With two goals in each half, Aylesford won their very first Kent Reliance Kent County Cup against a plucky Ebbsfleet United side who in the end were a well beaten side.
Ahead through Oliver Lee’s header, Aylesford doubled their lead on the stroke of half time through Luis Dos-Santos before putting the game beyond the reach of Ebbsfleet with goals from Georgie English and Samuel Newland.
Between the goals, Aylesford missed penalty when Dos-Santos blazed over following an incident which saw Ebbsfleet unfortunately reduced to ten men as Matthew Payne was desperately unlucky to receive a second yellow card for hands as he had little chance to get out of the way of a driven ball!
Fortunately it didn’t affect the final result as Aylesford ran out really worthy winners.
A delighted Aylesford boss – Ray Buckingham – was a very happy man when KSN caught up with him shortly after seeing his skipper English collecting the trophy.
“Very proud of the boys today!” he admitted. “We’re contesting three trophies this year – this one; the League and the other Cup at the end of April –and this is the ideal start to that. They’re a great bunch of boys – no superstars but all with hearts as big as lions.”
“Cup Finals are all about who wants it the most in the end and whoever wants it the most does what we’ve just done and walk away with the trophy. ”
“Four different goalscorers too which was great, and we’re going to celebrate what our little village team has achieved today – it’s massive for us, it really is. We’ve put the name of Aylesford onto the Kent football flag today and it really is a very proud moment for us all.”
For Ebbsfleet boss Jason Connor – sporting a cast on a broken right wrist – there was nothing but praise for his brand new side who have struggled in their first season together in the League but as the manager admitted, “I don’t know why but we seem to have found our feet in the Cup!”
“It was an achievement for the boys just to get here but unfortunately it was one step too far. We didn’t click today – we just didn’t turn up and in all fairness they were the better side today and congratulations to them!”
“The sending off sadly is one of those things in football today – it’s the way the game is as you get penalised twice by conceding the penalty as well. But the referee saw fit to award it and whether we agree with it or not is irrelevant. I’m just glad that his decision didn’t influence the result of the game!”
There were early chances at both ends. Emmings went close for Aylesford – forcing a great save out of keeper Daniel Sugarman – whilst confusion between keeper Ben Folkard and his defence almost let Charlie Falukener in only for Folkard to redeem himself with a fine low save denying Scott Henderson.
Aylesford went close when Newland thundered a shot off the underside of the bar before Dos-Santos forced Sugarman into another top drawer save. The Ebbsfleet keeper though was just a spectator as Lee finally headed Aylesford in front. They doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Dos-Santos finally got his goal as his shot was helped into the net by a defender.
When English rammed home early in the second half – after Sugarman had done well yet again to save a shot through the crowd, the skipper not only effectively sealed the Trophy but also completed a unique set for his side, as he was the last player not to score this season – “it was his once a year goal!” joked his manager afterwards.
Any chance of an Ebbsfleet comeback effectively ended when Payne was shown the red card. And even though Dos-Santos put his spot kick into the car park, any hope of a comeback was as good as gone and when Newland deservedly got onto the scoresheet with a smart header, the cup was heading for the very first time to Aylesford.
Aylesford – Ben Folkard, Fraser Mason, Luke Exall, Zak Emmings. George Nicholls-Brown, Oliver Lee, Harrison Pont, Samuel Newland, Georgie English, Luis Dos-Santos
Subs – Charlie Dale, Johannes Sadler
Ebbsfleet United – Daniel Sugarman, Myles Duffus, Alexander Oketta, Conor Day, James Connor, Matthew Payne, Tyler Frain, Jaden Buss, Scott Henderson. Jony Fernandes, Charlie Faulkener
Subs – Mikolas Wilkouski, Freddie Woolven
Referee – Dan Blades
Assistants – Jack Greener, Joel Bishop, Sam Wilson
Kent Reliance under 15s Cup Final
Aylesford 4-0 Ebbsfleet United
Pictures supplied by PSP Images