries and illness it meant 2 players, James and Finn, making their first appearances of the season, whilst Toby again discarded his goalkeeping gloves and lined up in the defence.

The formation was cautious - Ben had been off school sick so it was uncertain how his legs would be (which was also true of the 4 lads who had competed in a school cross country earlier in the day!). Plenty of reasons perhaps to be apprehensive, given the quality of the opposition, but from the opening whistle it was clear it was going to be a match of the highest quality. Both sides possess great pace, and an ever present fast-break threat, so never could either side relax. Clear cut chances were rare, with both midfields working hard.

Langton drew first blood when Jack's cross landed on the top of the bar and looped into the night sky. First on the scene for the rebound was Ben, 1-0. Thereafter the tussle was immense. The half time whistle saw both sides applauded off the pitch. For the Jets it was a case of could they keep going with the same intensity, and adapt to the likely onslaught.

Unfortunately the gameplan was quickly wrecked. The equaliser came early in the half from a shot that was partially blocked and went in off the post. Tiny margins can make a huge difference. It was very like the Aylesford goal at the weekend. What followed was nothing short of a blitz. Three times the ball behind the defence put defenders under pressure fro lightning quick strikers - twice the finish was lethal, the third time it led to a very unfortunate own goal. None of the goals was down to relentless pressure; if anything the play was in the other direction, but the speed of the counter-attacks and the execution was deadly. From being 1-0 nil up and full of hope to 4-1 down on the hour was crushing to deal with.

Anton never stopped running and his solo effort to make it 2-4 gave a flicker of hope, but that was almost immediately expunged by a stunning volley. Still the Jets kept coming, and Finn beat 3 defenders to score the goal of the game, 3-5 with maybe 10 minutes to go. More hope...twice brilliant chances went begging, which would have set up a grandstand finish. The final whistle again brought applause from both sets of spectators.

There was so much to take from the match. The debutants were excellent, the regulars gave their all. Over the last 2 seasons in 10 halves of football against Maidstone the Jets have won 4 and only lost 3, but when they have, each time it has been under a deluge of quick-fire goals. Catching the top of the league on a day when their strikers are hitting the corners of the goal it is very hard to stay the pace. At the other end the 3 goals scored were well earned, and represent a quarter of all the goals conceded by Maidstone all season.

But, despite the positives, it was a loss, and they hurt. It has been a season of games where the result might very easily have been different, and it is hard to keep confidence levels high in such fustrating times. It will be no consolation for some time, but it was a privilege to watch u15 football played with such passion and to such a standard.

Sunday Feb 5th, KYL cup, 1/4 final

Langton Green 0 - 2 Aylesford

A game that summed up the way this season has gone. High hopes dashed on the rocks of a big game on a day where injuries and sickness take too much of a toll. Aylesford came in on the back of a big win the week before, the Jets were on a roll, in their best form of the year. But Ben's rugby injury, and the loss of Simon and Declan as well, late in the week, meant a reshuffle, and a scramble to field a side. Toby came out of goal to play right back, Nathan stood in as centre back again, and battle commenced.

Both sides were looking to play good football, both sides were blessed with some dangerous pace. The first big moment of the game occurred when Anton beat the Aylesford keeper to a through ball, but in going past him went a little further left than he wanted, and a good chance went begging. Aylesford had a penalty shout turned down, then Langton put a couple of shots over the bar, before Angus made a fine save, turning a goal-bound shot over the bar.

15 minutes before half time a pacy run from the Aylesford midfield saw the ball into the box and tothe feet of the big striker. He turned and shot - the ball was partially blocked, but the deflection went straight in the bottom corner, giving Angus no chance. A tough break. In a tight game small things were alsways going to be big things. Thereafter it was even until half time, the contest wide open.

Unfortunately just before the break Matt took a knock that ended his game. That meant 4 starters now missing, and a lot of people playing out of position to fill gaps. Inevitably this reduced the fluency, but not the effort that was going in. The game remained in the balance. Angus again showed great handling under pressure, but eventually one diving save presented a rebound opportunity, and it fell right into the path of an oncoming striker, 2-0.

Thereafter the cushion of the extra goal gave Aylesford a little more calmness, and the Jets a little more freneticism. Then the tireless Jack broke clear, one on one with the keeper, but rolled the ball inches wide. It was the clearest chance of the entire match. Then Toby's free kick was headed home by Harry only to be called offside, George ht a screamer that produced a fantastic save, Anton shot just just wouldnt happen.

And that was that. Aylesford edged it, perhaps deservedly. You cant play such a quality side and lose 4 players and expect to roll them over. It might still have been possible to nick the game, but the small things landed the wrong way. It has felt like that for much of the season., and with only 48 hours till the next game the walking wounded will have to patch themselves and fight again. Good luck to Aylesford in the semi final....

Sunday January 29th, KYL cup, last 16

Faversham Strike Force 0 - 7 Langton Green (Watkins 2, Manuel 2, Gallagher 3)

Twice cancelled, this fixture was transferred to the TWBG 3G on a wet and chilly afternoon. The weather was not great but the pitch was perfect for the KYL cup tie. The Jets have worked hard in training since the Christmas break, and it has borne fruit.

