Falcons 2015 - 2016

Hawkhurst 0 Langton Green Falcons 7

Sunday 1st May 2016 - 1:30pm kick off at Benenden Recreation Ground

Linesman: Colin Campbell
Supervising Linesman: Mark Roughley
(Supervising them both - a sad and injured George Roughley on the side line!)

Match reporter: Sandra Richards (with A LOT of help from the ‘Soccermoms’ on the side-lines!!)

So, the last match of the season for Langton Green Falcons and, with the league championship already in the bag, the team management decided it was finally time for a female perspective on the game!! So, here goes!

It was a splendid, sunny, spring day in an idyllic English country village location; daisies sprouting on the green, green grass of the pitch - all very pretty, but not sure it passed the high standards of grounds keeping set by Simon, especially as it also sloped towards the road! Nonetheless a very suitable setting for the League Champions' last match. And once everyone had negotiated the sunny bank holiday weekend traffic to get there, the question on all lips was 'will Langton bring it, or will they just rest on their Champions' Laurels?!' Well…. oh man, did they bring it!!

The Falcons ran on looking magnificent in their fresh white and green kit and so did Hawkhurst in their red and white stripes (although not sure the yellow boots worn by many of them really worked with the red socks). Anyway, Hawkhurst won the toss and kicked off.

Langton immediately took control with Josh Berry making a break for goal with the first 60 seconds! A slightly shocked Hawkhurst keeper managed to step up and make the save but this set the tone for the first half of the match; another break for goal was soon made by the dynamic duo of Ben and Joey, followed shortly after by a very near miss by Luke from a great cross by Joey!

The superb play by the Falcons was soon rewarded when Joey scored from an excellent cross by Josh Berry, followed by a Dynamic Duo special - Joey's second goal brilliantly set up by Ben (no bias here of course!).

Ian 'Cheshire Cat' Berry was now in his element!

The Falcons did not let up, with any attempted attack by Hawkhurst being swiftly shut down by the Falcons’ ever brilliant defence.

The next thing we knew Harvey took a throw on from the side-line about halfway into the opposition’s half, straight to Max, who deftly passed to Ben, who took the ball and ran through the Hawkhurst defenders with lots of fancy footwork and crossed a dangerous low ball in the penalty area. Both Josh and Joey were on it but Josh managed to calmly tap it in to make it 3-0!

Hawkhurst stepped it up. After a series of amazing tackles, Kaan cleared the ball high into the air but as Harvey tried to receive it he was blinded by the sun. Hawkhurst seized the moment, only to be outclassed by an outstanding clearance from Louis Verrell. Cue sigh of relief and rapturous applause from the Falcons GAPS (Grandparents and Parents on the Side-lines).

This was to be followed by a series of near misses for the Falcons as the fresh legs of Luca, Dan B, Ollie and Josh Brogan came on. Three near misses for Ben, the last of which was beautifully set up by Luca, and then a near miss for Simon as he tried to retrieve the ball from the road (still at least it was a nice, expensive looking convertible - so he would have gone out in style!).

Ben’s perseverance was soon to be rewarded however, as a superb pass by Harry gave him the golden moment to decisively put away goal number 4 for the Falcons!

The Falcons really were flying now and Lewie soon seized his moment of glory weaving in and out of the Hawkhurst players to score the most amazing goal, only for it to be disallowed due to something called the offside rule?! Most unfair! Perhaps the referee’s sunglasses were not prescription lenses!

The opposition seized the moment of disbelief to make a storming attack, forcing Dan the Man to make the most amazing save! Hawkhurst were soon punished for this: after a through ball from Ben, Luca weaved round the Hawkhurst defence and finished like a master, 5-0!

So, to the second half - yes, all that was only the first half!

Hawkhurst stepped up their game and held the Falcons off more effectively this half but they could only do so much. They did not bank on Harvey Geal! What can you do against a beautiful lob from the pretty little circle in the middle of the pitch when it lands directly behind the keeper! Geal-orious!! Apparently Harvey’s first goal of the season, but he certainly saved the best for last!

After that there was no stopping The Falcons. Another near miss followed as Josh Berry and Joey attempted to recreate the glory of their earlier one-two and Kaan even got a cuddle from Hawkhurst’s goalkeeper at one point as the keeper attempted to stop Langton scoring again!

To be fair to Hawkhurst, the score line was not reflecting how well they were playing. They soon made an amazing attempt at goal only to be foiled again by the safe hands of Dan the Man.

The Falcons just were just not letting up, clearly enjoying their last match and showing exactly why they are the League Champions! Ollie made an incredible run down the outside, Dan Baker made a very near miss at goal, Lewie struck one of his notorious ‘Lewie lobs’ only for it to be saved, and then Ben passed to Max who went for goal but was just scuppered by the goalie. There was then a breathtaking attempt at goal after Lewie sprinted to the side-line to keep a ball in play and was able to pass to Harry who made a great cross at goal, which was just missed first by Joey, then by Ben and then scooped up into the keeper’s hands.

Hawkhurst had a last minute opportunity with a free kick just near the goal but could not quite make it count. Unluckily for them, Joey the goal machine was still after his elusive hat-trick. He soon attacked their goal again without success but when Lewie got through to try his luck at goal Joey seized the ball after the keeper fumbled it and struck home goal number 7 and the Parris hat-trick! The sustained pressure on the goalkeeper had proved too much and most of the Soccermoms were ready to run on and give the poor lad a big hug, but the full-time whistle was blown.

Langton Green Falcons 7 Hawkhurst 0

A suitably convincing win for the League Champions (did I mention that already?!) and a superb end to a blinding season.

The boys were presented with a League Winners Trophy from their coaches, as well as what we all sincerely hope is not a farewell gift from Simon of a bootbag each – very kind and generous.

Very well done boys.

Huge thanks to the super coaches – we all hope you enjoy your well deserved gifts (much credit to Ruth for organising this on everyone’s behalf). See you for the fiestas!

P.S. I can only apologise in advance that this match report is a bit long but what can you do when you get the highest scoring match of the season to report on! Oh and apparently the 10th league win in a row for the Falcons too I’m reliably told.

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Riverhead Angels 1

Sunday 17th April 2016 - 11:30 kick off at Groombridge

Match Reporter: Steve Conn

Sunday brought a fine sunny morning to ‘Fortress Groombridge’. The pitch looked pristine thanks to the usual sterling efforts of Groundsman Peat - he really is a diamond. The conditions were right for what promised to be a tough match against a solid Riverhead side who had dispatched Broad Oak 4-2 the previous week. The Falcons went into this match needing two wins from their final two league fixtures to be sure of the league title. But would they be suffering a hangover from their narrow cup final defeat?

The match started competitively, presided over by man in black Ian Berry, who stepped in at the last minute when the allocated ref pulled out. Sadly Ian had forgotten his whistle so was having to blow hard through his dentures and hope a noise came out.

The first 15 minutes saw a tight midfield battle between the two sides, with neither team being able to create a clear-cut chance. The Falcons were looking a bit nervous and having trouble keeping the ball on the ground and spreading it wide, as has brought them so much success this season. The defence of Lewie, Harvey, Kaan and Louis were having to repel some swift Riverhead attacks, while in midfield Luke and Max were struggling to gain control, and Josh and Harry were feeding on scraps out wide. Then came a free-kick to Riverhead about five yards outside the Falcons’ box on the right-hand side. The ball bobbled into the box, defenders failed to clear, and after what Dan describes as a ‘kerfuffle’, a Riverhead player planted it into the top corner of the net. 0-1.

The Falcons’ needed a quick reaction, and promptly started to win more 50:50 balls. A couple of very dangerous corners from Harry almost brought joy. Then, with about five minutes to go in the half, a silky run through from Luca saw the ball knocked past the keeper and surely heading towards the bottom corner of the Riverhead net. A desperately retreating defender slid in and hit the ball against the post….and out. Was it over the line? Groundsman Peat led the Langton shouts for a goal. But goal-line technology was inevitably inconclusive as we don’t have goal-line technology, so no goal could be given.

