U18s in Ryman Youth League Cup Final
5-0 demolition of Woking sees Jay's heroes through
Tonbridge Angels’ Under-18 side made it through to the Final of the Lucas Fettes Ryman League Cup after demolishing the long-time leaders of the Central section, Woking, at Knaphill Football Club.
The Angels blew their opposition away with an early salvo of two goals in the opening 10 minutes and never allowed their opponents to get a foothold in the game at any point.
Olle Baker and Will Jump returned to the starting line-up after a long while on the sidelines through injury and manager Jay Stubberfield sprang a surprise by playing Liam Smith as a right winger. He explained after the game: “We knew they played a narrow diamond in midfield so our plan was to expose their full backs as much as possible. Every time we got in behind we looked a threat.”
The plan worked well with Tommy Chapman and Smith enjoying acres of space in the wide areas.
Tonbridge were ahead in the sixth minute when a beautifully flighted free kick from Chapman was met with a glancing header from Jack Fenton.
Four minutes later the lead was doubled when Henry Ikeije finished a surging run into the box with a shot that nestled in the far corner.
Woking recovered from their dreadful start but were doing little more than stemming the blue tide that was flowing in their direction.
After 30 minutes Ikeije pulled a pass across the face of goal that begged a touch but evaded everyone.
Three minutes before the break, Smith skipped along the bye-line but once more there was no touch to the final pass.
Four minutes into the second period, a Chapman free kick was brilliantly saved by the Woking goalkeeper with the rebound cleared from the line before Fenton’s shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper.
Such was the one-way traffic of the game, a third goal would surely put the game beyond doubt and that duly arrived after 54 minutes when a free kick was poorly cleared to the feet of Sid Sollis who duly despatched the ball into the bottom corner.
The Angels were served a wake-up call on the hour when the Woking number 11, who is unfortunately name-less without a team sheet but was their best player, shot against a post.
Three minutes later it was 4-0 as the Woking goalkeeper strayed from this line to collect but was beaten in the air by Jack Bray which allowed Sollis a tap-in.
Woking needed to defend stoutly to avoided being completely routed as Harvey Killick, on as a substitute, brought a save and a surging run from Smith ended with his shot being deflected wide.
The fifth goal finally arrived with five minutes remaining when Fenton hooked in from around the penalty spot as the ball ran loose following a Chapman corner.
A joyous Angels side, still very much in a title challenge, now have a Cup Final against Sussex side Whitehawk to look forward to with a date and venue to be announced.
Jay Stubberfield added: “Congratulations to the players, they deserve to be in the final and will do the club proud regardless.”
Of that we can be sure.