Big win for Angels Academy down at the coast
Eastbourne Borough ship seven with just one the other way
Twenty-five or so prospective students attended the Tonbridge Angels' Academy open evening on Wednesday with a view to making up next year’s intake. Those young men will have to aspire to a bar that has been set high by the group that have contested the Angels’ debut Academy season.
The overall aim of Tom Parkinson’s project is to produce players who might go on to earn first team football at Tonbridge, or anywhere else, whilst getting a solid academic education. League position might not be voiced as a priority but the reality is that this group have given themselves a serious chance of a top three finish, an outstanding effort.
This game was played at Eastbourne Borough’s first team stadium at Priory Lane and the Angels’ Academy side immediately revelled in the fine facility. Despite having put five past the hosts in the reverse fixture at the beginning of the season, an awkward encounter against the hosts who had shown improvement recently was expected.
But Tonbridge seized the initiative from the opening whistle and by the time they opened the scoring after 22 minutes, Ned Snowden-Lewis had cracked a fine effort against the crossbar and Leo Deere had the ball in the net only to be ruled out for offside.
So it came as no surprise when Jacob Lambert curled a good effort into the top corner to put the Angels one-up. Eastbourne literally had no forward momentum and only their goalkeeper stood between them and a first half pasting.
A wonderful move involving three or four swift-passing Tonbridge players down the left eventually opened an opportunity for Rhys Bartlett who fired in a great shot between the goalkeeper and his near post. A well taken goal that embellished the move that had presented the chance.
Deere hit a post and immediately afterwards another slick move this time between Lambert and Bartlett ended with Snowden-Lewis rounding the goalkeeper for the Angels third.
After 37 minutes with the head having been turned in just one direction, Eastbourne finally brought Tommy Taylor into action advancing to smother the ball at a forward’s feet and the Angels keeper needed to be alert to save at his near post five minutes later.
Normal service was resumed at the beginning of the second half with the Eastbourne goalkeeper saving from Bartlett and Deere before a Zak Wolvey cross from the right was converted by Bartlett. With that goal the hosts heads dropped and, following an embarrassing mix-up from a throw-in, Bartlett had a tap-in for his hat-trick and Tonbridge’s fifth.
Bartlett sent Snowden-Lewis clear for the sixth and two minutes later he was brought down for a penalty which he con converted himself to register his hat-trick.
Following a poor clearance, the Eastbourne inside-right was clear to register a consolation goal, much too the annoyance of Taylor.
No goals, but plenty of opportunities, were added in the final 20 minutes with Bartlett alone having five efforts on goal.
Tonbridge’s Academy moved up to third place in the table following Sutton United’s defeat at second placed Bromley.