Ian’s whistle had been located by Kerry, and it signalled half-time with the Falcons one-nil down. The half-time team talk encouraged the Falcons to keep playing their game, keep moving the ball, and surely the chances would come.

The second half started with the Falcons looking determined and controlling more of the play. Chances came for the rampaging dynamic duo of Joey and Ben, but all crept agonisingly wide. Was it just going to be one of those days? Then after about 15 minutes, another corner came in from Harry, there was a shout for handball by the Riverhead defenders, but the predator Joey kept his concentration and nerve to expertly knock a loose ball into the net. 1-1.

Belief flooded back as the Falcons realised a win was there for the taking. Max and Luke started to crunch into tackles and boss the midfield, and the boys started to have more joy down the flanks, with Josh and Luca combining well on the right and Harry and Lewie enjoying their normal double act on the left. Then, cometh the hour, cometh the Ben. A pass from Harry, and Ben was away, outpacing and outmuscling the defence as he cut in from the left and slid the ball past a helpless Riverhead keeper. 2-1.

Ten minutes to go; could the Falcons hang on for a crucial victory? There were a few nervous moments, but the Riverhead attacks were calmly fielded by Dan or cleared up by Kaan, who was organising superbly from the back. Ben nearly scored another great goal very similar to his first, but the keeper got in the way. Then with a few minutes left, a swift Falcons break saw Joey feed the ball to Luca overlapping on the right, and Luca slotted the ball beautifully into the bottom right of the Riverhead net. Much relief all round.

The final whistle: 3-1 to the Falcons. Coming back from one-nil down at half-time to win such a vital match was real testament to the character in this Falcons team. Well done to all the boys.

One more league match left; one more win needed for the title (unless Wadhurst drop points at Broad Oak next Sunday…).

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The Knockout Cup Final U13

Langton Green Falcons 1 Wadhurst United Tigers 2

Sunday 10th April 2016. 9:30am kick off at The Beaconsfield, Hailsham
Match Reporter: Colin Campbell

It was a perfect morning for this eagerly anticipated crunch cup final; a sun drenched pitch, a light breeze and two squads of young players seeking glory.

The Hailsham stadium was filled with nervous supporters - parents, grandparents and friends from all over Kent and Sussex armed with balloons and banners in their respective team colours to show their support to the boys.

Three female officials were in charge of refereeing the match, a historical first for the Crowborough League.

It was the Falcons in yellow who kicked off against Wadhurst Tigers in white. Within minutes the Falcons were attacking, Joey and Ben taunting the Tigers with dazzling footwork and ball holding skills. On the few occasions the Tigers came hunting, their tame incisions were decisively neutered by solid defending from Kaan, Harvey, Dan B and Lewie.

But like others before them, the Tigers were blind to the talents of the Falcons player recently nicknamed 'the ghost.’ Latching onto a superb through ball from Josh Berry, Ben used his ethereal skill to waft through Wadhurst’s defence, leaving the tigers looking like mere alley cats. Dribbling, turning, bewitching the crowds, his calmly placed side-footed goal prompted rapturous applause and a few tears from his lovely mum. 1-0.

And there were further cheers seconds later, not a goal but a heroic sliding tackle from Harvey G which dispossessed an attacking run from Wadhurst’s most threatening player, number 4 (who went on to win Man of the Match).

At the other end the tackles weren’t so well timed. Ben 'the ghost’ Richards was awarded a penalty after being floored as he again drifted through the Tigers back line. Sadly Joey’s shot slipped just wide of the Wadhurst post. But don’t forget, it was ‘goal machine’ Parris’s goal scoring capabilities and assists that helped get us here. And like a seasoned pro, he cracked on with the task. Falcons pressure on the Tigers defence resulted in a back pass to their keeper. The goalie mis-kicked, Joey pounced but miraculously the Tigers clawed the ball back under control.

In the first half it was the Falcons who had the lion’s share of possession. There were threatening skilful runs and dangerous crosses delivered from both the ‘vital cog’ Josh Berry on the right, and the left-footed wonder kid ‘my dad buys all the drinks’ Harry P on the left flank. Throughout the game in the centre of the field, midfield excellence, crunching tackles, brute force and determination from the rotating squad of Max, Luke (who battled bravely with a groin strain throughout), Josh, Luca, and George.

There was immediate controversy before the starting whistle for the second half had even been blown, with a pitch-side ban handed out to Simon Peat, our tactical guru, who was banished from the dugout to isolation in the stands. Apparently the rules stipulate only two coaches are allowed to stand in the technical area. A furious, red-faced Peat kicked off big time at the fourth official, and was promptly given his marching orders. A large fine will surely follow.

The Falcons were out first after the break but the Tigers roared back into it, forcing Dan C to make his second save of the game. Ollie, now on up front, delivered a great ball to Ben, but the ghost’s shot was saved.

With the Falcons now looking tired and weary from their battles, a flurry of tactical changes followed. But the Tigers smelt blood and were now repeatedly attacking, forcing the Falcons onto the back foot. Tired legs and pressure resulted in a controversially awarded penalty. With the match reporter now too emotionally involved to watch, it was the whoops of delight from the other end of the stadium that signalled Wadhurst’s successful penalty conversion. 1-1.

Despite the setback, the boys stoically battled on. From here on it was enthralling end-to-end action. Within this frantic segment of play, a finely placed cross from Captain Luke to Joey P in the Wadhurst box, but it was another shot saved by the Tigers keeper.

At the other end a Wadhurst corner, a goal mouth scramble ensued, a number of bodies fell to the ground, desperate blocks, saves made, but tragically the ball hit the back of the net. 2-1.

With minutes left, one last chance fell to the Falcons. A brilliant through ball by Luca to 'the ghost', skill, control, speed, a shot but alas no goal. A different day and this could have been a Falcons’ victory. As we all know, getting this far is a massive achievement. But the bigger achievement is winning the League. A huge well done lads, you all played brilliantly, with verve, passion and dedication. A huge well done and thanks to the coaches, Ian, Steve and Simon, for all your hard work, patience and commitment.

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Tunbridge Wells Youth Eagles 1

Sunday 20th March 2016 - 11:30 kick off at Groombridge

Match Reporter: Alastair Cameron

A cold but fine morning with a rather low parental turnout. Could it be the worry of side-line brawling keeping them away? Those who had come had brought a menagerie of attack dogs, just in case. The Falcons are still top of the league. Interesting to see that our arch rivals Broad Oak managed a 10-0 win over Riverhead Angels – I wonder what the respect line was like.

So the team formerly know as “Ridgewaye” turned up for the challenge in strips compared to tiger skins, or mention of bumblebees was heard. The match started with plenty of passing from both sides and full use of the pitch during the first five minutes. A worrying run for the Falcons goal was made, ending in a strong goal kick from Dan. The play picked up and Harry took a ball in the face, which was closely followed by Joey making a run for the TWY goal - sadly not to be this time.

TWY started making substitutions after eight minutes and there seemed to be some confusion over shirts. The Falcons were not to be put off and Ben took a shot that was just off target. A dubious foul saw Lewie C taking a free kick. Still no goals with 15 minutes gone.

The next foul was on Joey and the TWY goalie made an excellent save from the ensuing free kick. Time for the Falcons to take it up a gear. Ben was hauled down in the box by two defenders after a fine battling run and once again Joey found himself putting a penalty into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. 1-0 with 14 minutes of the first half left.

More long passes up and down the pitch saw sustained attacking from the Falcons right up to the half-time whistle.

