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Following a 3-1 defeat to Lordswood, and a very encouraging display against a good side, the squad returned to Kent County League opposition last weekend verses our old friends at Belvedere FC.
The history in the fixture needs no introductions with our Club Legend Christon Sookoo playing for both Clubs in some fantastic league clashes between the teams. And the game was a good contest and another opportunity for the new management team to take another look.
Skipper Jack A'Court bagged two penaltys after two similar reckless tackles inside the box, Reece was causing carnage and the tempo was just too quick for Belvedere. 2-0. Belvedere returned with a goal pretty quickly to take the game 2-1 at half-time.
Belevdere were a new side playing their first game after coming from Sunday football, and they had a handful of very good players... the second half was tight and Belvedere were restricting Halls to rushed long shots and we struggled to get the final ball right. It did click late on, with Dylan coming off the bench at halftime with two quick goals in succession, breaking down the left and finishing very well across the keeper both times. Game sealed, 4-1.
Thanks again to our oppositions Belvedere, very encouraging signs for both sides which are new on display.
The game plan changes this weekend with two matches taking place to see the whole squad on show... the 1st XI take on Sutton Reserves arbitrary Princes Park, and the 2nd XI take on St Lawrence, away, in a big first test back within the Sevenoaks League sides...
Halls Athletic 2 - 2 Lewisham Borough
With both teams sporting 20-man squads this was going to be a game of two halves, and it certainly lived up too it.
The sun was hot, and the rubber crumb pitch was even hotter, but not as hot as the start Lewisham Borough made. They pressed high from the start and begun with some dominance right inside the Halls half, and after 7 minutes Marshall in the Halls goal tried to coolly play out the back and left his team mate short - with Borough taking a free hit and scoring.
The Halls boys, in the words of the Gaffer, showed a lot of character and dug deep to find a footing in the game. The tempo stayed high, as the Halls boys tried to find a slower pace and get hold of the ball, the chances stared to come. And despite a good save from Marshall, it was Halls with the equaliser, as another half cleared ball from Lewisham found its way to Stevens on the edge of the box, and he fired low and hard into the bottom corner with the keeper stranded. 1-1.
With some added confidence to end the half; the Halls boys had done enough to earn their place back in this game and will be kicking themselves for not creating something from a number of good free-kicks and a run of corners.
1-1 half-time. And both teams made 9 changes.
And the half brought a role reversal from the opening 20 of the first half, starting this time with Halls in the accedency and dominating the ball with some slick 2 touch football. It drove Lewisham deep and the chances opened up. Sam, moving from the centre of midfield to centre forward, was pressing hard and fast and really starting to probe away at the Boro backline.
But within a flash Lewisham Borough had the game 1-2, now playing a more patient game Boro had worked the ball out long and turned the back line quickly and had the ball in the net shortly after.
Only moments before, George had two chances to take the lead, one a glorious spell of touches around the Boro box leading to a one on one but just put wide... but game was now wide open.
Halls maintained the foothold in the game, but with Boro now playing with no urgency it was going to be tougher to force them back.
Halls' left winger Dylan continued to probe away at the Boro left back and lost him wanting on a few occasions, and one move leading up to the equaliser from a free kick just outside the box. Jack from left back took two steps and found the inside of the keepers left hand post. 2-2 and deserved.
Marshall, still in goal, had just pulled off a superb close range one on one, quick off his line and bravely throwing himself into the line of the player and the ball. Top save and a big moment with Halls having the ball in the net just 5 minutes later.
Halls then had their moment to go in front in style, with another superb combination down the left to see Dylan fire across the 6 yard box for Sam to tap in at the back post - but smashed it cross bar and out. Harder to miss but just one of them touches catching it far too well... great move!
Boro made a couple of more changes, and Lewis T re-entered for Halls, in a last 10 minutes that saw two headed chances there for Halls to win it. One a great corner in from Jack finding the impressive centre half Connor with an unchallenged header but straight down the throat of the steady Boro keeper.
Boro did have the last glimpse of goal to close the game, but Marshall made sure again with a strong right hand pushing the ball away from danger and to the sound of the final whistle.
