Two wins and a defeat for our Academy sides this week. The Elite team travelled to Gravesend, and the Elite Venue, home of Punjab United for their fixture against Ebbsfleet United. A first half goal from Saul Musengeyi had them in front at the break and a Ned Lewis penalty and a towering header from Harry Hudson, converting Sam Babayale’s cross completed the scoring. Man of the Match was given to Hudson, who has led his team to three consecutive clean sheets with his goal being his tenth of the season from centre back.
The head-to-head with Whyteleafe continues at the top of the table with the Surrey club also winning 3-0 at Dulwich Hamlet.
The Development 1 squad enjoyed a goal-laden win at home against Halley Academy (Blackheath), triumphing 6-2. Coach Dom Welsh called it “a great performance against a strong Halley team with some really good attacking play contributing to great goals” which were scored by Brynley Ruck with a hat-trick, a pair from Joel Banks and another from Angus Fife. Man of the Match was awarded, unsurprisingly, to Ruck for three composed finishes.
The Development 2 team paid the price of failing to take chances at Bishop Justus (Bromley) and were beaten by a goal two minutes into added time. This was a bitter disappointment for the back line and goalkeeper who had defended valiantly for the entire match, but a single shot on target all game tells its own tale. Man of the Match went to Bernard Malaj, who worked tirelessly despite a back injury.
The coaches have instigated their team of the week and for the sake of statistics here are the last two weeks as last week’s was not published here. So, this is the week when all our teams won and kept a clean sheet. ((1) is Elite; (2) Development 1 and (3) Development 2). Callum Donoghue (3); Leo Deere (1), Harry Hudson (1), Luc Hutson (2), Wesley Ibeawuchi (3); Jacob Lambert (1), Tom Pettman (2), Bijan Gurung (3), Ben Twist (1); Bernard Malaj (3), Luke Taylor (2). For the week of 27th January: Charlie Martin (1); Deere, Hudson, Mikey Ryan (2), Kian Smallwood (3); Shay Haffenden (2), Joel Banks (2), Joe Brown (2), Exause Bizima (1); Brynley Ruck (2) and Malaj (3).
Of our players out on dual registration, Saul Musengeyi made his debut for Snodland and picked up a Man of the Match award, so well done to him. Also well done to Development 2 coach, Rhys Bartlett, who added the fifth goal in Tunbridge Wells’ romp at Canterbury!
Finally, and we continue to remind(!), the Open Trials for both Boys and Girls for places in next season’s Academy will be held at Hugh Christie on 19/20 February. If you are looking to further your education whilst playing football then on offer are: A Levels, Level 3 Sport BTEC and FA Level 1 Coaching Badge. Sign up via: form.jotformeu.com/92911723517357