Kent FA County U18 Youth Cup Report (VDC Athletic)

St Peter FC U 18’s defeat top Kent League side VCD Athletic to go through to the next round of The Kent FA County U 18 Youth Cup

The St Peter FC U 18’s had to battle hard to secure victory against a very physically strong, VCD Athletic FC team on Sunday. Having caught the 7am Red Eye flight from Jersey  the team enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Gatwick before departing  to the Crayford home of VCD.

Both of these teams reached the semi final stage last season so it had all the signs of being a close fought game. The game had been in some doubt as there had been five consecutive days of rain. However, on arrival they found a first class playable pitch in a fine three year old stadium.

The game kicked off in high winds with torrential rain forecast and threatening. The first 10 minutes was a case of both teams  testing each other out. St Peter then took control of the game and dominated for most of the first half  creating several chances. Their midfield trio of Tommy Boarer, Toby Ritzema and Luke Lister were bossing the game, creating chances without finding the final telling pass for Ryan Marcinko,  Danny Fernandes or Jan Bentley to find the back of the net. Home keeper Harry Ebdon was in inspired form, keeping out a number of close range shots. The major threat to the Jersey team, in the main came from VCD’s attempts to break at pace using a fine left winger Reece Mclennan, it took a few forays before Rhys Thomas got his measure and increasingly got the better of him to contain what appeared to be a major threat. Towards half time VCD came more into the game and Kacper Smilek and Declan Pyne  at the centre of the Saints defence  were kept busy containing  some determined attacking. Goalkeeper Dan Medcalf was called on to show super safe handling from long range shots and crosses into the area. Half time came no goals to show for the efforts of either of the two teams.

St Peter started the second half at a high tempo , playing some delightful one touch passing football through their midfield trio.  Bentley, Boarer and Ritzema all brought saves from the home keeper. In the 53rd minute after some good play from the back, Toby Ritzema picked up the ball just inside his own half, went past four defenders,  to take him to the edge of the VCD area,  Danny Fernandes pulled wide to drag two defenders out of the middle and Toby went the other way past the last defender and slotted a magnificent goal wide of the keeper to give St Peter a deserved lead. They kept up the pressure from the re start playing their high tempo passing and seeking a second goal.  In the 65th minute VCD were awarded a disputed free kick and  from the attempted clearance the ball  was returned into the Saints area  with players unusually out of position, they left Medcalf exposed and the VCD striker picked up the loose ball and slotted it home to make it 1-1. By now the rain was falling heavily but St Peter reacted positively  surging forward playing some outstanding football and in the 72nd minute they re-took the lead after winning a corner which Luke Lister whipped in to the far post and Kacper Smilek rose high to place the ball wide of the keeper. VCD had to raise their game to stay in the competition and they did just that. They reverted to the long ball trying to use the pace of their accomplished wide men however St Peter showed that they are not only a fine football team they could battle physically when required. With Dan Medcalf dominating his goal area and Kacper Smilek managing the defence superbly there were no further clear cut chances and the Jersey team go into the draw for the next round having got the better of a very good if somewhat physical VCD Athletic.   Result VCD Athletic FC 1 St Peter FC 2

After the game Karl Benest and Anthony Lister were delighted with both the performance and the result.

Benest said”  This was a real team performance against a top class VCD team. Everyone gave 100% including the 3 under 16’s that came on in the second half. Jamie (Ritzema) Noah (Risby) and Tom (Proffitt) were inspirational and they gave everything to help us gain this result. It was doubly pleasing after the first team were disappointingly  forced to pull out of the Senior Kent Cup as they had insufficient players following the call up of St Peter players for the Bulls and the Island. I would like to give a special mention to Rhys Thomas who was superb, he gave everything and nothing passed him all game. ”  Lister said ”I was so proud of the whole team, it was a fantastic performance from the whole squad and Toby’s goal was sensational”

Team: Dan Medcalf; Rhys Thomas, Andre Dias, Declan Pyne, Kacper Smilek: Jan Bentley, Toby Ritzema, (C), Luke Lister, Danny Fernandes: Ryan Marcinko.

For further info contact

Brian Foulser,  e-mail Tel: 851075

Karl Benest, e-mail   Tel: 07700 369911

Anthony Lister, e-mail   Tel: 07797 750419