Huge win for Angels Ladies
Barming put to the sword
The prospects for Barming going into this match were never particularly bright. Without a single point to their name and therefore adrift at the bottom of the South East Counties Women’s Football League Kent Division 1, and facing the second place side in Angels Ladies, any hopes of creating an upset, were dealt a fatal blow when it emerged they would only be able to field nine players. This is permissible under league rules with the opposing side also fielding the same number of players but are allowed nonetheless to use the system of rolling substitutes which it has to be said the Angels used to devastating effect.
While the Barming nine were to understandably tire over the 90 minutes with the wide open spaces of Longmead Stadium to contend with, Angels could at will give their players a rest period only for them to re-appear later in the game refreshed and ready to go again. Apart from the obvious advantages of a rotating team, it should be remembered they are in second place for a good reason. The squad contains players who have genuine pace, are comfortable on the ball, and know how to pick a quality pass and even given Barming’s availability issues on the day, it was always evident that Tonbridge would have enjoyed a comprehensive victory.
As early as the 6th minute the Angels opened their account with Megan Akehurst scoring the first of her four goals. By half time the home side were eight goals to the good, the scorers being Akehurst, Beth Kemp, Becky Janes, Courtney Smith, Lauryn Underhill (3), and Nancy Syrett. There was no let up in the bombardment in the second period in which the scorers were Kemp , Underhill (2), Janes (2), Masie Gibbs, Akehurst (3), and Becky Jarvis which gave a final scoreline of 18-0.
Despite a difficult afternoon for Barming mention should be made of the two girls that kept goal, one in each half. Without their bravery and quick reactions the goals conceded would have been well into the twenties. Also the visitors as a team never gave in and kept going right up until the final whistle.
The match was the first ever competitive game for Angels Ladies to be played inside Longmead Stadium and with a reasonably healthy crowd of around 70 despite the gloomy conditions, they will certainly hope it won’t be the last. Organised as Tonbridge Angels contribution to Stonewall’s Inclusivity in Football national initiative, the home side all donned Rainbow laces to mark the occasion.
The home side remain in second place in the league but the scoreline provided a huge lift to their goal difference which in the battle for the title could in the final analysis prove crucial.
Afterwards, Manager Dan Couldridge said : “Since the Charlton Cup game (the Ladies were beaten 22-0) in which we learnt a lot, we’ve only dropped two points and certainly we believe we are good enough for promotion and would be able to compete at a higher level. We are still in two cup competitions so the future is looking very good for the squad but for now there is a break in fixtures until January.”
The Angels line up with scoring times in brackets was as follows :-
1 Samantha Wright, 2 Heidi Archer, 3 Florentia Anastasiou, 4 Charlotte, 5 Sharon Lyons, 7 Beth Kemp (c) (19,51), 8 Maisie Gibb (66), 9 Rebecca Janes (28, 65, 76), 11 Nancy Syrett (42), 12 Lauryn Underhill (38, 45, 45+1, 55, 61), 13 Kelly Moran, 14 Becky Jarvis (83), 15 Leanne Foster, 17 Megan Akehurst (6, 68, 79, 84), 19 Helena Fothergill, 23 Courtney Smith (31).
The Barming lineup was as follows:
1 Lisa-Marie Gilbert, 3 Beth Mercer, 4 Pamela Wilson, 5 Lauren Ramsden, 6 Ellie Conner, 7 Amee Keller-Bond, 8 Chloe Baker, 11 Chloe Love, 12 Jolie Graves, 13 Bethany Wood