U14s start League campaign with away win
Late winner against Danson Sports
The under 14s started their season with a tough away fixture against Danson Sports in Dartford. The squad has been strengthened this year with new signings Jack Wilkinson, Connor Murphy and Harry Knott. Jack and Connor making their league debuts for the Angels.
Angels knew the Danson team would be physically stronger and would need to get the ball down and play but Danson came out of the blocks on fire and closed the Angels team down very quickly completely dominating possession for the first period. The 3G pitch was very heavy with rubber and the Angels normal passing game was not evident and they were really struggling to get a foot hold in the game and it was no surprise that Danson opened the scoring a great finish from the striker leaving Nat Gibb in goal no chance.
Angels knew they were in for a tough afternoon and their passing game needed to improve if they were going to get anything out of the game. The pre-season had not gone exactly as planned with a number of injuries and players struggling with growing pains but what every player has in this team is guts and they play for each other. Billy Kent worked tirelessly upfront on his own chasing down every ball, the midfield were starting to play some neat passing and Angels were starting to get some joy down the right side. Danson were now being restricted to long shots and corners all of which were dealt with superbly by Gibbs. David Howie had dropped into centre back with Connor Murphy and they were winning every ball knocked over the top, full backs Hermitage and Smith worked relentlessly always trying to get on the ball. Then new boy Jack Wilkinson showed what a valuable addition he is going to be, Danson switched off, he took a great quick free kick with Howie who released Toby Kent to travel with the ball, draw in the defender and slip a fantastic weighted pass to Billy Kent who finished superbly with his left foot. Angels now were starting to play, great interchanges between Wilkinson and Tyrie on the edge of the box almost creating another chance and they with Toby Kent were starting to dominate midfield. The game was now opening up Kian Austin with some good play down the right almost creating another chance for Kent. Lansdowne was starting to get time and space on the left and Angels finished the half very strongly.
Half time finished 1-1 but Angels were starting to tire. Raffelt and Balcombe coming on at half time to add some energy. Both teams had put in a massive shift and the second half began at similar pace, Billy Kent continued to give their defence a torrid time and was fantastic throughout. Howie was dominating the back line for Angels and Gibbs coming off his line quickly whenever needed. Dan Wates had come on down the right and put some good crosses in , Angels were now looking to get in behind Danson, a couple of balls over the top looked to have unlocked the defence except for some tight off side decisions. Wilkinson continued to work his socks off, Balcombe and Raffelt moved into midfield and added great support both almost wriggling through the defence for chances. The Danson team continued with the same energy, the right winger always looking to get down the line and a continual thorn in the Angels side, Ben Hermitage had been brilliant continually standing him up. To their credit both sides looked for the winner it was great opener. Lansdowne was sent back on to try and work his magic and with just under 10 mins left Angels were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area, Kian Austin was asked to make sure he hit the target and make the keeper work and he did exactly that, a great free kick dipping low that the keeper could only parry and there was Howie following up brilliantly to side foot home.
Angels held out brilliantly for the last 7 minutes, Danson getting a free kick themselves but Gibbs handling had been superb all day and the back line of Austin, Smith, Howie and Murphy dug in to finish 2-1 to Angels. In all honestly Danson deserved something out of the game but it was probably one of the most gutsiest performances to date from this young Angels team.
Next week the team are away to Whyteleafe 10.30 KO
Report from Todd Tyrie