U18s progress in Lucas Fettes Cup
Angels overcome freezing conditions
Tonbridge progressed to the Fourth Round of the Lucas Fettes Cup (Ryman League Cup) on a bitterly cold night at Chipstead’s High Road Football Ground.
Jay Stubberfield was able to field a strong team, but one that was still missing Sid Sollis, Tommy Chapman and Ollie Baker.
Tonbridge were, for the best part, in control of the game but failed to break down a stubborn Chipstead back line who boasted three defenders whose height and build defied their 18 years!
An early chance fell Kunle Bakare’s way but he dragged his shot wide and after seven minutes there was a strong Tonbridge claim for a penalty when Liam Smith was brought down, clearly in the box, but the referee gave a free kick for the first pull on the shoulder by the Chipstead winger, who was booked for the offence.
It was fully 30 minutes before Chipstead brought a save out of Lewis Mitchell, who comfortably held a shot from outside of the box.
Smith crossed for Henry Ikejie to steer his shot wide and Jack Bray shot over before the entire crowd descended on the bar for a half-time warm.
The visitors quickly got off the mark in the second half when Bakare capitalised on some indecisive defending to put the Angels into the lead with a shot into the bottom corner.
Chipstead responded well and had a goal disallowed, clearly offside and forced a succession of corners, one of which was scrambled to safety from the line. But a strong defensive display from Callum Adonis-Taylor and Ryan Gallifant meant Mitchell was rarely called into action.
Tonbridge finally wrapped the game up, to the relief of the frozen spectators who were fearing extra time, with a spectacular curling shot into the top corner from Smith.
Jay Stubberfield was pleased with his team’s efforts commenting: “this was our first Ryman game since playing away at Ramsgate - so we had no momentum going into the game. A lot of the lads will play on Sunday away to Margate and then away at Greenwich on Thursday. We are looking to build momentum from tonight. Apart from the one cleared off the line I felt we were comfortable despite not being at our free flowing best. The amount of corners they had second half was worrying me but in the end it was a solid but well deserved win.”
Tonbridge await the draw for their opponents in the next round.