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Breaking sports news from Gillingham, Charlton Athletic and Kent Cricket on Wednesday, April 16

By Alex Hoad

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16:30 - CLOSE

Disappointing sportsday for Kent cricket fans after the 125-run reverse to kick-off the season at Worcester earlier.

There was a bit more good news for Gills fans who saw their latest homegrown idol Bradley Dack put pen to paper on a new four-year deal, while vital Tuesday night wins for Folkestone and Whitstable all-but cemented their play-off place and survival in Ryman League Division 1 South.

My colleague Steve Tervet will be back tomorrow morning for another Kent Sportsday with a look ahead to the Easter football programme and the opening game of the Championship season at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Thanks for joining us today and enjoy your evening.

16:00 - FOOTBALL

Faversham host Burgess Hill at Salters Lane tonight (7.45pm), seeking a return to the top-eight in Ryman League Division 1 South and to thwart their visitors play-off ambitions.

You might imagine there's not a great deal on the game for Faversham, sat ninth and well adrift of the play-off places themselves, however boss Ray Turner told me it's important for him to see the players busting a gut to earn their place in his squad for next year. Click here for more.

It's not the only action tonight either as in Division 1 North red-hot Chatham Town, winners of 12 of their last 14 league games, visit Witham, who would go top with a win.

15:30 - HOCKEY

The cricket season is in full swing which must mean the hockey season is done and dusted for another year.

The memories of the Canterbury Ladies campaign will live on beyond the next few months however, a historic season saw them top the national Premier Division and then reach the Championship play-off final.

Although they suffered defeat to Surbiton, player-coach Jen Wilson remains positive about the progress they have made this year.

Click here for more.


Oh the life they lead, eh?

14:50 - RUGBY

It's not all spherical balls today, bit of reflection on the National 2 South season climax too.

Saturday's home defeat to Bishop's Stortford effectively ended Canterbury's hopes of promotion, but there is still a top-three spot to fight for, and they've never been that high before.

Click here for more.

14:25 - FOOTBALL

Still more Tuesday night footy to get through.

In a Ryman League Division 1 South game with very little riding on it, Bryan Bell struck an equaliser in the dying seconds to earn a point for Sittingbourne in their home game against Chipstead, who had led inside 20 minutes.

Bourne stay 16th while the Surrey side moved up one to 13th with the point.

In Division 1 North, rock-bottom and already relegated Erith & Belvedere went down 5-0 at Waltham Abbey.

Three goals in nine minutes ensured it was 4-0 at the break, though Deres did tighten up after the interval.

14:00 - CRICKET

The dust is settling on Kent's opening game defeat at Worcester.

Click here for the match recap.


The Gills have announced today that midfielder Bradley Dack has put pen to paper on a new three-year deal.

Boss Peter Taylor said: "It’s good news, we decided quite a while ago that we wanted to tie Bradley and Jake (Hessenthaler) up because we know they are two very good players for the future.

“Jake’s was sorted out quickly but Bradley’s took a little bit longer but we are really pleased it’s now sorted and we know we have a very good player and he will be a regular starter here.

“He is an outstanding talent, a good professional and we are pleased to have tied him up."

Click here for the full story.


Just because the cricketers don't need one, doesn't mean Sportsday won't take one.

Back soon with more non-league action, a look ahead to Wednesday's games and reaction to Kent losing their opening game of the summer.

12:58 - CRICKET

All over. Kent begin the season with a 125-run defeat at Worcester. Last man to go is Bollinger for nine as Kent are dismissed for 140 with more than two sessions to spare.

12:52 - CRICKET


Claydon goes for 11. LBW again, that's 12 of 19 wickets, and it's 131-9. Can the hosts polish it off before lunch?

12:50 - CRICKET

Kent's bowlers haven't given up. The last over yields 11 runs, including a trademark Mitch Claydon six.

He and Robbie Joseph have put on 25 for the ninth wicket and counting. 135 to get.

12:35 - YOUR VIEWS

12:32 - CRICKET

Eight down. Billings goes LBW to Morris. That's 11 of 18. 106-8. This one's almost in the books.

12:30 - FOOTBALL

We heard a little earlier about Herne Bay's home defeat to Hythe last night, which was the latest blow for Bay boss Sam Denly this week.

