Kent Reliance U18 Youth Cup Final Winners

Written by Stephen Chapman on 04th April 2016

Congratulations to the under 18's squad!

Brilliant! A huge congratulations to Sittingbourne's under 18's for winning the Kent Reliance U18 Youth Cup Final


Sittingbourne FC U18's were pitted against Dover Athletic U18's at Homelands, home of Ashford Town where they were victorious with a 4-2 win.

The match kicked off and the first ten minutes saw a lot of missed place passes from both sides showing the nerves that were present due to the prize on offer. However, Sittingbourne begun to settle into the passing game that both joint managers, John Embery and Jermaine Darlington have installed in them in recent years. However, after a innocuous challenge on the Sittingbourne number 5 and England U18's captain Josh Wisson had to leave the field clearly not able to carry on. Despite the injury setback Sittingbourne were getting a hold on the game and slowly getting on top, only for Dover Athletics John Brown to pounces on a poor defensive mistake and slot home the first goal against the run of play.

Sittingbourne worked hard to recover from the set back but were not going to change their game plan of passing football which has served them well to this point in the season.
As the half neared half-time Dover Athletic went 2-0 up after a poor clearance from the Sittingbourne Goalkeeper went direct to Dover's Rory Smith whom duly doubled the advantage.
I am sure that stern words would have been said in the Sittingbourne dressing room at half-time with what now seems like a mountain to climb in the second half.
As has become customary Sittingbourne changed their Goal Keeper at half time with Adam Wallace now between the sticks for Bourne.
The second half started at a frantic pace and within two minutes of the restart Bourne won a penalty when their top goalscorer Jake Embery was taken down in the box. Jake brushed himself down and stepped up to take the penalty himself, sending the Dover Keeper the wrong way. The come back was on...... As the game approached the hour mark a ball was lofted into the box and Jake Embery with his back to goal hooked the shot over his shoulder and rifled the bal into the neat. A special goal and the whole stadium stood to applaud a great bit of skill from the 16 year old.
The game was now level and Bourne now had Dover on the back foot, some what stunned after their change of fortune in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The game was very much on a knife edge with 25 minutes on normal time to play, when the ball fell to Sittingbournes Edward Bensley, centre-half won possession of the ball and simply slotted the ball into the corner of the goal passed on the oncoming Dover Keeper. Sittingbourne were in front for the first time in the match!!
Sittingbourne added a 4th soon after through Harry Woods to make certain of the victory, albeit a nerve wracking 20 minutes. But Bourne was able to hold on to the lead and win the tie that looked beyond them only 45 minutes earlier. A great result for the club.
This match marked a step change in recent time at Sittingbourne FC with one of their youth sides winning a Kent Cup Final for the first time in two decades. With the first team 18th in the Ryman South this resurgence in youth football at the club could not have come at a better time. Already, fielding 4 regular under 18 squad members in the first team squad the first team manager, Nick Davis now has the benefit of breadth and depth within the youth teams beneath the first team squad. The majority of these players also an integral part of their Ryman U21's squad. Another new venture this season.
This victory in the U18's Kent Cup against Kent Rivals Dover Athletic shows how far the youth setup at Sittingbourne has come in such a short space of time. In just 2 seasons under the stewardship and guidance of David Brown the youth set up now consists of 8 teams from U10's to U21's. This is the first time the club has had such a strong number of teams with many competing at County level in the Kent Youth League as well as the Maidstone Express Cabs league.
Next season will see our U13's make the step to the Kent Youth League after only one season with us. They will join our exist U15's and U18's in next season competition. And with our under 10's performing extremely well we have a bright future ahead.
To add to this Bourne are keen to develop their youth teams and are looking for boys and girls teams whom think they can shoulder the burden of representing their town at the highest level. We are currently looking for boys U12's and U13's, and girls teams of any age for next season as a priority. More over with this great success story, Sittingbourne FC want to re-establish their 2 year Academy football programme, providing 16-18 year olds the opportunity to become fully qualified in Coaching and other aspects of football. This leads to a BTEC or Higher Qualification dependent on the applicant, and can also lead to Scholarships in the USA and University. Should anyone be interested in this or require further information please do not hesitate to contact David Brown on 07795 465 384 or email: The Academy programme will commence in September 2016.
The Academy will be run by John Embery & Jermaine Darlington our successful Under 18's managers. Along side this John and Jermaine are working with Sittingbourne FC to develop a Soccer School targeted towards boys and girls 5-10 year olds developing their football skills. This will start in the coming weeks. Both John and Jermaine have experience in running an Academy in the past and are becoming a great asset to Sittingbourne FC. Should you want your son or daughter to take part in the next generation of Sittingbourne FC success and be trained on the soccer school programme please contact David Brown on 07795 465 384 or email:

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