Another convincing win for U18s
Raynes Park Vale dispatched with ease
Despite being reduced to 10 men after 16 minutes when goalkeeper Lewis Mitchell was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity by handling outside of his area, Tonbridge Angels U18’s goal rush continued with a comfortable 6-0 win over a young Raynes Park Vale side.
It took just 15 seconds for the irrepressible Sid Sollis to open the scoring when he rifled a shot from 25 yards past a startled Vale goalkeeper.
The game looked to be potentially even more one-sided than the 8-0 scoreline a fortnight ago when Jack Bray forced George Wiltshire into a save low to his left after three minutes and Sollis saw his lob bounce over the bar after six minutes. A month ago, on softer ground, the ball would have bounced underneath the bar.
Raynes Park’s Luke Faran was proving to carry a threat and the Tonbridge defence had to hack the ball to safety when he had a chance in front of goal.
After 14 minutes, Jack Bray picked out the top corner with a 25 yard shot that once more whistled past Wiltshire.
Two minutes later Mitchell was, perhaps, harshly dealt with whilst accepting that the referee exacted the letter of the law. The goalkeeper rushed from his line as Dan Clatworthy was put through on goal; as the two players came within a yard of each other the Vale man got a touch to the ball that hit the hands of the keeper. Whether the ball hit Mitchell or whether he moved his hands to the ball is the judgement the referee had to make and the red card was his decision.
Never one to shy away from the action it was Sollis that donned the green jersey and his first sight of the ball was the resultant free kick that crashed against his crossbar.
After 23 minutes, a surging run from Bray ended with a cross to Jack Cussen who touched in at close range to make it 3-0.
Manager John Gibbons reshuffled his pack during the break. Liam McCreadie replaced Ziyad Ghali and also replaced Sollis in goal whilst Rhys Faram, who had a muscle strain, was substituted by Jack Fenton.
After 63 minutes, Sollis robbed Curver George on the right hand side and cut in to fire home a shot into the far corner of the net from around 12 yards to make it 4-0.
Sollis completed his hat-trick after 71 minutes when put through by Fenton finishing with a firm shot that gave the goalkeeper no chance.
Three minutes later, who else but Sollis would be brought down after robbing a dithering defender to earn a penalty. He stepped aside for the hard working Jack Cussen to send Wiltshire the wrong way to complete the scoring.
Tonbridge Angels Under-18s are next in action at Longmead on Monday, 3rd April when they entertain Kingstonian. Its tight at the top of the table but at the very least a top three final placing should be within the Angels grasp with three more games to play. Come along to Longmead next Monday to support the boys - entertainment guaranteed!
Report by Wink Tomkinson