The second half saw the Falcons using the TWY players for target practice: never have so many balls hit the opposition so hard! Luke and Luca were bossing the midfield, with Luke seeming to be everywhere on the pitch. Things were starting to look a bit desperate from TWY's point of view. An attempt was made to remove the head of a TWY player with a very strong Falcons’ clearance, at which point the ball was put to proper use and carefully placed into the goal by Josh Brogan.

2-0 to the Falcons 10 minutes into the second half. Never sure why the opposing crowd say “unlucky” at each loss. There was nothing unlucky about it; the better team scored fair and square.

A long kick from Lewie C saw the ball head down to the right end of the pitch. The following pinpoint cross from Harry was headed into the goal by Joey to make it 3-0 with six minutes remaining.

TWY made a desperate rush to get a goal back and slightly took the Falcons by surprise as the ball trickled into the net following a corner. Now that was “unlucky”. A nerve-racking few closing minutes saw the timekeeper frantically indicating time was up.

Final whistle: 3-1. A hard-fought win. Two more league matches left; two more wins needed.

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Langton Green Falcons 5 Broad Oak & Horam Legend 3

Sunday 13th March 2016 - 10:00 kick off at Groombridge
Match Reporter: David Salmons

Where to start? What an eventful morning! I’ll focus just on the football.

We started the match top of the league, against a Broad Oak team that had only lost two matches in the league (one against us). It was always going to be tense, and so it proved to be.

After just a few minutes Broad Oak were awarded a free kick. They floated one down the middle, which caught our defence by surprise and suddenly their player was one on one with Dan Conn. Somehow Dan brilliantly got a hand to the ball and pushed the shot to the side. However, the ball was still trundling towards the goal. Still Lewie was back now and surely would keep it out. Unfortunately he slipped at the crucial moment and fell along the line. I think Lewie was tempted to keep it out with his hands, but he did the right thing and let the ball cross the line. Broad Oak were ahead - this was not how things were meant to happen!!

The game restarted and the football was end to end. We began to get the upper hand, and Ben and Joey were showing their pace up front, with Joey in particular running fast and straight at goal. After a few good moves were cancelled out by the Broad Oak defence, Joey eventually got a shot on target. Their goalkeeper seemed to have it covered, but somehow fumbled his save and as quick as a flash Ben pounced and we were level at 1-1.

Following his four goals last week, Ben was looking full of confidence and it wasn’t long before he was through on goal again and calmly slotted the ball into the goal. This was better. Surely the boys would start playing the brilliant football that we’ve grown accustomed to.

Unfortunately Broad Oak had other ideas and a long throw went over our defence and their striker banged it home to make it 2-2.

It was good to see that the boys heads didn’t drop and everyone was still getting stuck in. Max was like a tank in the middle, the defence began to firm up and it was good to see Dan Baker having a solid game in his first start back in the team after injury. Harry was getting stuck in and linking well with the strikers, and it wasn’t long before Joey was through on goal against the keeper. He finished brilliantly with a delicate lob into the net. Half time and 3-2 up.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first, with Broad Oak getting a quick goal and they were back level again at 3-3.

What did the Falcons need to do to beat this team? Well the boys certainly found the answer to this one. Joey ran and ran and ran. George and Luca (on for the second half) teamed up well on the right and began to rip holes in the Broad Oak defence, Luke dropped back to provide cover for Harvey and Kaan, Harry steamed up and down the left and Max controlled the centre. This was more like the play we love to watch. Luca really was impressing, with good speed and great footwork, and he managed to break through the defence and slot the ball home, for a completely deserved goal.

We were on top now and just needed one more goal to kill this game off. It came from a corner that broke to Luke, well outside the penalty area, who smashed a corker high into the air, falling perfectly into the top corner. A fitting finish to a hard fought but totally deserved victory. The boys can be proud of their battling performance today.

Another five goals (we won 5-0 in the cup in December) against a good team shows just how well the boys have played this year.

We stay top of the league with three matches to go, 7 points ahead of Foresters, 8 ahead of Wadhurst and crucially now 10 points ahead of Broad Oak, who have just 3 games in hand.

Well done boys!!

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Langton Green Falcons 5 Foresters 1

Sunday 6th March 2016, 11.30 kick off at Groombridge
Match reporter: Colin Campbell

'Chopped down to size'

Foresters started the more lively on a sunny but chilly Mothering Sunday.

But within minutes the Falcons were in control, stamping their authority on the game flow. A great cross by Harry was skilfully slotted home by Joey. 1-0.

Great strength from Max delivered another ball into the box. Ben latched onto it and dribbled past Foresters' entire defence before shooting. 2-0.

But Foresters came back, a well delivered corner converted after hesitation from the Falcons' defence. 2-1.

Foresters pressed but there was some great battling from all the Falcons players, in particular Harvey, Luke and Kaan.

Welcome back Dan Baker, who returned to right back with steely determination.

Then another cross from Harry to Ben, chipped over the keeper, off the bar. 3-1.

Ben's hat-trick came seconds later. This one a spectacular strike looped over the Foresters goalie, sliding down the back of the net. 4-1.

The wonder striker wasn't finished. Great interplay between our forwards, the ball again at Ben's feet, he shoots, he scores. Sign him up Chelsea! 5-1. Ben's Dad, hungover but now ecstatic #prouddad.

This was a game of one half - the first. There were some great saves by Dan in goal, a penalty for a push on Max; the score remained 5-1. There were great runs and skill by Luca and George. And the icing on the cake almost came in the dying minutes. A customary Lewie lob from a distance but, hey, sadly not to be! Great game, well done lads. You all played your hearts out that's what matters! Oh and we're still top of the league.

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Tunbridge Wells Youth Eagles 0 Langton Green Sports Club Falcons 2

Sunday 28th February 2016 - 12:15 ko – Southborough

Match Reporter: Marc Parris

The match was set to be a tough one from the start given the icy, hurricane conditions, but the boys had a quiet and calm presence about them. Was this confidence?

The game started with the Falcons flying in the direction of the high winds. The first quarter of the game was very evenly matched. TW Eagles had a couple of chances in our box and with some great passing pulled off a couple of shots. These were dealt with by a calm Dan. One save in particular saw Dan leave the floor completely to make a lovely diving save and see the ball out for a corner.

The game soon started to go the Falcons' way with some long passing aided by the strong wind. But this was not always a good thing as many times the ball ran out for a goal kick. There were some great short and long passes from Luca, who produced some fine looking football. This led to frustration in the Eagles nest and some tackling got slightly out of hand, and when Luca was felled in the box we were left with the nervous moment of a penalty. Joey looked like he wanted this one as he was already standing on the spot. With a calm run-up, Joey sent the ball into the right-hand corner of the net……. 1:0.

From this point, the Falcons started to up their game with some more pressure. But the Falcons were still playing a long game with a lot of balls going out for goal kicks. The Falcons started making some great runs down the wings, and from one of these Harry forced a corner. Harry put the corner straight into the danger zone, and with a sweet half-volley Joey made it 2:0.

HALF TIME

The second half playing against the wind was extremely difficult. The Falcons soon learned that they had to revert back to how they normally play football…. a passing game. This led to some great midfield work and some fine runs against the wind by Luke. Harvey, Kaan and Dan played a great game in defence. The Falcons came under a lot of pressure in the second half but their solid defence made it impossible for the Eagles to fly through!

Both teams played extremely well and all the boys coped brilliantly in what was probably the coldest and definitely the windiest game of the season.

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Langton Green Falcons 6 Tonbridge Invicta 1

Sunday 7th February 2016, 11am ko – Groombridge Tanyard
Match reporter: David Salmons

Following recent performances (especially outplaying Foresters), there was a keen sense of anticipation amongst the supporters as the game kicked off. The boys soon delivered with a great tackle and pass from Harry putting Joey through on the keeper, and as usual he made no mistake, 1-0.

