Super Saturday at The Gallagher Stadium turned out even more even more super when the news came through that North Kent Under 13’s had defeated Aldershot & Farnborough Schools in their ESFA National Semi-final – believed to be the first time that a district from the county has reached a National Final.
In a close and competitive first-half at Sporting Thamesmead, Aldershot & Farnborough took the lead when a cross came off a North Kent defender’s head and flew into his own net. This galvanised the home team, who soon equalised when Adrian Akande cut in from the left and equalised. In the second half, North Kent took control of the game but were unable to beat the Aldershot & Farnbrough keeper, who pulled off some terrific saves to keep his team in the game and take it into extra time. As the game ebbed and flowed, North Kent centre-forward Victor Akinwale fired the ball home in the first period of extra time with a shot from outside the box. At the other end, the home keeper Max Hearn had to pull off an outstanding save to keep his team in front and at the final whistle North kent had won 2-1 to create history. They now await the winners of the other semi-final between Nottingham and Newcastle.
Meanwhile, the three Under 11 inter-district games at The Gallagher Stadium produced some excellent football in front of an appreciative crowd of over 300 people. Bexley beat Thanet 5-4 in the third/fourth place play-off game in the Kent League, while a very talented Brighton side defeated BSA 5-1 to clinch the title in the same competition. In the other game for the Kent Championship, Orpington triumphed 3-1 over Dartford.
The previous evening at the same venue, two Under 12 inter-school finals also produced some fine football. In the Kengate-Beasley final, the B teams from Hayes and Harvey GS provided some great entertainment, with Harvey eventually winning 3-2. In the Denis O’Donovan Trophy, Hurstmere recovered from going a goal behind to beat Tunbridge Wells GS 3-1