Academy falter at Gander Green Lane
By Wink Tomkinson
Senior management watch on as Angels let half-time lead slip
The first team management of Steve McKimm and Barry Moore watched on from the bench as Tonbridge Angels Academy let slip a half time lead to go down 2-1 at a windswept Sutton United.
Ola Williams was paired in the centre of defence alongside Harrison Mayhew which allowed Harry Hudson to move into midfield.
Tonbridge could not have wished for a better start, going ahead in the fifth minute. A long punt forward from goalkeeper Tommy Taylor saw his Sutton counterpart, Matthew Kerdy, advance beyond his penalty area but this turned into a gross misjudgement as Saul Masungeyi robbed him of the ball and was left with an open goal in which to finish.
For the next quarter-hour, buoyed by the early goal, the Angels took the game to their hosts and Williams went close with a header after Kerdy had flapped at a free kick.
Sutton though had dangerous outlets on both flanks with Phillipe Souza and Juan Olaves-Castillo posing problems for both Angels’ full backs.
A good cross from Frank Kennedy saw Mayhew’s header go wide but the momentum of the game had changed in the favour of Sutton.
On the half-hour a cross from the left was met by a header from Golden Igbineweka that was saved by Taylor, who was needed again almost immediately as Olaves-Castillo cut in from the left to shoot.
Overall, despite their possession, Sutton had not really created a clear-cut chance and Tonbridge just about deserved their half-time lead.
Sutton’s coach is Marvin Williams, Marvellous Marvin as he was known in a spell at Longmead, and his troops dominated the second period. There were early opportunities that wastefully cleared the bar and Michael Boyo dragged a shot wide.
Eventually, Sutton had to get it right and a move from the right ended with the.Sutton full back, Andrew Appiah pulling a cross back from the bye-line across the face of goal to give Igbineweka an easy close range header to equalise.
Tonbridge steadied the ship and Hudson headed over before a piece of sublime skill from Sutton substitute Kiyo Brown who, from 30 yards, spotted Taylor marginally off his line and produced an immaculate chip over the stranded goalkeeper.
The goal gave Tonbridge just five minutes to retrieve the situation and, to their credit, they gave it a grandstand finish with Williams and Mayhew heading wide and also having the ball in the net but ruled out for a foul on the goalkeeper.
A disappointed manager, Tommy Parkinson, tweeted after the game that his side had produced a timid/weak performance against a good Sutton team and that his boys need more desire and conviction in games if they want to succeed.
Steve McKimm’s twitter verdict was that it was a good game and on another day Tonbridge may have got a draw. A very honest and talented group of lads.