As we huddled together on the side-line, trying to get some shelter from the wind, there was talk of how this could be a chance to improve our goal difference with a big win. This was further encouraged by a super goal from George, powering down the right wing and thumping a shot over the keeper into the top corner.

However Tonbridge had not read the script properly and attacked down the left wing. Three defenders rushed over, keen to get some action, but the ball squirted back into the middle to leave their striker one on one with Dan. Dan clearly looked shocked that our defence had been breached for a change and that he might actually need to dive and get his kit dirty. 2-1 and stunned silence on the side-lines.

The following passage of play was frustrating, with our shots bouncing off the post and crossbar and whizzing past the goal (two into the river). The ball just wouldn't go in. Was it to be one of the days (don't mention Riverhead!).

Then at last Ben slotted home and we began to relax.

After the half time team-talk, the boys began to relax and get back to their passing game. The defence was solid, the midfield tenacious and playing into the wind we attacked and attacked. However, the linesman was very quick to raise his flag and seemed keen to get involved by straying right into the middle of the pitch for a better view of the action. Then followed a moment of confusion - a clear back pass to the keeper who picked it up yards off his line. Perhaps the ref had a couple of beers too many the previous night, as the resulting indirect free kick was given yards outside the box!

In the end, Joey got two more to complete an excellent hat-trick (and thanked the supporters for cheering him on) and Luke scored a beauty with a long distance dipping shot over the keeper’s head. It could have been more, but in difficult conditions 6-1 was a good result.

The highlight of the match had to be the arrival of a new superhero - Lycra Man!! With his helmet strategically placed, Colin strode (?) over to the pitch. His costume clearly outclassing Mark's fishing trawler outfit from last week ;-)

The gauntlet has been thrown down - who can outdo this next match??

And guess what – we’re Top of the League!!

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Foresters 0 (Cup Semi-Final)

Sunday 31st January 2016, 11am ko – Groombridge Tanyard
Match reporter: Alastair Cameron

So there we have it, the green and white Falcons saw off the bright red Foresters with a resounding 3 - 0 victory to clinch a place in the cup final, which will be held on Sunday 10th April at Hailsham Town FC’s ground.
We now know that the final will be against Wadhurst, who seem to have beaten Polegate 16 - 2 in the other semi-final (can this be true!).
Never fear, last time we played them we won 3 -2.

So what happened today?

It was a vile day down at the Tanyard with horizontal rain blowing and the pitch like a swamp. Allegedly the pitch was mown on Friday by Simon, who needs to work harder on getting regulation stripes into the grass.

I was slightly alarmed on arriving at 1000 to find what appeared to be dozens of Forester players, coaches and hangers-on all over the car park and already on the pitch. No sign of Langton anywhere, until they were spotted sheltering in the clubhouse. This might not be the best of days!

Mark had the honour of being our linesman and was kitted out appropriately for a fishing trawler.

Kicked off at 1100 just as the rain and wind set in. And, with spray flying from the ball, some steady passing saw Foresters making a run for our goal, but a swift save by Dan sorted that one out. This seemed to send a clear message to the boys....with the majority of the match being played out in the opposition’s half after that.

An instant retaliation to a Foresters' attack saw some great passing by Ben and Joey, but it wasn't to be this time. The first break came at 1116 with a fantastic cross from Luke that was precisely finished by Joey. 1 - 0

A rattled Foresters went on the attack again but solid defending by Lewie, Louis, Khan and Harvey kept them well away from the danger zone. At this stage, Langton were making full use of the pitch and forcing a very determined Foresters team to work hard for the ball. Not sure they were helped by constant shouts of “You need to win the ball”.

Another chance for Ben, and then Joey took a shot over the keeper’s head but it was cleared off the line. However, we got two corner balls in succession. An attack by the Reds saw them gain a free kick, with Dan making a fantastic save. Enough of that – Harry moved the ball up the pitch with a long pass that Ben manoeuvred around numerous players before slotting into the net. 2 – 0 at 1138.

Half time called at 1143. Maybe the Ref needs a new watch?

At half time there was a slightly suspicious incident involving Simon and Steve heading into a dark shed, only to appear a few minutes later carrying flags. Cheerleaders? No, sadly not. Apparently the corner flags had been forgotten.

No doubt a strong pep talk for the reds spurred them into attack, and more action saw some free kicks and fouling from both sides. At one stage it looked more like rugby. One sliding tackle left Lewie doing a worm impression!

Some good footwork from the Falcons saw the ball sent backwards by Max to Harry, then passed back to Max, who struck it sweetly straight into the Foresters net from outside the box. 3 - 0. Well-timed substitutions meant all contributed to the match. In the closing minutes Ben had another run at the goal but the Foresters goalie was not going to be beaten this time.

Full time whistle at exactly 35 minutes (the watch was working this half). 3 - 0 the final score. Many congratulations to the boys for this victory – there is a hint of silver polish in the air.

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Tonbridge Junior Storm 1 Langton Green Falcons 5

Sunday 24th January 2015
, 11am ko in Tonbridge

Match reporter: Marc Parris

In their first competitive game since the Christmas break, Langton Green Falcons took on a very defensive Tonbridge Junior Storm.

The first 20 minutes looked to be going the Falcons' way with 80% of ball possession around the Tonbridge penalty area. Was it to be one of those games where the boys just can’t find the back of the net?

The Falcons dominated most of the play until a loose ball in the midfield was blown up pitch very quickly by the Storm. The Falcons, having pushed right up, were then slightly on the back foot and with their first shot on target Tonbridge took the lead. 1:0. It looked like it was going to be one of those games, but the Falcons have come back from worse positions than this before!

In the next 10 minutes, the Falcons produced some lovely football. The link-up play between Lewie and Harry was a pleasure to watch. With only five minutes to go in the first half, the Falcons were making their own storm in the Tonbridge goal-mouth. A nice corner from Harry slid towards the goal………..to be blocked by a defender….but straight into the path of Joey, who managed to put the ball over the bar from five yards out. Was the Christmas break a bit too long???!!!

Half Time - Tonbridge Junior Storm 1 Langton Green Falcons 0

Team talks, and I would love to know what the Falcon boys had to eat in the changing room. The boys started the second half with a new passion. After a few minutes a corner rebounded to Harry, who put in a pinpoint cross for Joey, who managed to soar to new heights and head the ball accurately into the bottom right corner of the net. 1:1

The Falcons’ midfield were playing an important role and Max had a couple of great strikes that unfortunately went wide. Then the second: a great run from Josh Berry on the right wing, who moved in-field and smacked it over the Tonbridge keeper from outside the box. Great shot. 1:2

The Falcons' confidence then went to the next level. With the midfield really pushing on and being backed up by our defence, aka 'the brick wall', there was nothing stopping the Falcons. After a great run and some fancy footwork, Luke calmly slotted from outside the box past a Tonbridge keeper who could only watch and admire. 1:3

The Tonbridge defence were now having to battle against a very positive Falcons team who were now hungry for as many goals as they could get. This made for some quality passing and forward play from George and Ben, and provided another chance for Luke to highlight how much of a danger he can be by scoring his second. 1:4

It was clear that the boys were really enjoying their football, and with five minutes to go a frustrated Tonbridge defender literally flattened Josh Brogan in the box……..Penalty! Full of confidence, Harry calmly stroked the ball into the bottom left corner. 1:5

Final Whistle - Tonbridge Junior Storm 1 Langton Green Falcons 5

Huge congratulations to all the boys - they all played fantastically as a team and their passing and drive to win is something they should all be proud of.

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Langton Green Falcons 5 Broad Oak & Horam Legend 0

Crowborough League Cup - Quarter Final

Sunday 13th December 2015, 10.30am ko at Groombridge
Match reporter: Colin Campbell

Falcons Five
This was a home game at Groombridge against a team that tested us at the beginning of the season. In our favour, Broad Oak and Horam (B&H) were missing three key players, including their usual goal keeper

Despite being the day after the Falcons’ Xmas bash, the lads looked fresh and professional, wearing their new Nike training tops.

