Angels Ladies off to flying start in league
Three goals and a clean sheet put paid to Vinters
Tonbridge Angels Ladies got their season off to a perfect start with a dominant performance, three goals and a clean sheet at Vinters
There were four debuts in Angels colours with two players starting their first league games for Tonbridge. Sharon Lyons has signed for the team from Swale adding experience and quality to the defensive line while 16 year-old Maisie Gibb also made her first competitive start for the team. There were also late substitutions with Becky Jarvis and Chrissy Morrison coming on and playing their part in a hard-earned victory.
Vinters finished above Tonbridge last season and the first 15 minutes suggested a close contest would be fought out on the day. However the Angels grew in confidence and began to take complete control of the game. The best chance of the early stages fell to Becky Janes, who was in sparkling form throughout, and her shot appeared to have beaten the hands of the home goalkeeper Clair Gooderham, but the ball struck the underside of the bar and was cleared away to safety.
The Angels have always found goals hard to come by against the Maidstone-based side, and this match seemed to be no exception as the home side continued to frustrate Tonbridge by defending in numbers. Finally a breakthrough came in the 36th minute when Abbie Skilton played a perfect ball between the defence for Janes to coolly finish past Gooderham. The pair repeated the trick on 44 minutes when another slide-rule pass from Skilton played in Janes to place into the opposite corner for 2-0. Skilton is normally the team’s finisher rather than provider, but on this day her link-up play around the box was outstanding and her two assists were well earned.
Tonbridge continued to control the game for much of the second half, but for almost the entirety of the half were denied in their attempt to convert the all-important third goal, with Gooderham and her replacement Georgia Oliver both called into action to make saves on several occasions. Beth Kemp twice found the goalkeeper with high shots, while late on, Jarvis appeared to have curled a shot into the far corner only for Oliver to make a fine save.
Finally a third goal did arrive in injury time with another substitute, Jodie Coombes placing a shot into the bottom corner out of the reach of Oliver.
This was an excellent result and performance for us with a number of key players still injured or on holiday, which demonstrates the depth of quality we have at the club. We have another tough away game next, at Chatham-based Thamesview Ladies, who boast a number of players with experience of playing at a higher level.
Team: Edwards, Foster, Coulter, Akehurst, Lyons, Fothergill, Moran (Morrison), Kemp, Skilton (Coombes), Janes, Gibb (Jarvis).