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Under 13s - Match centre

Tonbridge Angels
Kings Hill
Sun 26 Feb 11:00 - League Full time

Angels U13s up to second in the table

Good things come to those who Wates


Angels earned a tough 1-0 win on Sunday against a very good Kings Hill side. Angels shuffled the defence again this week to try and combat the very quick breaking Kings Hill team Nat Gibbs back in goal, Chester Smith coming in to play right back with Jack Balcombe and Toby Kent centre back and Kian Austin left back.

Angels started strongly but the first chance fell to Kings Hill, Gibbs being forced into a good early save. The blustery conditions meant Angels had the easier first half and kept Kings Hill camped in their own half for most of the opening 10 minutes. Billy Kent lead the line and worked tirelessly to close down the Kings Hill defence. Angels again this week winning a number of corners that the Kings Hill defence dealt with exceptionally, Angels first real chance falling to Kent powering his way through and smashing the ball with his left foot forcing a magnificent save from the Kings Hill keeper, a really strong hand to force the ball over.

Angels were on top now but the pace on the break from the Kings Hill team was apparent, especially down the left and Chester Smith put a man of the match performance in at right back. Alex Raffelt started for the first time this season on the right of midfield for Angels and provided good cover for Smith and a goal looked like it was coming down this side for one of the teams. Angels continued to press and Kent broke through once more and again took the shot on his left foot which grazed the foot of the post but the first half finished 0-0.

Angels knew they had just played the easier of the half’s, Lansdowne was playing in the hole but was asked to get closer to Kent and Angels started the second half strongly. Dan Wates had come on to play right midfield and was asked to play direct and try and get in behind the defence. The centre midfield partnership of Howie and Tyrie had been dominant through-out but the feature of the day was both defences who were superb the whole match. Lansdowne was starting to influence the game more and broke through on goal shooting across the keeper who made a fine save again. Kings Hill were enjoying good possession but Angels looked dangerous down both flanks with Hermitage stretching the play as usual. The goal finally came from a great cross by Lansdowne, Wates had offered an outlet all game on the right and Lansdowne played the ball instantly anticipating Wates to arrive. All good things come to those who wait and he did perfectly on cue despatching a rocket of a first time shot into the top corner from just inside the box, a fantastic effort on a bobbly pitch.

With 10 minutes left Kings Hill piled men forward, Angels were always going to get chances on the break and Wates broke through again and hit a fantastic shot across the keeper which he pulled off another fine save for. Kings Hill won a number of corners which Angels defended valiantly, Gibbs pulling off a fantastic catch for one of them. Kings Hill continued to threaten and Austin again made a couple of fantastic last gasp challenges. Smith magnificent throughout was forced off with injury but the whole defence had been superb, martialled by Toby Kent and Joe Rowe in the second half.

In the final minutes the Kings Hill striker finally got behind the Angels defence but Gibbs had been quick off his line all game and forced the striker wide who saw his chip agonisingly float over the cross bar. There was still time for one last moment of drama the ball launched into the Angels area and the bounce beating Gibbs but Balcombe had anticipated like all good defenders and got behind Gibbs to head off the line.

A great game of football but special mention to the defence of Gibbs, Smith, Balcombe, Kent, Rowe and Austin. Also the goal scorer Wates who has come off the bench to score a number of important goals this season.

Next week Angels are at home again to Danson Sports 11am KO

Team selection

Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.

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