The first real chance fell to B&H with a ball crossed in from the right wing. It whizzed across Dan’s goal but fortunately there was no one from B&H to scrape it in.

From there on, the Falcons dominated. The busiest player was B&H’s goalie, apparently playing his first ever football match. His first test was a long shot from Max C. The goalie appeared to catch the ball but fumbled it somehow into his own net, reminiscent of Robert Green’s World Cup clanger. 1 - nil.

Throughout the match there was aerial domination and crunching tackles from Kaan and Harvey. Also at the back, the two L’s (Lewie C and Louis V) had epic games, #SOLIDDEFENDING.

Ben and Joey linked up well early on, Joey hitting the crossbar not once but THREE times. The attacking interplay paid dividends; a slinky dribbling run by Joey set Ben in the clear, decisive confident finishing from Ben. 2 - nil.

A studded challenge crocked Max C but revenge rightly came in the form of more goals. The third was a Harvey run and dribble delivered through to Joey. 3 - nil.

Josh B and George R started to flex their muscles, testing the B&H defence, crossing balls in, protecting and shielding the ball.

At the other end, in a lonely goal, Dan reacted confidently on the few occasions he was called upon.

The star of the second half was Harry P. The winger ran circles around B&H defenders and midfielders with calm confident footwork; his repeated crosses caused havoc for Broad Oak. It was a perfectly positioned and timed Harry P cross to Joey that made it 4 - nil.

Max came back onto the field for the last five minutes to relieve Luke S, who as always played his heart out, winning balls all over the field.

The final well-deserved goal came from Harry’s head. 5 - nil. With suggestions it was the Xmas outing that helped deliver the victory, it’s already being rumoured that Roy H is considering an ice skating and pizza trip for the England squad ahead of the Euro opener against Russia.

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Langton Green Falcons 1 Dartford Youth Development Centre 6

Kent County Youth Cup - 3rd Round
Sunday 6th December 2015, 11.00am ko at Ashurst

Match reporter: Steve Conn

The Falcons went into Sunday’s county cup match as the last remaining representatives from the Crowborough League - a great achievement. But a last-16 tie against an academy side who had beaten Foresters’ top team 8-0 in the first round of the competition was never going to be easy. And the boys were suitably daunted when they arrived at Ashurst to meet a very professional looking outfit who had arrived an hour and a half before kick-off to warm up.

To keep things tight in midfield, the Falcons shifted to a 4-5-1 formation, with ‘captain for the day’ Josh Berry slotting into a holding midfield role behind Luke and Max. Dartford’s quality was apparent immediately from the kick-off, with a slick passing move that resulted in a shot flying just wide before a Falcon had even touched the ball. As play developed it was clear that the Falcons faced a huge task countering a team that passed and moved superbly and contained extremely strong, talented individuals. Certainly a significant step up on any team the Falcons have met before. But as usual, the Falcons’ fighting spirit and teamwork kicked in and play was far from as one-sided as could have been feared. Joey bust a gut alone up front. The midfield five battled hard, with Luke, Josh and Max covering each other well, and George and Harry each having to counter fast-attacking full-backs. The defence were heroic against waves of attacks, with strong tackling and covering from Dan B, Harvey and Kaan, and Lewie dealing manfully with a winger only slightly slower than Usain Bolt. Dan C looked composed in goal and dealt calmly with everything that came his way.

The Falcons’ defence was finally breached after about 10 minutes, followed fairly swiftly by a second and third for Dartford, whose movement and passing were a constant threat. But the Falcons’ heads never dropped, and they got their just reward when Joey latched onto a through ball and was unceremoniously taken out by the Dartford keeper. The ref decided to keep his red card in his pocket. Joey showed great character to step up and slot the penalty away. So, 3-1 down…could the Falcons dare to dream of a comeback? Not really. Dartford kept their composure and a couple more flowing moves left the half-time score as Falcons 1 Dartford 5.

A smashing team talk saw the Falcons emerge energetically for the second half with Josh Brogan and Ollie taking up duties on the left and right wings, respectively, Louis slotting in at right-back and Ben taking on the thankless role as lone striker. All of them played excellently. The second half again demonstrated the Falcons’ battling spirit, and the boys actually enjoyed some good possession as confidence grew, strong tackles were made and they started passing the ball more. With a few cracking saves from Dan, the Falcons only conceded one goal in a remarkably even second half. So a final score of 6-1, but many positives to take away from the game. The Falcons’ trademarks of teamwork and spirit were evident throughout - the way the boys encouraged and helped each other was great to see. Many teams would have buckled totally against a team of Dartford’s quality, but the Falcons never let their heads go down, and the match finished with glowing praise for the Falcons’ performance from the Dartford management and spectators.

The boys should be very proud of how they played and will learn from this experience, hopefully appreciating how easy football can be if you pass and move quickly and accurately. So one great cup run comes to an end - but next up a Crowborough League Cup quarter-final.

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Wadhurst Junior Tigers 2 Langton Green Falcons 3

Sunday 29th November 2015
, 9.30am ko in Lamberhurst
Match reporter: Mark Roughley

Against one of the stronger sides in the division, and indeed a team the Falcons had previously lost to in September 2015, the boys enjoyed a terrific win on Sunday morning.

And not only did they manage a win, they showed superb character to come back from "two-nil down" at half time.

The game was strongly influenced by the wind, which pretty much blew from one end of the pitch to the other, and did affect the outcome to a certain extent.

Looking purely at the scores, the game could have been deemed to be a game of two halves, but in fact Langton clearly created the better chances and deserved the result.

In more detail:

In the first half the game flowed from end to end, with both teams creating opportunities, and some great passing moves led to both Joey and Harry going very close.

Unfortunately when the ball did hit the back of the net for the first time, it was for the opposition; a cross from a corner that floated wind-assisted into the very top corner of the goal.

Wadhurst were also lucky with their second goal; a long range shot that hit the bar and bounced down conveniently into the path of an attacking player.

And then there was a third goal – but this was correctly "chalked off" in the last few minutes of the first half. Three-nil at half time would have been very unfair on the Falcons.

The second half was bound to be different, and with the wind behind the Falcons it was only a matter of time before we saw a change of fortune.

Indeed the first goal came within about five minutes of the re-start. There was a nice interchange of passing, culminating in a pass laid off to Max fully 25 yards from goal.

He proceeded to do what he has done on several occasions this season: he struck the ball cleanly from distance, and it flew over the keeper into the top of the net.

The momentum had swung........

Many other chances were created by the Falcons in the second half with Dan B thumping a shot against the post from distance, and Joey hitting the bar from the edge of the box.

It wasn’t until well into the last quarter that the pressure was made to pay. A one-two in the penalty area and Ben had a shooting chance.

Just as he was about the pull the trigger, a hand on his shoulder pulled him back, and quite rightly the referee gave a penalty.

The outcome: Joey calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner and the sides were level with five minutes to go.

Now it was just a question of whether another chance could be fashioned in the time remaining, and to be fair Wadhurst did not settle for a draw either.

The couple of times they managed to get the ball into the Falcons’ eighteen-yard box, we saw excellent blocks and last-ditch tackles.

With a couple of minutes left in the game, and after a period of possession in the opposition half, the ball broke free to Joey on the edge of the area.

He cleverly lifted the ball into the air goal-bound, and it drifted perfectly over the home goal keeper and into the net.

There was no real time left for anything other than the re-start, and the game was won.

In summary – an excellent battling display by all the boys, indeed all fourteen players, who each contributed to the win in really difficult windy conditions.