Starting down the hill the ideas were good, but the execution just a little awry. Anton nearly smashed the bar, Jack headed Harry's free kick against the post, and then headed Matt's corner straight into the keeper's arms. Finally BenW broke the deadlock by tapping home the rebound from Jack's cross-shot, and then heading home again from inside the six yard box after another shot from George had crashed against the bar. The best goal of the half was the third, when Jack powered home a header after Ben had reached the by-line. It hadnt all been easy, as the Jets were fielding a makeshift defence (BenR being injured) with Nathan partnering Harry in the middle and Matt becoming the stand-in left back, with Will in his usual role. It may not have been cast-iron defensively, but it was very good coming forward !

In the second half Jack moved to the centre, alongside George, which allowed Simon to rampage down the left, and the goals flowed. Tom lobbed one, and shot home another, Jack added a scrappy one, and completed his hat-trick by one-twoing his way through the box with Anton's help. All in all it was excellent passing football, always easier to do with a comfortable lead, but it was also the brand of football that had earned the lead in the first place. Late in the day Toby pulled off two excellent saves to preserve the clean sheet, a credit to his concentration. But, all in all this was mighty impressive stuff.

So, into the quarter finals, again. Arguably this is the toughest trophy to win, because it requires overcoming the best of all the KYL divisons, and as usual the same two divisions, South and Central, have seen their cream rise to the top, whilst the teams from the two much weaker divisions fall by the wayside. Two years ago the Jets were finalists, last year they were beaten in the semi final by the ultimate else has gone so deep into the tournament in all 3 of their KYL seasons. Momentum is good - since returning to full strength the boys have scored 19 goals and conceded 2 in their last 3 fixtures....keep the ball rolling...

Sunday January 8th, KYL u15 South

Kennington 1 - 6 Langton Green (Bachorski 2, Balcombe, Gallagher 2, Manuel

A New Year, with all the expectations and hopes that come with that. In the 3 weeks since the last match the Jets kept busy with a friendly versus Tonbridge School, and followed that up with the Langton Green Go-Karting Championship (won by Jim Ponsford, showing the youngsters the way home, closely followed by Mild-Will Lythgoe and Wild-Ben Watkins. We did at least find something Jack and Anton werent fastest at.

And so back to the KYL. The last game of 2016 showed what could be done with a fit squad, and 2017 began the same way, with a decision required as to who to leave out of the starting 11 rather than a plea for someone to limp along. Kennington started well, attacking aggressively down both flanks. It required solid tackling and well-judged interceptions to keep them out. Then....a critical moment. Jack took a quick throw on half way, Ben flicked on, and the Kennington defender could do no more than get a feint touch as Anton went through on goal, finishing calmly. But the flag was up. Huge credit to the referee for mentally rewinding through what had occurred. No-one could be offside from the throw, and it was a Kennington touch that sent Anton away, 1-0. (Credit also to the Kennington coaches for allowing the referee the space to make a decision, and showing good grace with the (right) one that he made.

Kennington pushed back hard. Corners were a huge threat, and it needed the first ball and the second ball to be contested hotly to maintain the lead. Up the other end Matt took a Langton corner from the left that was diverted out on the right hand side. The long journey from corner flag to corner flag was worth it as his second delivery saw Tom knock the ball down and Harry poke home from close range. A 2-0 lead was flattering but for once this season the chances were being grabbed! The next 10 minutes were crucial. Toby made fine saves, not least one from Harry's deflection, and the ball kept dropping where the Jets could make the clearance, rather than be planted into their net.

With the second half seeing the Jets pointed up hill it was easy to imagine the kind of bombarding of their goal that might be expected. However the next 15 minutes were certainly the best of the year (no big deal after only an hour of playing), but also of the season. Jack, Anton and Ben ran the defence ragged - hard to know if Friday's training made the difference but they were attacking at speed, but still with the composure to complete passes to feet in the box. Jack planted a 3rd goal in the corner, Anton lifted one into the roof the net, and Jack curled a gorgeous shot into the far corner. It was 5-0 in the blink of an eye, and Kennington had barely been in the Jets' half. When they did respond they still posed a threat, and rarely will Harry and Ben have to play so well with such a scoreline.

A goal was pulled back when the Jets slept at a free kick and were not first to the rebound, and almost a second goal a minute later, which might have changed the momentum, but the shot went over. Thereafter the traffic was one way. Tom slid home a 6th, while Jack hit the inside of both posts, Ben did everything to score, and for the second time in a row 6-1 was less than it might have been.

What goes around comes around. In November the breaks kept seeminng to be bad ones. Full strength, and taking their chances this team remains very powerful, and last two games have reminded everyone of that. To be able to say the defence played well, the forwards were awesome, and the midfield worked very hard, is to see the cause of the result.

Happy New Year to all our readers!

Sunday December 18th, KYL u15 South

Langton Green 6 - 1 Chatham (Gallagher 3, Manuel 2, Watkins)

Two weeks ago was a low point for the Jets, going down 4-2 to today's opponents, and proving 9 vs 11 is a bad idea in the KYL ! Today, with everyone fit for the first time since September, there was a chance to prove to themselves that they still have it in them, and to get the wagon back on the road.

In the first 5 minutes Matt, twice, and Anton, each managed to miss from inside the six yard box. For the glass half empty coach this was a sign of doom, for the half full one it was a good sign that things were clicking. The chances kept coming, and Tom thumped home, 1-0. It was one way traffic, with BenR and Harry snuffing any thought of a comeback out before the ball had travelled any distance into their half. BenW and Jack made it 3-0 in a hurry, but just as things felt comfortable a midfield switch-off allowed a shot from distance, and it found the top corner. (Langton seem to have conceded quite a few 25 yard worldies this season).