Click here for all the latest from Winch's Field.

12:25 - CRICKET

It's 101-7. James Tredwell is bowled by Charles Morris and someone should probably go and start the bus and set the air-con going.

12:20 - CRICKET


12:10 - CRICKET

Why do I do it?

Stevens has gone for 27. Fine catch by Choudhry and it's 94-6. Oh dear.

12:10 - CRICKET

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Kent's hopes rest on the shoulders of one Darren Stevens.

He's breezed along to 27 with the help of six fours already. Kent need 172 more runs and if they're to win this, it's likely he'll need to get the vast majority of them.

No pressure then Stevo.

11:55 - FOOTBALL

Hythe Town boss Scott Porter will sit down with club officials this week to discuss his budget for next season.

His hand will have been strengthened just a bit by a 1-0 derby win at Herne Bay on Tuesday. Craig Thompson struck the only goal 17 minutes from time as Town moved within two points of the top-eight, while Bay are not quite safe yet.

Click here for Steve Tervet's chat with Porter.

11:52 - CRICKET

Nash has gone. Five down. The run-rate had upped and 182 more were required but Shantry gets Nash caught by keeper Ben Cox for 28.

Sam Billings next man in. Can he show why he's been handed the role ahead of Geraint Jones.

11:45 - FOOTBALL

There was joy for another Kent side in Ryman League Division 1 South last night as Folkestone Invicta sealed their place in the play-offs courtesy of a 2-1 win over promotion rivals Hastings.

Premier League-bound Johan Ter Horst put Invicta ahead before the break and though the visitors levelled in the closing stages, Frankie Chappell sparked wild celebrations with a winner two minutes from time.

The only surprise was there was no goal from Paul Booth, who has made such a difference to Invicta's fortunes since arriving in November.

Click here to read Booth's views on the season, and his decision to extend his stay at the Fullicks Stadium.

11:35 - YOUR VIEWS

Shane is quite right.... the ball seems to be keeping very low as the New Road pitch breaks up, and Kent are getting done by some straight bowling from the Worcestershire attack.


Kent's Winter Paralympian Millie Knight has been named as one of England's batonbearers for the Queen's Baton Relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

Alpine skier Mille, 15, from Canterbury carried the GB flag at the Sochi opening ceremony and finished fifth in her first games. What a year 2014 has been for her, one of the nicest athletes I've ever had the good fortune to interview.

The baton's due to arrive in England on May 31 to begin the final leg of the relay, which will continue to Scotland on June 14.

11:20 - CRICKET

Harmison has gone for 10. Another LBW, Kent's 10th of the game, this time to Jack Shantry. 57-4 and Stevo is in. 209 required.

11:15 - FOOTBALL

Goals in either half from Joe Kane and Ashley Miller ensured Whitstable a priceless win at Crawley Down last night which gave their hopes of beating the Ryman League Division 1 South drop a massive boost.

Boss Nicky Southall can now relax a bit and once safety is mathematically secure can tinker with his side to start planning for next season, as he told me here.

10:55 - CRICKET

So, five minutes until the action gets underway at New Road. Brendan Nash and Ben Harmison are padded-up and buckling their chin straps. It's going to be a day for cool heads.

Kent need 215 to win on an increasingly difficult surface while Worcestershire require seven more wickets on the final day to begin the campaign with a home win.

I'll keep you up to date with all the developments right here.


10:35 - CHARLTON

Not too long before the Kent game at Worcester resumes, I'll bring you a recap before the start of play at 11am.

First though there was more doom and gloom at The Valley last night after an unthinkable home defeat against Barnsley.

A win would have gone a long way towards ensuring the Addicks survive in the Championship but now second-bottom Barnsley are just two points behind them.

Click here to find out what went wrong.

10:15 - FOOTBALL

More Tuesday night action anyone?

Well there were celebrations long into the night at Margate, sadly however it was Wealdstone fans doing the celebrating as their 1-0 win at Hartsdown Park ensured the Ryman League Premier Division title.

In the same division Paul Vines' goal was in vain as already-relegated Cray Wanderers lost 3-1 at home to East Thurrock United.