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TW Youth Eagles (aka Ridgewaye) 0 Langton Green Falcons 1

League Cup 2nd Round, 10:30 ko at Ridgewaye

Match reporter: David Salmons

Following the brilliant victory over Hawkhurst last weekend we all arrived full of optimism. The first challenge was to find the pitch that we were playing on. Strangely just ahead of us was a man with a bag full of golf clubs. As we found our pitch, it was clear that he had been practicing his shots out of the heavy rough found all over the pitch! How could our boys play their passing game on such a badly maintained surface? It reminded us of how good it was of Simon to invest his time and energy into preparing our home pitch so well last weekend.

The game kicked off, and while the Falcons were still wondering how they were going to pass the ball through patches of knee high grass, Ridgewaye sprinted through and tested Dan with an early shot. Luckily Dan was alert and pulled off the first of several key saves.

This woke the boys up and the Falcons soon went on attack after attack. Max was making tackles and spraying inch perfect passes out wide to Harry and Ollie, Luke was making interceptions and sprinting off on runs through the middle and George and Joey looked fast and lively up front. Chances came aplenty and on a better pitch we would have scored, but the combination of slopes, bumps and clumps of grass meant that Joey and George just couldn’t quite keep it on target. Then came the best chance of the match and Harry hit a powerful shot that would have gone in on our pitch, but the Ridgewaye goals were not as high as ours and the shot went just over.

Ridgeway were pinned back for most of the half and all their counter attacks were dealt with calmly by Dan B, Kaan, Josh and Lewie. All four were playing really well, with Dan B making the tackles and headers, Kaan sweeping solidly at the back and Josh and Lewie tackling well and then surging up the wings.

Half time came and there was a chance to thaw out. George’s dad was offering round peppermint and ginger tea, but strangely there were no takers – whisky or vodka next week please ;-)

The second half kicked off and Ridgewaye seemed to have gone up a gear. They launched a series of attack, but luckily our defence continued to hold firm. Ridgewaye also began to put in some pretty bad tackles. Max’s dad began to heckle the ref and received a foul stare, and possibly a hand gesture back. You don’t get that in the premiership!

There then followed some amusement down the line. First a booted clearance hit a Ridgewaye dad in the face and knocked him back several few steps. Then there was a farce with one of their players having about five attempts at a throw in, each time running about 10 yards down the line before releasing the ball. Eventually the ref let it go after just five yards were stolen and we were off again. The bad tackles continued and Harry was injured twice and then Luke was turned into a Salmon sandwich by a couple of their biggest defenders.

The boys continued to press and Josh Brogan and Ben, who had both come on at half time, began to make their presence felt. Ben was showing some good touches and was linking well with Joey. The clock was ticking and, with just a few minutes to go, Harry passed to Joey, who played a wonderful pass across the box to Ben, who finished confidently into the bottom corner. GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!

What a relief, surely we’d done it and didn’t need to freeze for the extra time that had been looming. Ben dropped back into midfield, Luke dropped back into defence and everyone defended brilliantly. Still, Ridgewaye did suddenly break clear and their striker fired a powerful shot at the goal. Dan threw up his hands and saved it – fantastic!

The ref blew his whistle and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Our march to cup glory continues!

Another great result and with each game the boys seem to get better and better. Well done everyone!

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Langton Green Falcons 5 Hawkhurst 1

Sunday 15th November, 10:30am ko at Groombridge
Match reporters: Paul Richards & Jess (dog)

Winter is upon us; last week’s cancelled fixture was at risk of being repeated. However, Storm Abigail appeared to have done its worst. Groombridge offered a remarkable, playable pitch* and both teams presented a full turnout.

Game on (and what a game)

Some may say - that despite the Falcons' top gear … they started the match at a disadvantage. A strong wind appeared to be against them but that didn’t stop George - within the first 10 minutes - spotting a powerful kick to the top right-hand corner of Hawkhurst's goal. (Marvellous to see, despite the distractions of ball throwing to an insatiable Jess.)

One nil to the Falcons

What followed was an evenly paced first half, good solid defence from the Falcons – notable ball blocking from Dan and Harvey and great passing from all – seemed to be holding off the determined efforts of the Hawkhurst team. A shot at the Hawkhurst goal (Joey?) led to the most unusual spectacle of seeing the ball roll across the length of Hawkhurst’s crossbar - must have been the wind.

Hawkhurst responded and after a scrappy exchange on the goal line their efforts were rewarded.

One all

Finally, a timely whistle blown from the indomitable ref Ian.

Second half

After some half time frenetic ball throwing for Jess, the second half started at an even pace. Ben forced a corner in the Falcons' favour, followed by a gift of a pass to Joey. Goal.

Two one to the Falcons

To their credit the Hawkhurst team’s spirit appeared undented. The Falcons met each attack with a determined rebuff and counterattack, but no one could have foreseen the now infamous ‘Falcon lob’- this time expertly presented by Harry.

Three one to the Falcons

The Falcons were now commanding the game – as evidenced by the defence moving up and holding the halfway line, leaving a lonely looking figure of Dan in goal. A good a time as any for Harvey to chance his luck. The Falcons were now dangerous, the midfield line up piling on the pressure with determination. What followed was a belter of a lob - number two from Lewie.

Four one to the Falcons

Needless to say, the ball throwing for Jess had now been delegated.

A shot at the Hawkhurst goal again saved by the beleaguered goalkeeper, this time from Ben. Unfortunately for Hawkhurst the save was fumbled and in came George for his second goal. Within the melee, the keeper took a ‘knock’ – much to his credit he brushed himself down to play on. Handshakes and order prevailed.

Five one to the Falcons

Watch checking – injury time? Final whistle.

Game over

What a game, what a result, but most of all what a good-spirited match. Well done to both teams. In light of the action, even Jess appeared happy to play second fiddle. If it carries on like this, I am going to leave her at home!

Apologies for not naming each team member by name – but what a team!

* Editor’s Note: The remarkable pitch was thanks to our own very own Mr Simon Peat, who lived in the little hut beside the pitch for most of last week while painting the lines, walking more than 15 miles mowing the pitch with his garden mower (seriously…) and then threatening violence on someone who still wanted to call the match off. Rumour has it that he enjoyed living in the little hut so much, he still resides there. He is a treasure…we must cherish him.

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Langton Green Falcons 1 Orpington 0 (Kent Youth Cup - 2nd Round)

Sunday 1st November, 11:00am ko at Ashurst Rec
Match Reporter – Marc Parris

The Falcons, who were full of nerves and anticipation for a match they thought was only going to have one outcome, soon had their prey in sight, heads up from the whistle, they were off to a great start with some real pressure in the first five minutes.

The game started with the sense of being a physical one, but with some great runs early on from Harry, and a couple of great passes through to Joey made the Orpington defence slightly nervous. Orpington started to respond to the pressure and in the 10th minute caused some feathers to be rustled in the Falcons box with some short clearances leading to a close range but weak shot from Orpington…………this was saved comfortably by a composed Dan.

Orpington really started to up the pressure and their physical game - this led to some challenges from our defence, resulting in Orpington having a free kick from 20 yards out. The Falcons defence reacted calmly and with a great piece of defending from Lewie C, the ball was quickly cleared from the box. Orpington soon had the ball back in our nest and with the ball looking dangerous from a floating striker and a half hit shot it was knocked just over the bar and out for a corner. Corner taken and well caught by Dan.

The Falcons re-composed with showed some great movement on the ball, having to sometimes remind themselves this was football and not a game of rugby they were playing as the game had become quite physical!! Some fancy footwork and a great run forward from Luke followed by a great one two with Joey soon saw the Falcons upping the pressure once more. Some great midfield work from George was becoming a pleasure to watch and a great pass back from Lewie C to Luke, who controlled an excellent strike from 30 yards out……..his shot only missing the left side of the goal by inches. The Falcons' confidence was really starting to show now.

