Home   Dover   Sport   Article

Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final: Dover Athletic 2 Bromley 2 (Bromley won 3-2 on penalties)


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

Bromley came from two goals down to take the Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final on penalties against Dover at Ashford’s Homelands ground on Sunday.

Dover looked home and dry when Leighton Murray scored a quickfire double early in the second half.

The Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final saw Dover Athletic (white) battle it out with Bromley. Picture: PSP Images
The Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final saw Dover Athletic (white) battle it out with Bromley. Picture: PSP Images

But Bromley were a side transformed in the final 20 minutes and they ensured manager Hugh Gray signed off from 30 years of youth-team management in style by winning 3-2 on penalties.

“It was a very good game, I’m absolutely delighted and the boys showed great character to come back from 2-0 down,” said Gray.

“This is my 30th year in youth football, my final year on the frontline and it’s a good way to bow out.

“I’ve done a good stint and I want to relax now! I started when I was 22 and I’ll be 52 in June. This is the fourth team that I’ve taken through from under-7s upwards.”

Bromley manager Hugh Gray is bowing out after 30 years. Picture: PSP Images
Bromley manager Hugh Gray is bowing out after 30 years. Picture: PSP Images

Dover dominated the early exchanges and should have led through Murray, who had two early chances saved by Bromley keeper Alfie Carr.

Referee Jim Bodle stamped his authority on the final with an early booking for either side as both teams showed plenty of aggression in their challenges.

Murray’s tenacity forced his way past two Bromley defenders before his long-range shot failed to match the build-up.

The best chance of the first half saw Murray head over from 10 yards after Ned Colin’s delightful right-wing cross created the opening.

Dover Athletic under-16s (white) get ahead of Bromley under-16s. Picture: PSP Images
Dover Athletic under-16s (white) get ahead of Bromley under-16s. Picture: PSP Images

Dover took just three minutes after the break to find the breakthrough. Murray, their best player, cutting in from the left and beating Carr at his near post from 20 yards.

A ball over the top then left Murray with a chance from an angle on 51 minutes but his excellent low right-foot finish made a tough opportunity look easy.

Bromley lost Ricardo Opoku to injury but they showed great character to hit back.

“A couple of lads were ball-watching a bit and I put a midfielder at right-back as their dangerous player was the left winger (Murray), who was very good,” said Gray. “We needed to stop him in his tracks, which we did a little bit.

“MJ (Michael Kamson-Kamara) came into his own and started to dominate the game, winning the penalty and taking the game to them.

“In the league it’s been an indifferent season but we’ve had a good cup run and finished that off with a great result.”

Bromley under-16s (blue) slide in against Dover Athletic under-16s. Picture: PSP Images
Bromley under-16s (blue) slide in against Dover Athletic under-16s. Picture: PSP Images

The excellent Michael Kamson-Kamara - who is joining League 1 Lincoln City this summer - won a penalty that he then tucked away with class to reduce the arrears on the hour mark.

David Karama’s corner nearly went straight in before Bromley levelled on 66 minutes, a free-kick into the penalty area proving too hot to handle and Kassim Dagher reacted quickest to convert from close range.

Thereafter, Bromley were in the ascendancy and they should have wrapped the game up in normal time. Karama, David Uyiekpen and Everson Fortunato all had chances while Kamson-Kamara was taken out by keeper Freddie Marsh but no penalty was awarded.

Dover nearly snatched it in the fifth minute of injury time but Carr made a fine save to deny Murray his hat-trick.

Extra-time saw Murray again to the fore, while Rory Sutcliffe somehow shot wide from close range after Connor Deeks raced down the right wing.

Dover Athletic under-16s (white) find themselves crowded out against Bromley under-16s. Picture: PSP Images
Dover Athletic under-16s (white) find themselves crowded out against Bromley under-16s. Picture: PSP Images

Sutcliffe hit the post in the second half of extra-time but a close game between two good teams went to penalties.

Dover’s Deeks had their first spot-kick saved and they trailed 2-0 when Sutcliffe hit the bar. Rhys Bimpong and Fortunato both converted their penalties.

Tyler Watson scored for Dover but Bromley led 3-1 when Dagher slotted home. Jake McCarthy made it 3-2 when he scored for Dover and Kamson-Kamara had a chance to win it for Bromley but Marsh made a terrific save to deny him.

It mattered little, though, as Murray sent the next spot-kick wide for Dover, leaving Bromley to celebrate their success.

Dover: Freddie Marsh, George Hunt, Jake McCarthy, Louie Procopi, Matt Holness, Harley Scrivener, Josh Harding, Ned Odlin, Leighton Murray, Connor Deeks, Rory Sutcliffe, Tyler Watson, Ason Limbu, Archie Crocker, James Hardman, Morgan Page.

Bromley: Alfie Carr, Nicolas Avery Janvier, Ricardo Opoku, Myles Briscoe-Foster, David Kamara, Tyler Henry, Kassim Dagher, Everson Fortunato, Rhys Bimpong, Cameron White, Terry Berkshire, Travis Bedward, Kinsey Bitri, Michael Kamson-Karama, David Uyiekpen, Temu Liburd-Appiah.

Referee: Jim Bodle.

Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final winners Bromley. Picture: PSP Images
Kent Merit Under-16 boys cup final winners Bromley. Picture: PSP Images
Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More