Jack went through and scored another off both posts.....except it wasnt deemed to have crossed the line, which was not a widely held viewpoint around the ground, so in another attack he went and did it again, to push the lead to 4-1. More than the lead, the refreshing thing was the fluency, and the desire to play passing football. With folks in familiar positions it looked like Langton Green for the first time in a while.

In the second half Angus took over in goal, and Toby lined up in defence. The balance of play suggested more goals would come, but for a while it was a series of almosts, and a couple of knocks that required substitutions disrupted the rhythm. The difference from recent weeks was having healthy options when this happened. Sent clear down the middle Jack helped himself to a very deserved hat-trick, but while he scored most of the goals there was also much quality on display from Anton and a rejuvenated Ben, who roamed the pitch tormenting defenders, and creating chances for others. Tom scored his second of the game, after which Anton twice went through......the first time he unselfishly squared to Jack who was faced with an empty net, but was fouled - or he missed from 4 yards out for no good reason ! Most took the first view, but not the referee. The second time, having done all the hard work he was denied by a cruel bobble at the key moment.

But to walk off 6-1 winners and know the scoreline flattered the losers was just fine in the last game of the year. It had been a bumpy few weeks and it was just good to know the Jets are still the Jets. Away cup victories at Bromley and Welling always suggested they are still able to compete with the best, but the league points dropped with so many players missing mean the league title is probably too far gone to catch up. However the boys will have a large say in where it ends up, and those with title aspirations and games to play versus Langton Green will know those hurdles will be hard ones if the Jets stay healthy now. And there's still the KYL cup to fight for.....Happy New Year to all who follow the Jets' progress

Sunday December 11th, KYL u15 South

Langton Green 2 - 5 Dover Athletic (Bachorski, Gallagher)

After last week's struggles a tough home game was not necessarily what the Jets needed but with the arrival of Dover (Folkestone Invicta, as was) that's what came to the 3g. And the visitors started the stronger, switching play well, strong down both wings, and bossing the game. They went ahead when three missed tackles saw the Dover striker help himself, just 5 minutes into the game.

A foothold back into the contest came when Jack took a quick free kick in his own half, and chipped a perfect ball behind the defence. Anton's pace took him there first and his first touch evaded the keeper. There was no second touch as he was also flattened by the keeper, but the ball rolled slowly into the empty net. Credit to the ref for not blowing too soon, and probably relief all round that the ball went in because had it not it would have presented a very tough refereeing decision.

Scorinng the equaliser was a good thing, Anton being sidelined was not, as it forced a reshuffle, something that became a game long problem, as one injured Jet was continually being asked to replace another. When Anton returned it was as a make-shift centre back when Harry could go no further. By then it was 1-3. Twice the initial attack was parried, but both times the ball was knocked by Jets to the top of the box, rather than cleared wide. A basic error, punished twice.

In the second half each of George, Matt and Anton (again), were subbed off out of necessity, which meant there was always a hole somewhere. In some respects therefore it was a decent performance just to hang in there, but then another defensive lapse of communication on the left led to a soft goal. Trying to come bck from 3 goals down against a good side is hazardous, and some of the gambles taken left the defence exposed, and Toby made some excellent saves when called upon. Then Jack scrambled a goal to make it 2-4 and there was a glimmer of hope. That glimmer ought to have turned into a beacon of light at the end of the tunnel with 10 minutes to go when first a corner led to a scramble, and then a cross left the ball bouncing less than a yard out, just begging to be knocked home....somehow it stayed out when 3-4 beckoned.

Dover clinched the game with a last minute poke home from a corner. The scoreline looked severe. The only way the Jets were going to win today was to take their chances and hang on at the back. Instead the mountain was too high because of goals presented to the opposition, and for the second week in a row a lack of fit players made the task that much harder. This was the best side Langton have faced this season, so the boys need to remind themselves that this game was almost reclaimed in the second half. Injuries and illness have taken a heavy toll lately, and it is easy for this to erode confidence levels. Time to dig deep.

Sunday December 4th, KYL U15 South

Chatham 4 -2 Langton Green (Bachorski, Gallagher)

 a There's always the chance of a week like this one, but it remains an unpleasant shock when it happens. Matt missed an entire week of school so was never going to be in shape to play, Simon was unavailable, then on Friday George succumbed to the bug going round, and then to make matters worse JackO sustained an injury in training that took him out of the reckoning. Just when things couldnt get worse, they did, as Harry went down with the same bug on Saturday.

Which left the Jets lining up with 10 players, plus Matt parked up front as a decoy, hoping Chatham didnt spot that he couldnt run. It was going to require a committed performance from everyone. It almost started well when Jack burst through but shot just wide, but then sloppiness and defensive lapses gifted a two goal lead. Disaster. Then Matt put a cross onto Anton's head for 1-2 and Jack added a fine free kick and things started to feel a little more normal. There remained a vulnerability to the fast break and Angus had to make a point blank save to keep scores level till half time.