The win for the struggling Essex side means Thamesmead are in deep trouble, now five points adrift of safety with three games to play.

Maidstone United's hopes of a play-off spot were boosted slightly by third-placed Bognor's 4-3 defeat at Hampton & Richmond, though Lowestoft's win on Tuesday night took them up to 7th, a point behind Maidstone and with a game in hand.

Four points separate Hornchurch in 2nd from 6th-placed Stones.

09:55 - FOOTBALL

Well, that clears that up.... no dodgy Singaporean gambling syndicates spotted near the generator then.


Ahhh who doesn't love the smell of petrol in the morning?

It might still be early but there's never a bad time to look in on Brands Hatch and British Superbike Championship.

Click here for more.

09:20 - FOOTBALL

Remember 08:15? Seems a long time ago already... but we brought you news about the floodlight failure which blighted Ebbsfleet's bid to secure a play-off spot in Skrill South.

Well there are plenty of people who are very angry about the situation, and Steve T does a fine job here of rounding them all up in one handy place.

09:05 - CRICKET

An intriguing opportunity for us to peep into the mind of an elite professional sportsman awaits. Get your questions at the ready.

Davies is missing the opening few weeks of the season due to a bicep/upper arm/shoulder type problem, maybe you could ask how that's going? He played in the World record run chase against Sussex last summer, worth a question on that? Or maybe just question him about his atrocious catalogue of barnets. Entirely up to you, just don't miss your chance.

08:50 - FOOTBALL

Last night was a third game in five days for Dover, and playing an hour with 10 men wouldn't have helped their energy levels, I'd have thought. They will have to pick themselves up again for the clash with Concord on Saturday.

Click here to see what boss Chris Kinnear told my colleague Richard Harvey about Dover's hectic schedule.

08:35 - FOOTBALL

At the other end of the Skrill South table, Tonbridge gained a creditable goalless draw at in-form Staines Town last night.

The point was hard-earned but second-bottom Angels find themselves three points adrift of safety with three games to play after rivals Hayes & Yeading beat already-relegated Dorchester 2-0 last night.

08:30 - FOOTBALL

There were of course games in Skrill South that did get completed last night, with interest for our sides at both ends of the table.

Dover are battling to get into the play-offs, but suffered a 1-0 defeat at champions-elect Eastleigh after playing more than an hour with 10 men.

Whites midfielder Barry Cogan was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Will Evans after just half an hour, and though Whites battled bravely despite the deficit, they were thwarted by their former keeper Ross Flitney before the hosts ensured the points courtesy of a goal 12 minutes from time from Lee Peacock.

The result left Chris Kinnear's side sixth, a point behind Havant & Waterlooville, who have two games in hand, and three behind fourth-placed Ebbsfleet, who have played one less.

Havant can increase their advantage with a home win against mid-table Boreham Wood tonight.

Dover's Barry Cogan

08:15 - FOOTBALL

I've seen more rearranged games this season than any other I can remember. Usually it's for good reasons like clashes with Cup games, the occasional Arctic blizzard and more often than not, it's just a good old fashioned English waterlogged pitch.

What I don't remember too many of are floodlight failures in the final few weeks of the season with team's play-off and survival hopes hanging in the balance.

Unfortunately that's the fate that befell Ebbsfleet and our man Steve Tervet at Concord Rangers on Canvey Island last night.

What happened? I hear you cry. Well grab a torch, click here to read Steve's report and he'll ensure you'll not be in the dark for long.

08:00 - KICK-OFF

Good morning. Welcome to Wednesday's Sportsday. In a matter of hours we will know whether Kent have made a winning or a losing start to their LV= County Championship Division 2 season. This is the place to be for all the breaking news from New Road, Worcester, through the day.

Kent still need 200+ on a tricky wicket out west, though they do have seven wickets in hand and Brendan Nash and Ben Harmison at the crease when play resumes for the final day at 11am.

I'll bring you all the highlights from day three - including a fivefer from overseas ace Doug Bollinger, later this morning.

There's also a lot of football to get through today, lots of action last night and plenty more to come tonight too, so keep hitting refresh throughout the day to ensure you keep up to date with all the day's sports news here in Kent.

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