If supporters are missing their football then why not see the U13s in one of their pre-season friendlies. Managers , Dom Welsh and Callum Adonis-Taylor describe below the overall success in the recent Tonbridge Fiesta and it sounds as if we have the makings of a successful squad for 2017/18.
On the 10th of June saw our next years U13 team compete in the Tonbridge Fiesta. We picked two teams made up of next years squad to compete against some of the best local team around in what is one of the biggest tournaments about! Both teams played 7 group games, playing some very good football. Attracting the watchful eye of non other than Crystal Palace star Jonnie Williams!
Tonbridge Angels City: Henry Sworder, Harvey Lawrence, Joe Wallis, Mike Hollamby, Alfie Dennis, Isaac Barden , Dan Jones , Fin Wolvey.
City got off to a very poor start loosing their first two games in uncharacteristic style, a re-shuffle of the team and style of play, the boys came out fighting. Winning 4-0, 4-0 and scraping a 1-0 win in the next 3 games.In these 3 games were some of the. best passages of football i have ever seen. Isaac Barden, Fin Wolvey and Joe Wallis combining for 2 of these goals in outstanding fashion, showing the character of a team determined to win.
After having to win all remaining 5 games to have a chance of progressing! The final two games were very nervy, a 1-0 win in the penultimate game after missing a penalty and scoring a last minute winner proved to be decisive. The boys went on to hold out another 1-0 victory in the final game. After a poor start, the boys managed to notch 11 goals with 0 conceded the the remaining 5 fixtures. Putting them through as best 3rd place!
In the 1/4 finals City faced a tough test against Group A winners Hollingbury Hawks, who boasted 2/3 Brighton academy players! City made a good account of themselves after going 1-0 up, however were pegged back. This tie went all the way to penalties, unfortunately after scoring only 1 of 3 penalties, Hollingbury Hawks advanced!
Tonbridge Angels United: Matt Larkin, Tom Monaghan, Ryan Silk, James Munns, Louis Gates, Jacob Hodges, Nathan Kirkby, Ben Shields.
This united team got off to a flying start, playing some attractive football, but find the time to play effective 'longer' football allowed them to get in behind by drawing teams in. Winning there first game 3-0 it set a great benchmark and had confidence flowing. However pegged back to a 1-1 draw in the second game perhaps gave the boys a bit of a wake up in a game they should have won. They used this to inspire them to successive 1-0 wins , again followed by a stalemate 1-1 draw, and again adding another 1-0 win. This left them top of their group with a game to spare. The final game was one to watch...the boys came out 8-0 winners in what was a 10 minute game. Clinical, fast flowing and great to watch, this united team showed why they sailed through the group. Scoring 16 goals and conceding just the two, United went through top!!
The quarter final was a tight affair , finishing 0-0 after normal and extra time. The boys got through convincingly on penalties with Matt Larkin saving 2 out of 3 penalties!
They met Hollingbury Hawks in the semi final looking for squad revenge against the team who knocked out Tonbridge Angels City. With Palace star Jonnie Williams still keeping his eye on proceedings, United managed to go ahead early on, however were brought back to level terms just after the 5 minute mark. Again this went to penalties! With some information on the keeper passed on through the team, we had found his weak spot. With Matt Larkin pulling of another 2 penalty saves, and United having scored 2 out of 3 so far, the winning penalty was tucked away precisely into the left hand corner by Nathan Kirkby!
The final brought a tough test, HSS dragons awaited, after already beating them 1-0 in the group, United were confident! However, 1-0 for the duration of play meant that Tonbridge had to chuck everything at it, a moment of brilliance settled the scores at 1-1. James Munns' composure amongst the panic to pick out a pass to Louis Gates who beat his man and tuck away the finish. Sending his game into golden goal...this didn't take long as the young Angels side dominated possession and finished off the fiesta in style. A good passage of play lead to a Jacob Hodges cross shot which was tapped in by hero on the day Nathan Kirkby!!
The jubilation of winning wasn't the part of the day that made us coaches smile the most however. The whole squad staying to support there other teammates through the knockouts shows the team spirit we have created. One that spirals all the way through the club. A bunch of boys we can all be very proud of on a day like today!!
Updated 08:50 - 26 Jun 2017 by Dan Couldridge