There was much to talk about, and the need to be calm, play to feet, do the basics well, was the message. So....passing to feet was ignored, the ball was looped down the middle too often, and Chatham were given reason to believe. Another loose pass led to another crisis at the back, and another needless goal conceded. Even then the game was far from over....the turning point came when the tireless Jack sent Anton clear and he beat the advancing keeper to the ball....and was flattened. Shades of Schumacher on Battiston in the '82 World Cup. Instead of a goal, or being awarded a free kick in front of goal, the Jets had to watch Anton carried off, and were faced with coming from behind with only 9 fit players. It didnt happen. Instead another loss of midfield possession turned into a Chatham goal. Footballing suicide.

There was still time for Jack to come close, as did Tom, and also BenR, up from the back who scooped over from close range from a by-line cross. But as bad days go this was right up there. Yes there were reasons why the game might be a battle, but a lack of clear thinking and careful execution took away all the right to make excuses. The dressing room after the game was not a comfortable place to be, as the wreckage of the day was examined and the boys were asked to talk through what it is they have been asked to work on. When full strength and all firing on all cylinders the wins against Bromley and Welling show the Jets can beat anyone in the KYL. It was bad luck to lose key players without backup today, but challenges are there to be overcome.

Sunday November 27th, Kent County Cup 3rd Round

Langton Green 1 - 3 Aylesford (Gallagher)

Both sides entered this contest knowing the winners would be a significant step closer to the final. The much weaker KYL North and East divsion sides were pretty much all eliminated after 2 rounds, so there would be no easy games left, and so it proved.

Aylesford started confidently. The Jets were in an unusual set-up, trying to hide a couple of heavy-leggd players, and cope with the absent Nathan and Anton. Skirmishes at both ends came to nothing, but then poor markinng and a good cross found the shortest player on the pitch stooping to head home from 2 yards out. Advantage Aylesford. Naturally Langton pressed on and the team found a rhythm. The equaliser came when BenW was fouled centrally, and rather than wait for the wall to be built in front of him Jack took a quick free kick to equalise. Frustrating to concede that way, but within the rules.

That looked to be that before half time, but then a long clerance was allowed to bounce twice, into Langton's box. BenR was shepherding the ball away from the striker and a speculative cry of hand ball from the sidelines brought an unexpected whistle. Not the kind of decision you need in a tight game; 1-2 and a new hill to climb.

The second half was a rerun of the previous week. Wave after wave of Jet attacks, followed by a goal conceded from distance, followed by even more near misses as the team tried to get back into the game. It would take too long to list them all, but amongst the ones that got away were a header just over from JackG, another header from Declan, well saved, two shots blocked in front of goal from JackO, Matt's cross-shot hitting the bar, George twice grazing the far post, Jack then being denied by a fine save as he burst through one on one. Matt was also flattened in the box and had to leave the game injured, but on this day it wasnt deemed foul enough for a penalty! It's not to say that Aylesford didn't have their moments, but they mainly came on breakaways against the tide.

And so the season's frustrations are added to. In cup matches there are no second chances. Aylesford took theirs, and survived what was thrown at them. The Jets are left scratching their heads as to the ingredient missing; it might be as simple as a bit of good fortune, but losing or drawing games where the shot count has been far in favour of the disappointed side is not a good habit to get into. Best wishes to Aylesford as they move on...time for the Jets to start collecting KYL points.

Sunday November 20th, KYL u15 South

Hollands and Blair 3 - 1 Langton Green (Watkins)

An oddity of the fixtures schedule meant for consecutive league games the Jets faced Hollands and Blair, albeit 5 weeks apart because of assorted cup games and blank weekends. First time around the Jets dominated the first half but only led 1-0 at the break, and then saw the win taken away in the dying moments. This time it was the same, but worse.

The overnight storm abated and the game took place in good conditions. After 15 minutes the Jets were ahead as Ben's first shot was blocked, but he planted the rebound low into the corner. Soon after, Jack went clear through but missed narrowly wide of the post, after which he put a free kick just as narrowly wide of the same post. A vital second goal beckoned, but before half time H&B reminded everyone they dont go away easily, getting to the byline, and after the cross had been parried centrally, the striker hit the post when set to score.

Half time's talk was an obvious repeat of the last match....the chase was on for the second goal....George shot just wide, then Anton over the bar from close range. Then the turning point: Simon went through, round the keeper, but somehow the last defender stopped the ball on the line, blocked the rebound, and somehow the ball was cleared. Hard not to score, but that's what happened, and within a minute H&B were level, as a corner rebounded in off the underside of the bar.

There was a sense of here we go again. Anton went through and beat the keeper but was forced wide. He pulled the ball back for Declan who hit the defender on the line.Again it seemed harder not to score. Then H&B put one in the top corner from outside the box, and not long after an even better one, from even further out, and somehow the Jets were 3-1 down. Free kicks came and went, over, and wide, and even in the last minute fortunes didnt change as Jack headed against a defender on the line, and again the ball stayed out when it seemed hard to imagine how it could do so.

It happens. What could very easily have been 6 points versus H&B had incredibly ended up as only 1. Where in the previous two cup games the chances were taken and the opponents' attacks were withstood, in the league games the points dropped have all come in games where the balance of play was the Jets' way. It is a divison where everyone will slip up somewhere, but it is very frustrating to not win games that deserved to be won. Comfort can be taken from being so competitive from start to finish; maybe it is a cup year...