At times this game could have gone either way. Boro at 1-0, could have gone 2-0, and again at 2-1 could have gone 3-1. But at 1-1 and 2-2 Halls had all the momentum and the chances too have just edged this match.
Good show, and a good game from Lewisham Borough too - great opposition led by their Gaffer Ray.
New First Team Manager Aaron Braithwaite took his first match in charge on Saturday
Halls XI 4-6 Braithwaite XI
It was the Halls XI that made a steady early start in the game, seeing plenty of touches of the ball and trying to slow down the young energetic side that new gaffer Aaron Braithwaite and assistant Chris Lelean had put out in our first pre-season trial match. However, the tempo did turn and the boys wearing white that day begun to probe away at the Halls defence, which was showing the same backline from 2017 with Judd and Tristram fullbacks and Hyde and skipper Vanstone in the middle, with Marshall in goal.
The White's number 9, Bradley had wiggled his way round his marker on a few occassions, looking dangerous, strong and really up for the match. But the Halls counter was coming down the right through debutant Sam - looking to take on his marker at every opportunity and fizzing some great balls through the box - Halls just lacked the extra man up top to make those crosses count.
But it was to be the White that had the first opportunity too take the lead after a foul from Hyde gave Aaron's XI a penalty. Marshall in the Halls goal stayed up for as long as he could and made a good save to his right, and held the ball. 0-0. And then it would be a total swing in the match when Marshall sent a quick goal kick upto centre forward Dave Stevens, and with a one-touch lay-off we had Rocket bearing down on goal. He took it cooly, and slotted in the bottom corner for 1-0.
But with only 30 seconds left on the clock, the boys in white found themsleves inside the Halls box once again and Bradley fired into the net to level the scores, right on half time, and maybe deservedly despite some excellent defending from the Halls lads.
Halls rained in some half-time changes too look at some new trialists and found some good form in the early parts of the second half. Debutant Mike played his part in a series of good breakaway moves and was really unlucky not to have restored the lead too Halls. But it was the centre of the pitch that was now being dominated by the Whites, number 4 and number 8 were a superb combination with energy, touches and a lot of talent...
And within a flash the game was 1-3. Dylan and Coombs had put the visitors ahead, again finding themslves in dangerous positions inside the Halls box, and finishing cooly too stomp out in front. It was Aaron's XI that now rained the changes, which gave opportunity to the Halls lads to continue to probe away with their quick counter attack through Mike. This led to a freekick in a good position just outside the White's box, and with Stevens standing over the ball we expected him to hit the target, and he did, bottom corner and a goal back for 2-3.
And it was a flash again that saw this game turn on its head once again, as within 10 minutes the ascendancy was back with the home side, Mike had struck twice, terrorising the Whites keeper in a spell he had already made two excellent saves from him. But this game had now gone 4-3 Halls. Mike was linking excellently with Rocket, Enzo and Lewis down our left and the game had really opened up heading into the last 10 minutes.
But again in a flash, and maybe quite typical for a pre-season match, let alone the first pre-season match, but Aaron's XI had easy pickings on a team that had just took their foot off the pedal. 3 goals, straight back at us, Borgo the equaliser, Bradley bagged his second with the 5th, and a well earned goal for the number 10 Bailey, sealing the match with the last kick of the game... 4-6.
A great first introduction match for the new Gaffer and his Assistant, and encouraging to see the majority of the Halls squad on show so early. More games coming now thick and fast... bring on July! #ComeOnHalls
Manager Aaron Braithwaite, and Assistant Chris Lelean with the Halls XI
This is your NEW YEAR special edition newsletter, including all the breaking news on the DECEMBER AWARDS plus your 2015 SEASON REVIEW - over 30 pages, looking back through Facebook and Twitter at ALL THE HIGH-LIGHTS... enjoy!
HAPPY NEW YEAR
newsletter-8-2015-new-year-special.pdf (3.49 MB)
The Halls 1st Team have been motoring along nicely since September, and they added their 6th victory on Saturday with a solid 2-1 win over AFC Mottingham in the NRG GYM Kent County League Division 1 West. It was a superb first half display that sealed the victory, with Vinton Tomlinson bagging twice on his return to the front line, and he should of had his hattrick on the stroke of half-time, blazing over the bar from 6 yards out! And there were more chances missed to have sealed this match in the first 45.
