U13s triumph at the Gallagher
Great experience for our younger players as Maidstone beaten 4-2
After last week’s disappointment of losing in the Kent Cup semi-final Angels were back in League action and travelled to the Gallagher Stadium to play Maidstone. For some of the lads it was their first time playing in a stadium and the coaching team had spoken to all the boys around the measure of a really good player is how they react when they don’t play well or lose games.
A few changes had to be made due to absences and to adapt to the big 4G pitch, also Alex Raffelt who had been exceptional in training on 4G was moved into midfield and started. Angels started the brighter of both teams and enjoyed some good possession down the left Kian Austin, Ben Hermitage and Toby Lansdowne keeping the ball very well. The whole team were enjoying playing on the exceptional surface and kept the ball very well, Nat Gibbs had come into goal to allow Angels to play with a sweeper keeper. Maidstone looked dangerous on the break though and a last gasp hook off the line from Jack Balcombe saved a certain goal and it was Maidstone who took the lead their number 10 breaking down the right putting a great cross in that Gibbs got a hand on but couldn’t keep out.
Angels continued to enjoy the better possession but were struggling to get behind the Maidstone defence, it was only when Angels won the ball and broke they were looking a threat. Angels equaliser came on the break George Walker picking up the ball and accelerating past two defenders cutting in on his left riding a challenge and finishing with his left foot. A fantastic individual goal but 5 mins later he went and did the same thing again, a great win by Raffelt in the middle and Walker beating a couple of players staying on his feet admirably and slotting with his now favourite left foot. A fantastic couple of goals for Walker currently on trial at Chelsea, that both fans had enjoyed.
Raffelt and Howie were now dominating midfield, Raffelt magnificent in breaking up play and both wide players Hermitage and Smith were excellent in their positioning always offering an outlet and stretching the play. Angels had won a number of corners superbly delivered by Kian Austin but just couldn’t force the ball home. The third goal did come for Angels before half time, another win from Raffelt the ball being moved out to Lansdowne who unleashed a unstoppable left footed strike that dipped under the bar.
The second half Maidstone made a number of changes, they had struggled to get down both flanks Austin and Balcombe defending very well and were now overloading midfield. Toby Kent who had won a couple of great challenges in the first half was now partnered at centre back with Howie. Angels were looking leggy but defending very well, however, Maidstone were now enjoying all the possession in midfield and got their second goal with about 15 minutes left. Angels now looked to soak up the pressure and were always dangerous on the break, they forced a number of corners again, Dan Wates having a header saved before finally forcing one over the line to make it 4-2.
Joe Rowe was now holding in midfield and Angels looked to see out the remaining 10 minutes. Maidstone continued looking for a reply and had a great chance in the last 5 minutes, the ball breaking for the right winger in the box but Austin was out like lighting for one of the tackles of the season.
Another fantastic game of football for the neutral. Next week Angels are at home 11am KO against Sevenoaks.
Thanks to Todd Tyrie for report