Sunday November 13th, KYL Cup 2nd Round

Welling United 2 - 3 Langton Green (O'Shea, Bachorski, Manuel)

Both previous trips to Welling had resulted in bad memories for Langton Green. Add to that the fact that Welling knocked the Jets out in the semi final of the KYL cup last year, and it is easy to see that an away match against these opponents was not the dream pairing. The good new was that complacency would not be the danger. Being mentally ready to win was the job in hand.

Two injuries and 2 absences left the side at bare bones....Matt had been off school this week, and started, but only lasted 15 minutes. It meant from early on everyone knew they had to go the full distance. This influenced the set up of the side - clearly a high pressing and attacking formation was out of the question, as it would drain energy levels, so a deeper lying set-up, looking to break fast  was the path chosen.

Welling are very dangerous going forward, and their outstanding striker started on the left wing, and was always looking to get behind the defence. After some early skirmishes, and a little against the run of play, the Jets went ahead, as Declan volleyed over the keeper from outside the box. The boost of a goal turned the contest, and more pressure was brought to bear at the Welling end of the pitch. Jack very nearly caught the keeper off his line, and Harry almost scrambled a George free kick home.

At the other end the defence was holding firm, not helped by the bright sunshine directly in their eyes. Simon, on his debut in a competitive match was also getting forward, and Will was timing his interceptions well, cutting off danger early. Welling pushed for the equaliser, but after one bout of pressure Toby gathered the ball and launched an early kick deep into Welling territory. Very route 1, but if you go that way what you need is pace. Anton has that in abundance and having given away a head start he tore past the stranded defender, arrived at the ball before the now stranded keeper, and lifted the ball into the empty net. Simple, and lethal. He couldnt hit a barn door against Sheppey, but in consecutive key matches versus Bromley and Welling he took the first chance offered him. 

To go 2-0 up with 5 minutes till half time was a great place to be. Seeing it through to the break was the plan, but Welling's star striker ripped down the left, delivered a thoughtful cross, and it was smashed home just a minute before half time, which inevitably changed the mood. The team talk wasnt about substitute options, as there would be none, it was about formation, shape, and being alert to the many dangers. Unfortunately within 5 minutes of the restart the most obvious danger had struck again, this time from the right, with a cross shot that sailed in off the back post.

This is where it ought to have all gone wrong. A momentum shift, no chance to freshen the look, and Welling were on a roll. It was one way traffic. Toby had an excellent match, and judged when to come and when to stay impeccably. The defensive heading was fully committed, handling set pieces well, but the smart money would be on a 3rd Welling goal. Instead with 10 minutes left Anton hustled his way into winning a corner, giving a number of Jets their first chance to visit the opposing penalty area in a long time. Declan swung the ball in, the big lads all missed, and stooping at the back post Tom nodded home, to the delight of all those in green. Having only this week decided to make the step from Crowborough League to KYL, this was a brilliant way for Tom to announce himself.

The job was now clear. Last year in the semi final the Jets held the lead versus Welling until 10 minutes to go. This time they had taken the lead at the same point in the game, and had to keep it. Welling poured forward. When they went directly down the middle they got no change out of Harry or Ben, and when they went wide they got further, but were having to make crosses into crowded areas.The clock ticked on. Once or twice the Jets almost ended the game....Anton again got to a long ball before the keeper, but this time his lob bounced agonisingly wide. Both Ben and Declan shot with the keeper stranded out of his box, but the execution failed to match the idea. And the clock ticked minute of injury time, two, the fourth minute a Welling move to the by-line saw a teasing cross come in; "Toby's" was the cry and the big punch took the ball out of danger. By the fifth minute it was just torture, butthe whistle finally came; a 3-2 triumph.

 Welling had been the one team the Jets could not defeat. Finally that changed. Arguably this was a day when Welling looked the better side on the ball, but it was also a day that the Jets had a game plan that worked, and that is a part of the game that matters too. It wasnt pretty, but on days where you take your chances, and defend well, there always is the chance to go home with a win. A win to remember on Remembrance Sunday.

Sunday October 30th, Kent County Cup u15s

Bromley 2 - 3 Langton Green (Bachorski, Gallagher, Balcombe)

All the other ties in the county cup had been played the previous week, and all had gone to form. The last tie of the round was the one that matched two sides with a serious chance of going all the way - someone was going to end the day disappointed.

Langton Green last came across Bromley in the u12s in the Tandridge league. A 6-1 cup loss back then had been part of the growing up process, as had a 4-1 victory later in the season. Since then each side had tasted success in the KYL, and picking a favourite was impossible in this Kent County Cup 2nd Round tie. Bromley had won 31-0 in the first round so were unlikely tobe lacking in confidence.

The Jets lined up in a new formation, welcoming BenR back from injury, and the first 15 minutes of the game set the pattern. Bromley passed well and looked threatening, but the Jets in transition were if anything more dangerous. Jack smashed a long range free kick against the bar, then put the bal just wide when sent through by Anton. The breakthrough came when roles were reversed, and Jack sent Anton clear. His pace took him away from trailing defenders and his finish was perfect, low into the corner.

The lead was good to have but hard to keep. Bromley's pace up front was a constant problem, and Harry and Toby were forced to make well judged interventions, as did Ben in an unfamiliar left back role. George and Matt were working hard in the middle of the pitch, which was hotly contested territory. The half time whistle brought a welcome respite and the chance to say 'well done'.