AFC Mottingham pulled a good goal back with a neat lob, but the performance late in the game showed why we have one of the best defensive units in the league this season... and starting debutants - 18 year old Dan Marshall and 16 year old Ryan Tristram - were both excellent.
The last remaining game before Christmas is this weekend verses Chipstead, when the boys will head out looking for a repeat of the result earlier in the season, a thumping 3-0 win at thier place.... with a stark reminder of who was on the scoreline... 2 goals for our #11 Christon Sookoo - never forgotten Sooks! A win will see us hold 3rd spot heading into the new year..... #ComeOnHalls
There are some great First Team stats to be proud of so far this season - notably Dave Stevens notching up 11 goals in 10 games, and skipper Steve Vanstone, playing in his 18th season for the Club and still at the top of the leaderboard. A special well done to the new gaffer this season Ross Copley, and his whole team of coaches and those involved with the seniors... bring on 2016!
The Halls Reserves have made great strides in the last 6 weeks, narrowing the gap between performances and making a good game of it... Ryan Tristram has started in 12 consequetive games for the Reserves this season at the age of 16, and with credit to his Manager Ray Marshall and Coach Billy Judd, enjoyed a First Team call-up last weekend. So, one cup lifted already for the Reserve Team and their Management.
Other successes have been from brother Joe Tristram who has been on the senior score-sheet and scoped November Player of the Month for his further goals with the Under 17s. The Reserves now sit 10th in the NRG GYM Kent County Football League Div 3 West, and will be looking to creep away from the bottom 4 in the new year with their recent form.
The Halls Veterans (35 and over) enjoyed a strong start to the season, topping the table for a few weeks but have faced some of their biggest rivals in recent weeks and have been pegged back. Manager Garry Jay will however be heading into Christmas full of positives with his sides' start to the season... much improved from last seasons' start, and with a squad hungry for goals the new year looks very bright in the Southern Veterans Football League Div4! #TrueHallsSpirit
Next down the Club is our Under 17s, who have for the first time in the Club's history, been providing a direct link between the youth and senior teams at the Club, and we are delighted here that after nearly 8 years of hard work, we are finally seeing the end of our very first Club Development Plan target set way back in 2008. This is the start of the next chapter at Halls AFC....
And 6 wins is a great start to the season for Dave Tristram and his Under 17s. Nathan Game has registered a hattrick, and several braces in games leading the front line, and despite several matches in goal, and in centre midfield, he is their top goalscorer and has also enjoyed time in the senior Reserve team. 7 matches left, and they will be seriously looking at the top four come April. Watch this space!
Another success story has been with the Under 16s, our next Youth side down who will soon also provide our Reserves with quality home-grown Halls players. And after disbanding 3 years ago due to a merge with Dave Tristrams older age-group, we reformed the side this summer with 5 of the original members and could not be happier with the start to the season.
Technically the side have one registered league defeat this season due to 2 games being forfeited due to school trips, 6 wins and 2 draws has been an excellent start for the new side. With the 5 originals we have the bulk of players from from the same schools and can only see a bright future with this young side.
Louie Grindley has been outstanding at centre half, alongside a great partner in Charlie, they have been central to their superb defensive record. Anthony has proved to be a very versatile player too - James Milner springs to mind - playing out wide and beating players and assisting goals, to centre midfield hard working and good tackling, and even centre forward and making one on ones look easy.... it has been an excellent start for him also! What a great target it would be for the Under 16s to stay in that top 2 come April...
Our Under 15s fair no different either, after 2 successive promotions they now find themselves in the Selkent A division and have knocked in 18 goals and holding 3rd spot heading into the New Year. They won Team of the Month for October with 4 straight wins and have again moved up a league and made the transition look pretty easy! Big push now in 2016 to stay in the top 3/4 and break another club record, and attempt to retain the Halls Most Outstanding Team of the Season cup come May.