HALF TIME

Orpington had the upper hand for the first 10 minutes with some real pressure in our goal area, but with our solid defence and some great tackles and clearances from Dan B and Harvey, both vigorously defending their nest, Orpington found it near impossible to have any kind of attempt on goal.

Now the Falcons turn to up the tempo with some great movement and fantastic runs from Louis V. With 20 minutes to go, can this game get any more tense!!

The next five minutes saw a real battle of the midfield, with no real action either end. The Falcons starting to get slightly tired but a real feeling of ‘we could get something out of this’ saw Ben make a great run and forced the Orpington goalie to handle the ball just outside the box. Max stood up for the free kick, which went just over the crossbar.

Some great midfield posture from the Falcons and first class passing saw Luke feed a lovely ball over the Orpington defence onto the controlled foot of Joey and with his first shot being partly saved by the keeper, he was able to make the most of the loose ball and place it into the back of the net. Orpington momentarily tried to dispute the goal……they were soon silenced.

50:00 - GOAL!! 1:0 Falcons

The last 10 minutes saw some real pressure from a frustrated Orpington, but the Falcons defence was solid, with some great last minute clearances from Harvey and Lewie C until the final whistle blew.

FULL TIME 1:0 to Langton Green Sports Club Falcons

A great game to watch from a positive and motivated Falcons team. All the boys should be proud of themselves. Playing with this much quality and passion will see them go far in the cup and the league.

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Riverhead Angels 2 Langton Green Falcons 2

Sunday 18th October, 10.30am ko at Riverhead
Match reporter - Mark Verrell

The outcome of this away game at Chipstead Common really doesn't reflect how dominant the Falcons were for the majority of this match.
With the Angels under pressure right from the whistle, an early cross by Lewie enabled George to break free from the Angels defence and sweetly sink the ball into the back of the net.

The remainder of the first half was frantic, with tenacious Harry not giving Riverhead Angels any breathing space before having to be subbed due to injury.
Louis V came on to pick up Harry's left-mid position and wasn't long before the Falcons had their talons out with another attempt on goal - Dan B trying his luck with a high lob that just went wide.

Great persistence and hassling from Joey was rewarded with a shot on goal, which unfortunately hit the post and bounced back into play only to be quickly gathered up by the Angels keeper.

A solid midfield saw Josh, Luke and Max going in hard and fair on tackles that dented the Angels' armour and subsequently led to a number of substitutions by Riverhead due to injury.

With the first half drawing to a close and Dan C wishing he had bought his deckchair, that pesky ball just wouldn't go into the goal, despite a strong shot by Max that just went wide, a fantastic run by Lewie through half a dozen Angels and a nice flick by Louis who was caught off balance and just couldn't get power on the ball.

The second half started strong with some great passing, which enabled Ben to score the Falcons' second goal with a low shot into the corner.
It wasn't long before Harvey saw an opening and hit a powerful ball towards goal, only to be hit away by the Angels' keeper for a corner. Louis' corner ball into goal found Harvey who managed to get a shot just wide of the post.

With just 10min on the clock and two nil up we thought this must be in the bag. 'Wrong'

Riverhead clearly did have an Angel on their side as they seemed to get a sudden burst of energy following a late goal tapped in from a corner kick.
OK, 2-1 and 4min to play, the Angels were all over us like one of Ian's bad fitting suits and could clearly sense they could salvage something in the final few minutes.

Some great defence from Kaan kept the Angels' strikers at bay. But the Angels were quick to pick up a loose ball, which gave them the opportunity to break and sneak the ball past Dan to make the final score 2-2 in the closing couple of minutes.

Overall though, a top performance from all the boys, who showed some great skill and teamwork. The result keeps them in third spot with 8 points on the U13a League table.

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TW Foresters 4 Langton Green Falcons 2

Sunday 11th October, 10.15am ko at Hawkenbury
Match reporter - Colin Campbell

Falcons get their wings clipped – temporarily!

Football scores can often belie how competitively close games are; Sunday’s match between Foresters and Langton Falcons a classic example of that. It was a thrilling and entertaining derby that started at a frenetic pace. The Falcons, in their new white and green away kit, appeared they would rule the roost for the 70 minutes with early decisive strong tackles from Kaan and Harvey. It was a tough physical battle, Dan and Luke at the forefront of the action. The play was characterised by considered attacks from the Falcons followed by reactive counters by Foresters, who repeatedly tested the Falcons defence.

In the 12th minute, a lob shot from Max hoisted into the air from thirty metres left the Foresters keeper in no man’s land. Falcons one Foresters nil. Ten minutes later Foresters hit back with a punishing shot directed straight at goalie Dan, the ball ricocheted out of his arms and was pounced upon by a lurking Foresters player. (1-1)

Throughout the game, the Foresters defence was repeatedly put under pressure with swerving skilled runs from Josh Berry, Ollie and Harry. The delivery of crosses would’ve made Ocado managers proud. But against the run of play Foresters seized every opportunity, scoring a second just before half time. Moments later came the talking point of the match: a ball deflected off a retreating Foresters player landing near Joey, who calmly placed it into the bottom corner of the net. The goal was controversially flagged offside.

After the break, two goals to one ahead, Foresters came back on the charge. The Falcons responded, Josh Berry and Joey linking up on the right wing, but shots went astray. The away team was awarded a free kick for a foul on Luke, who’d made a surging run. The kick taken by Max landed in the box, Joey slotted it home, but yet again it was deemed offside. From nowhere 2-1 soon became 3-1, then 4-1. Falcons fans' mouths were now agape at the apparent injustice, but entertaining footy was still on the menu. Delivering large portions was the ubiquitous Luke, who ran, tackled, dribbled and headed his way around the pitch. The inspirational play of the captain soon paid dividends. In the 63rd minute, the Falcons struck back. An intuitive looping through-ball from Ben landed at Joey’s feet. With great control, panache and precision, Joey made it 4-2.

Before the final whistle blew, there were a couple of goal-mouth scrambles in the Falcons' six-yard box. Fortunately stoic defending by Harry, George and Louis, and diving saves from Dan prevented Foresters inflicting further pain. A disappointing final score, but there are many positives to pocket. The Falcons are looking like a cohesive unit, stringing passes together, playing confident, attractive, skilled and exciting football. The goals will come and with it inevitable glory!

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Tonbridge Invicta 0 Langton Green Falcons 4

Sunday 4th October 2015, 10:30am ko at Tonbridge Racecourse Ground
Match reporter – Alastair Cameron

If only the England Rugby team had played this well. Strange that no-one dared mention the previous evening’s result...

A glorious clear morning on the Tonbridge Racecourse was the backdrop to the pre-match ritual of hand-shaking semi-circles, followed by The Falcons' team motivational huddle. The moment was only slightly spoiled when the ref (and Tonbridge coach) demanded “no cuddling”. I was surprised he noticed, but more of that later.

After a few seconds of confusion over who was going to actually take the kick-off, the match got off to a flying start, with play rapidly moving into the opposition’s half. The Falcons got their first attempt on the six-minute mark, keeping the purple clad goalie on his toes. Some great passing took place and attempt number two by George just missed the goal by a foot (maybe the goals were smaller than last week?)

Invicta made a rush but our good defending put paid to that and we moved the ball straight back to the opposite end. We took some corner balls and Harry got a shot at the goal – a foot wide again (definitely smaller than last week!) More attacking and Lewie pushed up (no biased reporting here) and passed to Harry for another attempt. We are only 15 minutes into the game here.

The ref was taking a rather strange approach and seemed to be coaching his team at the same time, causing a bit of muttering from the Falcons supporters on the side-line. Following coaching advice from Ian and Simon about being “first to the ball”, our first goal resulted from some perfect passing - Lewie to Harry to Josh and into the net (1-0). This was rapidly followed with a long shot by Luke that the goalie just didn't see coming (2-0).

