Shut out at Southwood
Defences on top as U18s grab a point
The Under-18s came away from Ramsgate’s Southwood Road with a point from a disappointing encounter. Tonbridge were missing several regulars but manager Jay Stubberfield refused to use this as an excuse when he spoke after the game. He said the team that he put out there should have played better than they did. They took Ramsgate lightly and expected to stroll through the game. Ramsgate were more aggressive, won more first and second balls and out-competed us. We were the better team in possession but we didn’t create enough – we have to learn to do the ugly things better.
The start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes as at kick-off time, the home side only had nine players at the ground; they were, however, able to field a full complement with substitutes by 8 o’clock.
It was a frustrating evening for the visitors who were unable to impose themselves on the game.
Ramsgate started much the better and pulled a shot just wide after eight minutes and then, following a cross from the right, they hit a post as Tonbridge struggled to get going.
Tonbridge’s first chance of the night came after 20 minutes when Richard Frimpong latched onto a ball over the top, he chipped it over the advancing goalkeeper, but the ball was cleared from the line by a retreating defender. It was the beginning of a frustrating evening for Frimpong who was Tonbridge’s most likely source of a goal.
Just past the half-hour, the goalkeeper was once more rounded, this time by Kunle Bakare, but once again a defender got back, this time to put in a saving tackle.
Into the second half, Frimpong was once again sent clear but this time was stopped in his tracks by the Ramsgate centre half, Jacob Mensah, who alongside his partnering central defender were outstanding.
It would have been interesting to have seen Sid Solllis up against Mensah, it would have been a titantic tussle.
Lewis Mitchell made good saves to deny Ramsgate in the last 10 minutes and with three minutes remaining Frimpong was once more out of luck when the goalkeeper saved at his feet when sent through.
Tonbridge U18’s next game is at Longmead next Monday when Raynes Park Vale are the visitors.
Report by Wink Tomkinson