Rotation was necessary in such an intense game, which made keeping fluency important. The next goal would be crucial, and it was a brilliant one, as Jack took the ball from half way, at speed, all the way to the Bromley box and angled home his shot. The cushion of a two goal lead meant Bromley were tempted to go a little more directly at the Langton goal, which suited the aerial excellence of Toby Harry and Ben. A break down the left forced Angus into an excellent save, and then another, but almost inevitably a third attack down the same path saw Bromley back into the game with 20 minutes left. This was the moment to wobble, or not. But almost immediately Langton won a free kick, which meant Jack shooting again.....the keeper smuggled the ball onto the cross-bar but Harry was there first to bundle home the rebound from unmissable distance.  Credit to the ref (who was outstanding throughout) for overruling an optimistic flag.

As the minutes counted down the Jets played ever deeper. They bent but didnt break. Counter-attacks remained a problem for Bromley and when BenW rounded the keeper to make it 4-1 that that was that......except it wasnt; a brilliant piece of recovery running by the Bromley defender meant he got a foot to the goal bound shot into an empty net, and it stayed 3-1. This proved crucial because with time almost up Bromley's never say die approach was rewarded with a goal, setting up 4 crazy injury time minutes. They were just about kept out, and what might have been an enjoyable last 10 minutes had turned into a nail biting agony for the excellent Langton support on the sidelines.

Hand-shakes all round. It was a performance that deserved the win. Tenacious, incisive, and playing to a plan. Everyone knew they had been in a game, and Bromley will win many of them this season. And so will the Jets if they play like that again.

Sunday October 16th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 1 - 1 Hollands And Blair (Gallagher)

Back at the Rec, which was in good condition given the rain that had fallen in the previous 24 hours, the Jets welcomed strong opponents in H&B. Unfortunately centre back Ben was injured in school rugby, prompting a Sunday morning rethink, and for the second league game in a row Toby handed the gloves to Angus, and lined up in the back four.

After an even first 15 minutes the balance of play was increasingly towards the H&B goal. However the goal that came was not so much a credit to pressure, as a tribute to individual brilliance. Jack G was about 35 yards out, near the touchline, but caught the keeper stranded as he put the ball into the far top corner. Some might think it a fluke, but that's the third time the Jets have seen him do it. With the lead it looked very much like the game might be broken open but some excellent chances just didnt quite find the net. BenW was through but denied by finger tips, Anton almost tapped in at the back post after a great overlap and cross by Will, then Tom and Declan both picked out the keeper from good shooting chances, whilst Jack and George both had free kick chances we have seen them score with in other games.

The only thing wrong at half time was that the lead was just one - the performance was excellent. H&B kept stretching Nathan and Will with two wide players and were not going to roll over. And so it excellent game to and fro'd. Toby and Harry were solid in the middle, with only one lapse. With 20 minutes left Declan first hit the bar, then sidefooted just wide after excellent work from Ben W, but the goal just would not come.

Then a H&B corner turned into a scramble and the ball hit JackO on the arm. Not intended but very obvious, not to say heartbreaking. But Angus guessed correctly, and the penalty was saved. Would that be that ? No....another corner, another scramble and the ball was jammed in. 1-1.

The balance of chances meant a draw was a disappointment for the Jets. However H&B were never out of the game and will feel rewarded for their persistence. One of those games...when both sets of supporters are applauding at the end you know it has been a good one. The under 15 South division looks to have 7 teams that will be competing every week, and everyone is going to drop points along the way.

Next up ? Away games at Bromley, Maidstone, and Welling. Hard not to be excited...

Sunday October 2nd, KYL Under 15 South

Sheppey Utd 0 - 3 Langton Green (Gallagher, Oatley, Allen)

Not exactly a local derby, as the Jets made a first ever trip to the Isle of Sheppey. Preparation had not been ideal, with 6 absent from training on Friday. Team selection was mostly about who could walk, but the formation was going to be important, and the team jogged around the pitch before kick off taking in just how big the pitch was, and the impact of slope, sun, and wind. Back in the dressing room the game-plan came together, and for the second week in a row Toby lined up as a centre back, with Angus behind him in goal. With two midfielders doubting they could go 80 minutes and a third returning from injury there was no doubt lone substitute JackO would not be watching much of the game.

Sheppey won the toss and played uphill and against the wind, as the Jets would have chosen also. That quickly turned into a good thing as JackG was sent through by BenW and he finished right footed in off the far post, a great start. BenW kept peppering the Sheppey goal with volleys and drives, and the pace across the front three was a constant threat. From a Declan corner substitute JackO won the header, saw it parried, but was first to the rebound, and his debut KYL goal. Having come on early, he never left the game, and put in an excellent shift.

Meantime Matt and George were sharing time in the centre of midfield, and when Ben was fouled Matt was on the pitch to take advantage from the penalty spot. 3-0 was a great place to be but with the wind and slope so influential it was hard to know how comfortable to feel. Sheppey threatened on the break, but generally the back line was solid.

The first goal of the second half looked to be key. In the first 5 minutes Anton three times burst through and looked set to kill the game; on another day he might have a rapid hat-trick; not this day. Then Jack was fouled in the box - this time Matt was on the sidelines, so BenW stepped up, and saw his shot saved. And from the drop kick after the save it was almost a panic at the other end. In the absence of a goal Langton kept pushing, and playing some very decent football - Sheppey needed a foothold in the match, but were always at risk if they overpushed, because of the fast-break threat. Ben had outstanding game as provider, and runner, Declan behind him played an unselfish and hard working supporting role. Will and Nathan had their best defensive games of the season.