A vicious tackle floored Harry and after some shouting from Simon, parents and linesman, the ref was persuaded to give the free-kick, apologising that he didn't see it as “I was too busy coaching.....” Other attempts by Harry and Max saw the ball just go over the bar (definitely lower goals!). It was at this point one of the opposition felt the need to start a wrestling match with Harry and only as a Half-Nelson was being applied did the ref intervene. Definitely made up for the rugby though!

2-0 at half time – Oranges by Ben – Coaches advised to keep to “Two Touch Football – Pass and Win”

The second half got off to a good start with Harvey giving one of his special curved flicks (I’m sure there is a technical term for that but..). Another sustained attack from Luke and Ben, with the Invicta keeper making an excellent save. At this point Invicta decided to up their game by attempting to remove Luke's shorts. Ben got a shot at the goal but it was stopped by the defence. A perfectly set up goal was put into the net by Josh Brogan (3-0). Not long after this an Invicta player decided the best tactic was just to kick Josh, ref not happy but spared him the red card embarrassment by immediate substitution.

Lewie was subbed for Max towards the match end, allowing Max to sneak a fast goal right past the keeper. Ian claims this was entirely his master plan! It seemed that all the Falcons wanted a go now. Harvey took a power shot directly at the keeper, and for a few seconds it looked like ball and keeper would end up at the back of the net. Sadly it wasn't to be. A final foul on Harry (it was getting personal now) saw the ref accusing Harry of “nipping” at the other player. It’s all over with a great result of 4-0 and a clear team effort to achieve this.

Did anyone notice the spotter plane circling overhead, no doubt stealing tactics for the opposition for next week?

Next time – Oranges by Harry.

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Langton Green Falcons 1 Wadhurst Junior Tigers 4

Sunday 27th September 2015, 11am ko at Ashurst Rec
Match reporter - David Salmons

They say bad luck comes in threes, so after Aston Villa losing and England throwing away the rugby, I suppose it was inevitable that we would lose to Wadhurst. The game was played throughout at a fast pace and the attacking was end to end. The difference was that Wadhurst were clinical in their finishing and their goalkeeper pulled off a string of fine saves to deny our boys.

From the kick-off we surged forward and Ben and Ollie looked a lively pair up front. A chance soon fell to Harry who struck the ball sweetly, but their keeper pulled off the first of many fine saves. Shortly after, a high ball caused confusion in our defence and the Wadhurst attacker clinically smashed it in.

Their lead didn’t last however, as Josh Berry surged up the line, cut back in and hit a sweet left foot strike*, 1-1 and game on.

The game was very open and evenly balanced until an unfortunate moment of confusion occurred between Kaan and Dan Conn. With Kaan racing back and Dan racing out, the Wadhurst striker somehow sneaked between them and nudged the ball towards the empty net. For one moment it looked like it wouldn’t reach the goal and I was tempted to race on and stop it myself, but it agonisingly crawled over the line to make it 2-1.

We tried to fight back and Josh and Harry were getting stuck in and making some fine runs. Max and Luke were trying to get a grip in the middle but they just couldn’t seem to get past the enormous legs of the Wadhurst number 4 (6 foot 4?). Then came the best goal of the game with their number 4 controlling the ball 20 yards outside the box and swinging a perfect left diagonal ball over the heads of our defenders to fall perfectly at the feet of their striker, who couldn’t miss, 3-1 at half time.

In the second half the whole team got stuck in, Harvey making tackle after tackle, Luke winning the headers, Ollie and Ben a constant threat up front and the whole midfield trying to get a goal back. There were some brilliant moves, particularly down the flanks and the chances began to come. Ben denied by the goalkeeper, Josh Brogan clipping the crossbar, their keeper diving low to save a firm shot from Max and so on. If just one of these had gone in, there was the chance of a comeback. Particularly as our defence was holding firm. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and Wadhurst got the only goal of the second half with a fine run and shot from their number 4 (6 foot 6?).

The score of 4-1 was not a fair reflection, but they did have a midfielder who was twice as tall as some of our players and to be fair they deserved their victory. Never mind boys, live and learn – there’s always the next game!

* which was possibly an own goal - ed.

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Langton Green Falcons 1, Tonbridge Junior Storm 1

Sunday 13th September 2015
, 10:30am ko at Ashurst Rec
Match reporter - Mark Roughley

Leam Richardson (who is currently the assistant manager at Portsmouth FC - who are a professional football club on the South Coast of England apparently) once said when asked to comment on his team's performance - "To concede so late is a bit of a pill to swallow".

And had the Langton Green equalising strike not been as special as it was, it may have been appropriate for Tonbridge to feel such disappointment.

At one nil down and with less than six minutes on the clock, the Langton Green left back, pushing forward into the opposition half tried his luck from fully 35 yards (which is 30 metres - if any of the lads are reading this).

The loose ball was struck sweetly, on the volley, rose steeply into the air (in fact really high into the air) and more importantly was travelling goal-wards. The Tonbridge keeper, who had been off his line, was now furiously back-peddling but was powerless to stop the ball falling in under the bar.

Cue wild celebrations and Andy Gray was heard to say: " Lewie Cameron.....take a bow son ".

However, with the mobile phone ticking down, there was little time to re-group and the whistle blew.

Final score: 1-1

On a more serious note - the game was hard fought and I think a draw was a fair result. On what is a big pitch, with long grass, both teams worked hard to get from one end to the other and clear-cut chances were few and far between. The Langton Green defence (the whole back five including Dan) were excellent and managed to restrict the opposition to few clear shots on target. The Tonbridge goal itself was a good snap finish following an unfortunate ricochet in the box.

Offensively we were less clinical. The midfield provided plenty of possession, and showed good mobility, but either the composure or the cohesiveness was missing in the final third. This will come in time as the movement and the understanding between the boys improves, and we create more opportunities from set pieces etc.

In summary - solid performance - amazing equalizer - only the second game and remain unbeaten - onwards and upwards.

On a finishing note - I'd like you all to go back to imagining what the the Tonbridge boys are feeling this evening, as they sit and reflect on today's game at Ashurst. And I'd like to use another quote - this time from Mark Noble ( the West Ham player ) who once following a similarly tightly contested match suggested that : " Not to win is guttering ".

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Broad Oak 0 Langton Green Falcons 2

Sunday 6th September 2015, 10:30am ko at Heathfield, West Sussex.
Match Reporter: Paul Richards

What a morning of firsts!

To name but a few…

This is the first time I have attempted a match report- so please bear with…

This morning was the first time sun finally shone (or be it all too briefly), but more to the point - this morning was the first match of season for our new squad. A season in which all our boys come to terms with the dynamics of an 11-a-side squad, two halves of 35 minutes and I dare say several other new pressures.

If all that wasn’t enough, the first goal of our new season was scored by Ben Richards (totally unbiased YAY!)

The Broad Oak boys have presented challenges in the past; this morning was no different; however the early stages of the first half appeared to be focused on Broad Oak's defence and goal keeper.

Following our initial marvellous goal and with the longer halves kicking in, it wasn’t long before Broad Oak came back, tested our defence and forced our goalkeeper Dan to become focused on the game.

Some nail-biting and very entertaining football ensued - great spirited play from both teams, culminating in a contentious attempt at a goal from Broad Oak. Did it cross the line or didn’t it? The linesman was unsure, the referee was unsure and this unbiased reporter was very unsure. What was clear was we needed an extra goal.

The second half seemed to go on for ever. Both teams battled hard, dominated by some great passing and, despite our solid defence, Dan had to work hard. Ten minutes remaining appeared to become eighteen, but that didn’t dent the pace of play. A long shot from Max Campbell was creditable, but off the mark, however this was followed by another midfield lob from Max – on target and beyond the keepers reach…marvellous. Job done!
A great start to the season. Each of our lads played their part superbly, we appear to have a team that works. To quote Ian, we are on top of the league - long may we reign!