Penalty shoot out sees U13s through to quarter finals
Character and determination sees Angels youngsters triumph in thriller
Angels entertained a strong Thamesview team containing 9 players from the Medway district team in the 3rd round of the Viatex Cup. A number of players carrying knocks at the moment and a very bobbly pitch meant Angels were far from their best but their team spirit and attitude carried them through this game.
Angels fell behind early in the first half to a well taken goal by the Thamesview striker and were grateful to goal keeper Luke O’Grady for a number of saves. Angels were struggling to get behind the Thamesview defence and were restricted to a few long range efforts, the first half finishing with just the one goal and Thamesview playing the much better football
Angels knew they needed to up their game in the second half. Conditions were hard to play the football they had been playing in previous weeks and it was difficult to see where a goal was going to come from. Striker Billy Kent took the game to Thamesview pressing their defence and winning the ball and charging into the area to be brought down for a penalty. Up stepped Ben Hermitage to slot away cooly and Angels looked revitalised. However, the age old theory of you being most vulnerable after you score proved to be correct with the visitors taking the lead again almost immediately.
Angels though were now starting to knock the ball around a little better and the defence were settled. A great win by centre back Toby Kent saw him then beat a player and send a fine ball behind the Thamesview defence; Billy Kent held off two challenges rounded the keeper and slotted away. Angels were starting to look the better side but a bad tackle on Kian Austin led to him having to come off and Thamesview were now starting to pick up yellow cards. More drama was still to come, the Thamesview striker bursting into the area Joe Tyrie winning a great sliding tackle but the referee pointing to the spot. Luke O’Grady then saved the penalty but the Thamesview player followed up to fire home.
Thamesview were now trying to keep the ball in the corners and play out the last few minutes. However there was still more drama to come, a genuine piece of magic from Toby Lansdowne bursting down the left hand side avoiding two desperate tackles and putting the ball across the area on a six pence as he had done all season. Cometh the hour, cometh the man and last season’s goal keeper Nat ‘Gibbsy’ Gibbs was on hand to side foot home with the virtually the last kick of the game.
Extra time was uneventful both teams creating little, the crowd had been treated to a fantastic game of football and were looking forward to the shootout. Angels first penalty saved and their second missed, Thamesview scoring their first three and the pressure on. Toby Lansdowne scoring the 3rd for Angels and then Luke O’Grady pulling off two unbelievable saves to bring us back into it. Jack Balcombe and George Walker scoring their pens to make 3-3 and send it to sudden death. The injured Joe Tyrie struggled through 2nd half stepping up to take and the goal keeper making a fine save, Thamesview now knowing they would go through if they scored. But Luke O’Grady was having none of it, a fantastic save. Who was going to take the next sudden death for Angels, eye contact was unusually absent, that man Gibbs stepped up again and nerves of steel slotted away. Back to Luke O’Grady he had saved three on the bounce could he make it four?? Of course he can…..You’ve got to love a pile on!
Respect to the visitors they had probably played the better football.
Angels will now play Ramsgate in the quarter finals and know they will have to play a lot better to progress to the semis. Next week they are away to VCD Athletic in the 3rd round of the Kent Cup.