Ladies triumph 5-1 over Vinters
Another three points for our Girls as they move into third
Angels Ladies bounced back from a disappointing visit to Margate by producing a dominant performance, to defeat the league’s second-placed team Vinters FC by five goals to one.
The Angels were forced into a reshuffle with several players still missing but were able to welcome back goalkeeper Sam Wright from uni commitments and striker Megan Akehurst also returned to action.
Both games with Vinters this season have been the most tightly contested of the season, with Angels winning 2-1 in a pre-season friendly but beaten by the only goal on their league visit to Maidstone in November. The first half in the return fixture at Tonbridge Farm was no different by remaining goalless until half time, but there was plenty for the hosts to feel confident about having enjoyed much of the possession and were unlucky not to go in front when Abbie Skilton saw a shot hit the post.
The visitors made a surprise substitution at half-time by swapping goalkeepers, but it was they who scored the opening goal within two minutes of the restart. Having won a somewhat questionable free-kick some 35 yards from goal, most were expecting a cross to be delivered but instead Lauren Seymour caught Wright by surprise, driving a long shot high into the goal.
Tonbridge recovered superbly by getting back on terms two minutes later. Beth Kemp put a perfect slide rule pass behind the defence and Skilton did as she does best, slotting home past the substitute goalkeeper. In the 58th minute the Angels got in front, Skilton’s corner kick finding Akehurst who chipped a shot first time into the top corner.
The hosts really turned on the style now as they began to dominate the match and on 66 minutes it was 3-1. Helena Fothergill’s persistence won her the ball in centre midfield and played the ball out to Becky Janes on the left who delivered a perfect cross to the far post where Skilton was waiting to fire home on the volley. Ten minutes from time, Beth Kemp was brought down in the box and picked herself up to take the penalty. Kemp struck a firm shot to the keeper’s left but full credit to the goalkeeper who dived well to save.
Akehurst rounded off the best team move of the game to score her second on 82 minutes. Kemp again delivered a perfect pass into Janes, who played a first-time ball into the danger area for the striker to convert. And it was Akehurst again on 88 minutes to score her first hat-trick in Angels colours and complete a fantastic afternoon for Tonbridge.
The result lifts the Angels into third place and they can go one higher next Sunday if they can defeat Margate Ladies at Tonbridge Farm KO 2 00pm).
Team: Wright, Moran, Syrett, Fothergill, Kemp, Foster, Akinlusi, Smith, Skilton, Akehurst, Janes. Subs: Couldridge, Coombes, Durling.
Thanks to Dan Couldridge for report