Ladies go through in League Cup
By Wink Tomkinson
Angels Ladies prove too good for spirited Sittingbourne
Tonbridge Angels Ladies comfortably eased their way into the Isthmian Women’s League Cup Second Round at Longmead against a spirited Sittingbourne side.
Sittingbourne play their football in the Division from which the Angels were promoted last season and, if they can maintain the tenacity displayed, they will do very well this season.
The East Kent side were forced onto the back foot from the first whistle but defended stoutly for 30 minutes before the Angels finally made the breakthrough.
The tone was set after eight minutes when Megan Akehurst headed over and, after 14 minutes, Becky Mackley brought the first save out of the Bourne’s keeper Emily Hariss.
The goalkeeper made a brave save at the feet of Becky Janes, who had the ball in the net after half-an-hour but saw it ruled out as the ball had gone out of play before the cross was made from the right.
The Angels finally got their noses in front a minute later when a ball over the top from Akehurst saw Mackley outpace the defender before coolly lobbing the advancing Hariss.
A second goal was added after 39 minutes when Janes produced a sublime finish at the near post to turn a right wing cross into the bottom corner.
Any thoughts of floodgates opening where dispelled as the visitors spirits remained high despite the pattern of play continuing to be in a single direction.
Once again Sittingbourne’s organisation led to a frustrating 25 minutes for the Angels with Hariss denying Kelly Moran and Akehurst and Lauryn Underhill fired into the side netting.
For a period, following some Sittingbourne substitutions, the visitors threatened but the experienced Tonbridge back line largely kept them at arm’s length.
Nineteen minutes remained when Janes shrugged off challenges in the box before rounding the keeper to slide the ball into the unguarded net to effectively put the game to bed.
Helena Fothergill needed to be alert after being largely unemployed for long periods to race from her goal and clear and she fielded an effort from Georgia Winger to preserve her clean sheet before Tonbridge substitute Sara Walker was on hand to finish after some battling work from Akehurst.
A very decent attendance of 75 would have been impressed with a solid Angels performance, full of pace and movement and will be keeping fingers crossed for a home draw in the next round.