Our competitive Junior teams include the Under 14s and Under 12s:
Ben A has not stopped scoring for the Under 12s, continuing his form from the previous 2 seasons, he is bidding to retain his place in the Halls end of season Dream Team for the 3rd successive season... what an achievement that would be. He has had 2 hattricks and scooped a Player of the Month award already... and he is really good to watch, so lets 2016 started!
The Halls Senior First Team have been ticking along nicely since the start of the new season under new boss Ross Copley.
A draw this weekend against Long Lane, saw Matt Skopila and former LLer Ben Lovell grab the goals in a 2-2 clash.
Mouth-watering games against Peckham, Bexlians and a re-match in the other cup against Metrogas from the Premier!
Our Reserves have made a slow start this season, with 6 of the original new signings now gone the side is now performing with a core of Under 18s players:
Our Veterans side on the other hand, have got off to a flyer taking 9 points from 12, and sitting pretty on the top of the Div 4 Southern Veterans League:
Its been a good start to the campaign from the Halls 1st Team, taking a well deserved point away to Long Lane on the opening weekend - which could have been all 3 - and followed by a 3-1 win away to Blackheath last weekend. But the tempo was stepped up again this weekend with a Kent Inter-regional Cup match against premier division side Metrogas - who won the top flight division last season but failed to get promoted to the Step 6 Kent Invicta League due to ground compliance.
We went to Metrogas full of confidence and with nothing to lose. And we gave them a good match-up. With 3 central defenders missing this weekend, skipper Steve Vanstone was partnered by Louis Glazebrook at the heart of the defence as we took the early ascendency in the match. But the key notable inclusion in the line-up was the return of JAMIE WADDINGTON in the Halls line-up. Returning to the Club from his spells at Rochester United and Gravesham Town. But a goal against the run of play was the final tale of the half shattering all the good work and half-chances that we did create... But we knew the match was not over, and we knew we would still finish strong today regardless of the scoreline.
And our best chance fell to Matty Skopila straight after the break, with a great cross, scramble in the box, and a follow-up volley destined for the net was somehow blocked by the centre-half making a diving body save. But it would be real bad luck to hit us within 30 seconds... when the Metrogas midfielder cracked one in the top corner from 30 yards out. A beauty, and despite what our #1 said, pretty unstoppable! And 0-2.
Gabriel and Vinnie Foreman were instant changes, along with our shape and system changing as we took the game again to our opponents. Vinton Tomlinson, and Garbriel, should have both scored (at least) with the flurry of chances that came our way in the last 20 minutes. With 15 minutes to go, Luca Fortunelli was shown a second yellow card and dismissed to cap off our day.... a deserved second yellow, but how he received a first yellow card in this match i dont know? Not one bad tackle today and the referee [being assessed] costs another adult £25+ for his day out on a Saturday... on top of his normal subs. Do the league want to look any further at why the numbers in senior football is declining?? Or do we continue to tolerate such unenthusiastic, poorly trained referees damaging our league. No freekick or cautions for deliberate pulls on shirts, impeding players, or even handballs.... but two honest tackles for the ball are yellows?
Anyway, it didnt stop our game. We continued to press Metrogas until the end, and again should of and could of had the ball in the net on more than one occassion. Dan Davis in the Halls goal had one save to make today after picking the ball out of his net twice, we can only come away today proud of our performance, just not the result.
We look forward to Chipstead back in the league this coming weekend!
Elsewhere, our Reserves played top of the table Old Roan Reserves, and narrowly lost out 0-1. After having the majority of the chances throughout, this was a much improved performance from the boys in Blue who travel away to Peckham Town Reserves this weekend.
And it was the big kick off for all our youth and junior teams on Sunday. Some cracking scorelines in there from our younger teams too.... keep scoring the goals!
BOTH the Halls Seniors headed out at the weekend to start their league campaigns after an excellent pre-season that has seen more than 12 new signings to go with the new management team. Ross Copley (pictured left) has taken the reigns of the Senior First Team after returning to the Club last November. Ross has previously played for the Club for 5 seasons, and managed our Reserve Team, and this was a natural progression for the self-employed landlord and lettings director.