Only late in the game did a couple of corners threaten the clean sheet, but Angus was decisive in the air. Toby and Harry thoroughly deserved their clean sheet. Matt and George had run themselves into the ground and were grateful that the referee seemed to blow 5 minutes early! The game had looked a potential banana skin, with pre-game reshuffling of the pack, and some hurting players, but everyone came through, and earned the 3 points. They also earned a break next week....time to heal, for some!

Sunday September 25th, Kent County Cup, 1st round

Langton Green 3  - 1 Herne Bay     (Bachorski, Allen, Griffiths)

A sunny day, and a chance to enjoy the new facilities, welcoming Herne Bay from the KYL East. Also a chance to try something new, as Angus made a first appearance in goal this season, and Toby lined up at the back. The Jets chose the sun at their backs, down the slope for the first half.

Generally it was Langton's half. JackG saw three shots blocked, JackO (in his best performance to date) put one in the net only to see it called back for a foul elsewhere, Matt hit the bar from 30 yards out, Jack hit the post, Anton shot just wide. No shortage of chances but at half time it was only one thumping Anton finish that separated the sides, whilst he had another called offside after unselfish work by BenR.

It felt a comfortable 1-0, but things changed quickly. A too-easily conceded corner was headed in from close range. Plenty of Jets there to watch it, but that doesnt help a great deal. This understandably gave a boost to the visitors, and made the game much tenser than it perhaps needed to be. Herne Bay were rarely getting much change out of Harry Ben and Toby, but for as long as the scores were level anything could happen, and the Herne Bay keeper was playing a blinder.

JackG made the by-line but went for goal from too tight an angle. Good and bad. So he tried again, the same run, and this time pulled the ball back for Matt to sweep home.....a tribute to learning lessons. Tom almost killed the game when he hit the bar from distance, then George curled a free kick just wide. Finally, from another free kick George just went with power, 3-1, game over. There was still time for a couple of 'moments', but Angus had his angles right, and capped a solid game. Likewise Toby, who was good on the ball, and gave a lesson in loud clear communication. The experiment was deemed a success.

Credit to all at Herne Bay for a valiant battle. Their players and coaches and fans were a credit to their club on and off the pitch. Referee Frank Meilack was acclaimed as excellent by all who watched. So, all in all, a good day.

Sunday September 18th, KYL Under 15 South

Tunbridge Wells 0 - 4 Langton Green    (Balcombe, Watkins 2, Bachorski)

The Jets returned to the scene of some bad April memories of a bumpy sloping pitch at Southfields Park. But, before the game there was a reminder of the much more important things, as both sides stood in memory of Dave Leeson, someone who was always on the sidelines with a smile on his face, the kind of parent everyone would want.

Tunbridge Wells kicked off down the hill, and in the first moments of the match got behind a sleeping defence; it took a great save from Toby to wake things up. Thereafter the half followed a pattern, as for the most part the Jets pressed, whilst being vulnerable to long clearances and breakaways. Set pieces were always going to be important on a pitch that didnt suit passing football. Jack hit the bar from a Matt corner, and Harry hooked over from close range, whilst Anton and Ben each came close after a Jack long throw. Eventually it was Jack free kick that broke the deadlock, the ball hitting the post, then Harry, who was in the right place to squeeze the ball in off the same post again.

The lead doubled shortly after when a long Toby clearance was flicked on twice. That's all it took to send BenW through, and he calmly lobbed home. George headed just over from Declan's corner, but sadly, for the second week in a row injury had knocked Declan out of the game by half time. With a makeshift midfield the second half was not as fluent as hoped. One move that did join all the dots led to a fine left footed finish from Anton. At other times it didnt quite click. For the most part Harry and Ben were solid, and Toby only troubled from long range. To T Wells' credit they pushed hard, and took some attacking risks that gave Langton breakaway situations; both sides were frustrated in the final third. Near the end Nathan tiptoed through the midfield and hit a fine shot that was well turned round the post. From the corner BenW helped himself to his second goal of the game, and that was that, 4 - 0. Job done.

Not a beautiful game to watch, just a game to grind out. Early season results suggest the depth in the Under 15 South division is going to make for very few easy games, and just keeping on keeping on will be important. Having got one less point than last year away to Aylesford, this week it was two more points than last year away to T Wells. Progress, of a sort.

Sunday September 11th, KYL Under 15 South

Aylesford 1 - 0 Langton Green

A bright sunny day, a good pitch, and welcoming hosts. The stage was set for one of the 'big' games of the season. Will was struggling with injury, and with two absentees the team was at bare bones, no margin for error.

Both teams had fast attacks and solid central defenders, which made for an intense battle. Harry headed just over, and Jack had a strong cross-shot parried, whilst at the other end Aylesford threatened as well. The Jets stood still when a decision was surprisingly given the other way, and nearly paid the price, saved by the post. But the relief was brief as Toby had to stretch to save another shot, only to see the rebound fall to a strong right foot, 1-0 to Aylesford.

A bizarre passage of play followed. The Aylesford keeper mistakenly picked the ball up and gave an indirect free kick away. The wall was all very well, but for some reason defenders were allowed near the ball so long as not directly in front....inevitably the ball was touched and intercepted before a shot could even be taken.....odd, and disappointing, a good chance wasted.

