Preview: Kent Senior Cup Final

The Fleet travel to Hayes Lane just 24 hours after making the long trip to Accrington, having earned a point against FC Halifax Town.

The last time the Fleet travelled to Bromley’s ground for a Kent Senior Cup Final was back in 2008 when a 4-0 win during pre-season secured the trophy for the reds. Another final played at Bromley came in 2006, when the home side beat the Fleet 3-2 in a game that, like this one, was squeezed into midweek before the end of the league season.

We have played at Hayes Lane in the competition more recently, beating Bromley there on penalties in Round Two in 2021/22.

The Fleet’s route to the final
Halloween night saw the Fleet’s route to the final begin against Cray Wanderers and there was swift progress into the quarter-finals as we sent five past the Isthmian League side.

Beckenham Town were next up for the Fleet and a first hat-trick at the club for Dominic Samuel topped off with a strike from Omari Sterling-James cancelled out a late goal from the visitors in our first meeting with them – and a semi-final spot was booked against Chatham Town.

Chatham were the third team the Fleet hosted in the competition and a much tighter affair saw the Fleet win an eight-goal thriller 5-3, making it a total of 14 goals in three games in the cup.

Maidstone’s route to the final
Maidstone began their campaign strongly by knocking out a Gillingham XI by 2-0. 

It was difficult for the Stones in Gravesend when they faced Punjab United in the quarter-finals which was settled by a penalty shootout following a goalless affair. The National League South side came out on top and scored four times to Punjab’s three.

Once again, a penalty shootout would decide Maidstone’s fate when they travelled to Dartford – the semi-final ended in a 1-1 draw with Maidstone once again completing the job on spot-kicks (4-3).

This is the first-ever final between the Fleet and Maidstone United and you have to go back to before the Second World War to find Northfleet up against the Stones in three finals in 1909, 1914 and 1920. The Fleet last featured in this competition’s final in 2014, beating Dover Athletic to win it. Maidstone have won it twice since, in 2018 and 2019. In all, the Stones have lifted the cup on 18 occasions to Fleet’s eight but our predecessor club Northfleet United won it a further nine times including five in a row from 1923-28.

The squads
There’s no telling the strength of the two sides likely to feature, with Fleet in a do-or-die battle in the league and Maidstone seeking to secure a high play-off finish on Saturday. Fleet could potentially field as many as seven players from the first-team squad not involved in league action last night while the Stones named a strong side at Dartford in the semi-final that included goalkeeper Lucas Covolan, midfield dynamo Sam Corne and former Havant striker Mo Faal. Whether they will choose to go as strong with big matches to come in the play-offs is open to question. There could also be an appearance for former Fleet defender Reiss Greenidge.

The manager
Former Wolves defender George Elokobi is an ex-centre-back who also played for Colchester United and against us for Leyton Orient. He played for Maidstone between 2019 and 2022 before becoming manager in 2023, his first such role after succeeding Hakan Hayrettin. 

Ticket info
Tickets can be purchased here right up until kick-off but must be bought in advance online. There will be no sales on the night. Supporters have access to bar and catering facilities plus seating and covered standing. Admission is:
Adults £10.00
Concessions (over 65s and 12 to 16-year-olds) £5.00
Juniors (Five to 11-year-olds) £2.00
Under 5s Free


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on WhatsApp
Email this article

More News

match stats

Click to enlarge »

First-Team Squad