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KENT FA CUP 50+ TOURNAMENT

January 22, 2022


MATCH REPORT


SQUAD

Paul Carolan (Goal)
Colin Gwyn (Defence)
Paul Jones (Defence)
Jason Brown (Midfield)
Rob Gilham (Midfield)
Dave Thompson (Midfield)
Jonathan Butcher (Striker)

Apart from three appearances in the Algarve Cup in Portugal, this was our first foray in a 50s tournament and, even then, our lack of players in that younger age group meant we had two 60+ players in the squad.  It was a 6-a-side tournament, and it is worth mentioning that some of our players had not even met each other before, never mind having played together.


In the group stages there were three pools of five teams, and we were in with Bexley, Herne Bay, Ivychurch and Age UK


Whitstable.

All games were just 10 minutes long which also applied to the 60s Cup last year and, as then, it meant that games can often be decided by one quality moment or unfortunate mistake, with little or no time to come back. (We have asked the Kent FA to reconsider this for future tournaments because none of the clubs are in favour of such short matches).


Canterbury City 0  Bexley 0

Our first game was against Bexley. Having played very well in the 50s league last year, we knew they would be a strong team, but it was a tight game and although they had sightly the better of it - Paul C having to make a couple of important saves – we overcame the disadvantage of ours being a virtually new squad and played some really good football. The longer it went on, the better we were.


Canterbury City 0 Herne Bay 1

Next up were Herne Bay, frequent old rivals and conquerors from the leagues. Dave T came in to replace Jason. On this occasion, although defeated again, we were not over-run as in the past. They were marginally the better team, but we ran them very close as we were starting to find our feet. A defensive error presented the opportunity to our old refereeing friend, Steve Rich, and he calmly advanced and chipped it over Paul as he came out. Despite our efforts, and increasingly good football on our part, we couldn’t get that vital equaliser.


Canterbury City 0 Age UK Whitstable 0

Their keeper had looked shaky in earlier matches and Simon, not impressed with him, encouraged our forward players to shoot on sight.  Naturally, against us, he played a blinder! We were all over them and we had plenty of shots at goal, particularly Jonathan. But he saved the lot! (Jan, a fully-paid-up lifetime member of the Goalkeepers’ Union told Simon he should never disrespect goalkeepers!) Such was our dominance that Paul C was almost redundant in goal.  One of those games!


Canterbury City 0 Ivychurch 1

Our previous, rather unlucky, results meant this was a must win game. Unfortunately, we had to do it without Rob, who had proved to be a strong player in midfield, but was suffering from a slight hamstring pull.  Simon advised him not to risk it and brought Dave T back into the side. He played a more defensive midfield role, allowing Paul J to move forward when he could.  They were known to be a strong side yet we more than matched them. One thunderous shot from Paul J from about halfway hit the post before the keeper even moved.

Towards the end of this game, we knew that the Gods were conspiring against us. On eight and a half minutes we were awarded a penalty. Jonathan hit it well, but dragged his shot just past the right-hand post. Within seconds, a midfield error left an Ivychurch player totally clear, and he took his goal well. This really was a game we totally dominated and deserved to win.


Conclusion

All of our team played well and only a couple of errors led to two defeats. Paul C kept goal well and Paul J is establishing himself as an indispensable player. (He is so much better when he sticks to playing good football, rather than trying to win every tackle). He is forming a very good partnership with Colin, who never lets us down.

By choice and necessity, we switched the midfield between the three players we had available. Rob showed himself to be the able footballer Simon thought him to be, and Jason got better and better as the tournament progressed. Dave proved himself to be an able deputy when called upon, and that defensive midfield role suits him.

It was a tough task for Jonathan having to play up front on his own for all four games. He kept finding space to receive the ball and was unlucky not to score on several occasions. However, he can bask in the fact that his daughter thinks he was better than she thought he would be, and he can be ‘Cool Dad’ for a bit!


Refereeing

We thought the referee for all four of our games was good and consistent. He was clear in his directions and strong as he should be on talking from behind and the side. He probably let a bit of running go, but most refs do this!  (In games not involving us he let some very poor slide tackles go unpunished by a card or two which Simon, rightly, said he would have shown.  Paul J was distraught that he got away with it – the irony!)

On the whole, our group was well-refereed and, consequently, contested in a respectful manner. On the pitch next to us, the referee lost control, allowing a lot of running, tackles, and players disputing his decisions. It showed how much difference a good referee can make to a game.


Simon’s View

Well played all of you, I felt that we were very unlucky. We have a good core of 50+ players that looks like it will compete well, but we need more!  Jan will work to enter us in a number of friendlies and tournaments so you can get more experience playing together.