More familiar, will be the new Reserve Team management duo of Ray Marshall (Under 9s Blue manager) and Billy Judd (Under 11s Blue manager) taking their first steps into senior management (pictured right). Billy is currently undertaking his UEFA B coaching licence, and both will take this developing group forward… some excellent summer signings has already marked their reign!
NRG GYM Kent County Football League Div 1 West
Long Lane 1 – 1 Halls Athletic Halls Goal-scorer: Vinton Tomlinson
A superb first half display should have been enough to have taken a precious victory from rivals Long Lane. Vinton’s superb headed opener should have been followed by an easier second opportunity, and then a flourish at the end of the half saw league debutant Gabriel miss two good chances to finish the game before half-time. A Long Lane fight back in the second half saw them grab an equaliser and a share of the points at 90 minutes… But still an excellent away point against one of the top half sides with a performance to match!
MOTM: Halls #1 Dan Davis (pictured right)
STAR MEN: #4 Lee Wright #7 Vinton Tomlinson #8 Christon Sookoo
NRG GYM Kent County Football League Div 3 West
Halls Athletic Reserves 0 – 3 Welling Park
With an opener against one of the league’s new teams, we had the unknown in front of us and will learn from our mistakes and can take some big positives from the game. Two of our home-grown talents made the starting line-up; Halls Under 17s players Nathan Game and Ryan Tristram (pictured left), as well as Lewis and Joe Tristram also making the 16-man squad and making their league debuts from the bench.
Next match: South East Athletic this Saturday, Princes Park 3G, 2.45pm KO
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Danson Sports 3 - 3 HALLS ATHLETIC Under 16s
HALLS ATHLETIC Under 16s 3 - 1 Danson Sports
With 3 league games left in the Under 16s B-division calendar, the boys face a double header with Danson Sports and a final match against current league leaders Phoenix. But first to the two matches against Danson... Thanks to Nigel for his report.
Our boys in Blue and Yellow started the game well and looked the better team but against the run of play Danson scored. This seemed to affect our lads and within 10 minutes they had scored again - a sloppy goal from a soft freekick which we failed to clear. 5 minutes later we were staring down the barrel when Danson went 0-3 up from another freekick. We did still have a couple of good chances to get one back before the break but just didn't have enough composure in front of goal.
Dave had some honest words with the boys at half time and sent them out with the clear message of getting an early goal! Ten minutes into the half they did just that when James went on a great run and crossed the ball for Lewis R to tap home. All of a sudden the boys had belief again. Five minutes later a long ball from Lewis W found Anthony in on goal and he produced a brilliant lob over the keeper and into the top corner. The celebration was nearly as good as the goal. 2-3.
Ten minutes later a through-ball from Ben found Anthony in again and he produced the same excellent finish... 3-3 and enough time to get the winner!
It nearly came when a great kick from Josh found Nathan on goal but the Danson #1 pulled off a great save, and with only a minute to go Danson had a chance but hit the top of the bar and away. What a game and a great comeback with so much character all over the pitch in the second half... and a couple of really outstanding performances, particularly from Lewis R , James and Anthony.
And over to our second match v Danson this weekend, and this one we made sure we got our goals in earlier...! And despite missing our big performers from last weekend, Lewis R and Anthony, the boys put themselves 2-0 up (both Nathan) and picked up from where we left off last week.
Danson hit back in the second half, but Josh powered in a header to make the game 3-1 and a deserved win for the team.
The Under 16s have been playing really well the last 5-6 weeks and the boys can be happy with picking up the points recently... just one game left verses TOP!
