Angels Ladies exit Reposs Isthmian Womens Cup
By Jim Rowe
Quarter finalists Enfield Town show their class
It was always going to be tough ask to play a cup tie against a team three levels higher but that was what faced Angels Ladies in meeting Enfield Town in the Isthmian Women’s Cup Quarter Final at Longmead.
It was clear from the start that the visitors had terrific pace up front, were comfortable on the ball and had a sound defensive system which would make it very difficult for the home side to build any genuine momentum.
In the 10th minute Enfield’s Molly Peters was through on goal but was thwarted on this occasion by Angels keeper Helena Fothergill but it was to be only a reprieve. The ever dangerous Peters just a minute later sent in a cross from the left which Danielle Smith neatly converted.
In the 19th minute Sheryce Slater scored direct from a corner although there may have been the slightest of deflections to put Enfield 2-0 up. Peters was again in the thick of the action on 22 minutes collecting a through ball and placing her shot past Fothergill for her second of the night.
A rare mistake in the Enfield defence on 29 minutes did give the Angels a half chance following good work on the right by Becky Janes but the ball didn’t quite run in favour of the home side.
Any question that Enfield might be losing their concentration was soon put aside when further goals came on 30’, 32’, and 42’ to put the game firmly out of reach for the home side.
To their credit despite facing an uphill battle the Angels came out for the restart determined to make Enfield work hard for their inevitable win. On 48 minutes the ever skilful Janes who showed good touches throughout the match, put Becky Mackley in but the no 8 never had complete control of her effort. Mackley two minutes later was in the right place when Cadimhe O’Reilly appeared to about to fumble a cross but the Enfield keeper recovered well.
Despite no goals the first 15 minutes of the second period saw the Angels with a lot more possession and having some degree of control in the midfield areas. It was not to last as the visitors again started to take over with further goals coming in the 58th, 77th and 88th minutes as Tonbridge spent much of their time chasing the ball.
Credit the Angels Ladies for never giving up right until the final whistle and for that perhaps they deserved a consolation goal but it never came and apart from a few fleeting moments it never really looked likely.
Quite apart from the higher standing in the pyramid of the visitors, the Angels were without 2 or 3 players who might well have started and that didn’t help their cause. Nevertheless the experience of playing such teams will certainly help their overall progression as they strive to become a more skilful and resilient squad.
After the game, Angels Ladies Manager, Dan Couldridge said: "Enfield Town have an excellent record in women's football that I hope Tonbridge Angels can eventually emulate. Tonight was always going to be a tough ask for our team but they did themselves proud tonight particularly having to adjust to a defensive shape and take on roles that they are not familiar with. 93 is a phenomenal attendance for this level of football, the potential that this club has to support women's and girls football is huge and I hope we can continue the rate of progression we have shown over the last three years."
Next Sunday (13th January) they are back in league action with a home fixture (Hadlow College) against Margate with a 2:00pm kick off, a competition in which they continue to have a very good chance of promotion and they are still in two other cup competitions so the future remains very positive.