Saints’ super Shield revival
A MAIDEN excursion into football in Kent ended in success for St Peter FC on Saturday, as they lifted the Kent Reliance Intermediate Challenge Shield in Aylesford.
On the 3G surface at K Sports FC, five goals in the second half secured St Peter an emphatic 6-1 victory against Bexley.
Gary Freeman’s side came from a goal behind to level the scores before the interval and then a majestic second half blew their opponents away.
Junior Sol Solomon and Calvin Weir both scored twice with singles added by captain Luke Campbell and Jake Prince.
It was a fiesty game with three St Peter players being shown yellow cards and at least double that for Bexley.
‘It was what we expected,’ said manager Freeman, adding: ‘A fast and aggressive start from the opposition who were in our faces and once we weathered the early storm, we saw a lot more of the ball from 20 minutes onwards.
‘We went a goal down but we managed to equalise before half time in what was a fairly even first half. We upped the tempo after the break when I thought we were superb.
‘Sol Solomon was excellent, he was always a threat; Luke Campbell at centre back played his usual strong game, while Calvin Weir [later named man-of-the-match] made many excellent runs, together with some great deliveries into their penalty area.
‘Goalkeeper Matt Donaldson’s handling of the ball was good as well, he collected several high balls calmly and that really was Bexley’s threat to us, their set pieces.
‘This competition allows rolling substitutes so that worked well as we were able to give all 14 players 60 minutes on the pitch.
‘We will move up a level next season, when we can come up against teams like Punjab United FC, who Jersey have played a couple of times.
‘We entered the Intermediate Cup to give our players a different challenge. We’ve had five great games and now we’ll step up a level and look forward to next season.’
Punjab United are currently top of Division I in the Southern Counties East Football League, which is step 6 – one level above the Intermediate Cup level.
St Peter fell behind, but the goal sparked them into life.
Jake Baker fed the ball through to Solomon and taking the ball in his stride, the Gillingham triallist beat the ‘keeper with a low, left-foot effort from six yards.
St Peter were by now starting to get their short-passing game together and minutes after the resumption they took the lead.
Campbell nodded the ball into the goal on the back post after Harry Cardwell’s cross flew over the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later Cardwell put in a low driven cross from the right, resulting in Weir making it 3-1 by side-footing the ball into the goal from close in.
A third St Peter goal in an 11-minute period followed as Solomon hit the inside netting from a penalty kick following a foul on Weir.
Prince extended St Peter’s advantage to 5-1. Once again Cardwell played a part in the goal after winning a tackle and Prince followed up to score after his initial shot came back off a post.
Weir capped a fine individual and team performance with St Peter’s sixth goal, a good finish across the goalkeeper from 18 yards after a strong run down Bexley’s right.
St Peter: Matt Donaldson; Jordan Preston, Sam Dewhurst, Luke Campbell (capt), Sam Luce; Sol Solomon, Elliot Poole, Sean Lambert, Calvin Weir; Jake Baker; Jake Prince. Rolling substitutes: Harry Cardwell, Daryl Wilson and Ben Le Rougetel.