Under 7C East Spring - 5 v 5 - League
Halls AFC 0 - 2 Hayden Sharks
Hayden Sharks 2 - 0 Halls AFC
Under 8B East Spring - 5 v 5 League
Halls AFC Blue 0 - 4 Danson White
Danson White 0 - 2 Halls AFC
Under 8D East Spring - 5 v 5 League
Halls AFC Yellow 0 - 2 Kingsdale FC
Kingsdale FC 3 - 2 Halls AFC Yellow
Under 9C East - 7 v 7 – League
Halls AFC Blue 1 - 2 Fleetdown United
Under 9D East - 7 v 7 – League
Danson Red 3 - 4 Halls AFC Yellow
Under 10A East Spring - 7 v 7 – League
Eltham Lions 3 - 3 Halls AFC Blue
Under 10C East Spring - 7 v 7 Friendly
Halls AFC White 1 - 2 Beacons FC Red
Under 10D East - Spring 7v 7 League
Halls AFC Yellow 1 - 0 Welling Wanderers Black
Under 11B East - 9 v 9 – London Cup
Halls AFC 6 - 5 Phoenix Jaguars
Under 12B East - 9 v 9 – League
Ebbsfleet United 0 - 0 Halls AFC
Under 13D - 11 v 11 – League
Long Lane Tigers 5 - 2 Halls AFC
Under 14B East - 11 v 11 League
Halls AFC 1 - 3 Teviot Rangers Red
Under 16B East - 11 v 11 – League
Junior Red Knights 2 - 3 Halls AFC
With the total washout on Saturday, it was over to all our Youth teams today to pull on the Blue and Yellow shirt, wade through the fog and kick-off the New Year. And it has been quite a break for some of our players... for those who came to Corinthians on the 28th December, not so long, but with no league matches since the 14th December, today was all about clearing the cobwebs out!
Steve's Under 7s suffered a waterlogged pitch, however Ray's Under 8s headed over to Titan Tigers and smashed in an awesome 13 goals... Luca stole most of the headlines bagging six goals, but there was a good spread today with Ellie and Lewis T also on the scoresheet amoungst others. A great start to the new year... and a promising sign for November's Team of the Month winners!
Our Under 9s managed one match today, with the Yellow's having an extended Christmas break the Blue's faced Legions and found it a tough match on a very small pitch... and with an opposition goalkeeper that saved 19 out of 20 shots. A good day for him, but Aiden and Thomas in the Halls shirt today were inspiring and never stopped trying. Aiden with the goal, result: Legions FC 7 - 1 Halls AFC Blue.
Billy's Under 10s Blue rolled out at 10am at Stone Rec today and recorded another good result against close rivals Dartford. Continuing their great early season form under care-taker manager Mark, the team has continued to perform well since Billy's return... so well done Mark, and well done Billy. Surely they will scoop a Team of the Month award soon?! Final score, Halls AFC Blue 4 - 1 Dartford FC Blue.
Under 10s Yellow and White, no games, but it was a tricky match for the Under 11s at Ebbsfleet today. Nothing in the match, and nothing in the scoreline losing 0-2. But everyone can be happy to get some minutes on the pitch before next weekend's big London Cup tie. #ChinUpTheCupIsComing
So Bradley's Under 12s were next. And it was a cracking match against Phoenix... even the referee was glowing with superlatives after the match, for what was a thoroughly entertaining game. Phoenix did just edge the match, but it really could have gone either way! Great to see this Under 12s side still playing good attacking football after a long lay off.
Gary and Paul's Under 13s were next at Stone today, and with a slow start found themselves 0-1 down going into the final 25 minutes. Two good moves were squandered and the momentum was gathering the Halls way, but high flying Petts Wood soon had the breakaway and the all iportant second goal with 15 minutes left. 2 more goals followed late on for them to snatch a 0-4 win. Cobwebs blown out, bring on next week...
Our Under 14s also suffered with a waterlogged pitch, but last up were the Under 16s. Lining up against old rivals Dartford and this one is always pretty intense... and the first half did not disappoint. Both goal-keepers were busy and the two best players on the pitch for the first 40 minutes, but Dartford had nicked a goal from a corner, headed down at the back post and tapped-in. Frustrating goal to conceed when we had the numbers back lads!
But the second half saw us swing the momentum early on and continue to be far superior moving the ball... great switches across the back line, and some real neat touches from James, Habib and Joe was just a taster of what we can do - more shots on goal needed though. Charlie, both Joshs' and Ryan were put under a lot of pressure late on in our back line...but they stood up strong again and continue to impress, keeping another second half clean sheet today. Final score, Halls 0 - 1 Dartford.
A big thank you to our resident referee today Laura... a cold long day in shorts and a t-shirt!