Half time meant a rethink.....Will had already limped off, JackG had also needed attention. It wasnt going to be possible for the midfield to both protect the defence and support the strikers - it was just asking too much on a hot day, and a reshuffle tried to address that. Unfortunately early in the second half Declan was also then lost for the rest of the game to injury, so Matt became a stand-in full back, and Will gave it a go in midfield, albeit not at full speed.

Under the circumstances it was a decent effort in the second half. There were near-misses, and more play towards the Aylesford goal than the reverse, but the equaliser was tantalisingly elusive. The more the Jets pushed on, the greater the fast-break danger, and for neutrals it must have been an exciting game. The final whistle came all too soon- probably fair to say that 3 points for one team and 0 for the the other wasnt the 'fair' distribution, but fair doesnt have to enter into it, thems the breaks sometimes. Aylesford have some good momentum from a strong finish last season and good start to this one. Their leadership tries to do things the right way so it is hard to begrudge their day in the sun. The return fixture will be one to watch.

The Langton Green Jets debuted in the Kent Youth League under 13 Central Division in 2014-15 and finished second, as well as reaching the cup final. They followed that up in the 2015-16 season with another 2nd place finish (and cup semi-finalists) and are about to embark on their 3rd year of Kent Youth League football.

The last update was 5 months ago to the day.....the Jets had just seen their league title hopes evaporate with a last-game-of-the-season heartbreaker of a late equaliser for the second year in a row. Painful water flows slowly under the bridge, but the first steps down the road came with wins in each of the 3 summer Fiestas entered, at Thamsemead, at home at Langton, and at Tonbridge. Sadly Ned chose to move on, but the squad welcomed a new Jack (Oatley), which was as well, because the old one (Gallagher) was busy collecting cricket awards and unavailable for the first game of the season.

Sunday September 4th, KYL Under 15 South

Langton Green 4 - 3 Bredhurst Juniors (Allen, O'Shea, Manuel, Griffiths)

Waiting 5 months to move on from the pain of their last KYL game the boys wasted no adding to it! After 25 seconds of the new season they were 0-1 down to a Bredhurst side who clearly meant business, on a sunny day at the Rec. No-one took responsibility to clear a harmless looking cross and the Bredhurst striker said thank you very much. With the sleep not yet out of their eyes it took a great save from Toby to keep out a threatening free kick, not to mention another goalmouth scramble before anyone started to remember this wasn't the pre-season it was the Kent Youth League.

Gradually the boys climbed back into the game. Ollie and Tom came on to freshen the approach, and the equaliser came when Matt gambled at the back post and volleyed home neatly from Declan's corner. Not long after that the two subs combined to feed Dec in the D outside the box, and his shot into the top corner was an early 'best goal of the season' candidate. When Ben W got on the end of Matt's headed flick it was almost enough for a breathing-room lead, but the ball came back off the post, and the half ended with another alarm at the other end. Bredhurst weren't going away quietly.

Half time gave time to reflect....too many attempts to carry the ball in places where it needed moving quicker was an obvious conclusion....not to mention a need to sharpen up and execute the basics. Easy to say, but another soft corner was conceded, and not for the first time the Bredhurst striker didnt wait around whilst the Jets looked on. 2-2. Harry then headed George's free kick against the inside of the Bredhurst post before another free kick beckoned. What looked to be advantage Langton turned into a fast break the other way, and instead of clearing the ball the attempt to dribble it out turned to disaster. Once again the Bredhurst striker didnt wait around, and while Toby blocked the shot it rebounded cruelly back over him and spun gently into the empty net....shades of April 3rd.

Having gifted the opposition a start, then taken the lead and lost it again it would be easy to roll over. But over the 2 and a (small) bit seasons in the KYL no-one has lost less games than the Jets, and even when the football isnt clicking a 'refuse-to-lose' attitude goes a long way. With 15 minutes to go Ben W broke into the box on the left and got the ball into the middle where Tom finished calmly for his debut KYL goal. 5 minutes later and this time it was a free kick on the right side. George considered the cross, and then decided to go for the jackpot. From the moment he struck it the ball was only ever going to the far top corner. Outstanding execution, and a 4-3 lead.

Last season scoring in the 69th minute was a good way to end a game. This season, playing 40 minute halves instead of 35, it means 10 more minutes to battle. Bredhurst unsurprisingly threw the kitchen sink. Toby had to be both brave and agile. Harry and Ben handled the direct attacks well, but the corners were heart-stopping. The Bredhurst delivery was excellent and will cause sides trouble all season. Up the other end Tom ought to have ended the game but hit the keeper from 5 yards out. There was time for one last injury time corner, Toby came, punched, and the loose ball was hoiked away to the tune of the final whistle.

The lead had changed 4 times. Bredhurst were understandably hurting to give so much to a great game and end up with nothing to show for it, but showed great grace at the final whistle. Amidst the blood and thunder the referee handled the game brilliantly; whilst the pot simmered, it never boiled over, much to his credit. The Jets will know all 3 goals conceded were very avoidable, and hope to tighten up, and will also increase their attacking threat when Jack returns.

In some ways the final outcome came down to two free kicks. The one brilliantly saved by Toby at 0-1, and the one scored by George to make it 4-3. Switch those outcomes and it might have been a different story. Two pieces of excellence, and a one goal margin. The Under 15 South looks set to be a great division.