U14s overcome local rivals Kings Hill
Kian Austin’s free kick enough to get the points for Angels
Tonbridge Angels 1 Kings Hill 0
Tonbridge Angels were once again at home this weekend playing local rivals Kings Hill. The games between them have always been close, usually settled by the odd goal either way and this encounter was no different.
Striker Billy Kent who has been in fantastic form this season failed a late fitness test so Angels had to reshuffle but still started 4-4-2 against the 3-5-2 of Kings Hill and it was Angels who started the brighter of the two teams.
Both Angels full backs were terrific throughout, Smith driving with the ball from right back and opening things up for the Angels. Toby Kent almost breaking through a couple of times down the Angels right if not for some great defending from the Kings Hill left back. Lansdowne was asked to lead the line in Kent's absence and worked both sides well and it was Lansdowne that got the first chance beating the last defender for pace but clearly being pulled back, the referee played advantage but Lansdowne was pushed wide and fired past the post. Howie had been pushed forward for this match to provide support for Lansdowne and won a number of good challenges trying to feed Kent down the right. Hermitage on the left was growing in influence, always comfortable in possession and a great change of feet almost opened up Kings Hill.
Angels started to win a number of free kicks around the edge of the box, a foul on the left allowed Kian Austin to curl in a great delivery and a fantastic run from Tyrie across the keeper did enough to put him off and the ball crept inside the far post. Angels 1-0 up after about 10 minutes and it felt like Angels could go on to add more goals. Angels continued to win a number of free kicks, on one occasion the ref playing advantage allowing Howie to travel to the edge of the box before being taken down again but insisting the free kick take place from the original offense 15 yards back. Tyrie and Lansdowne both going close with the free kick efforts. Lansdowne then broke down the left and put in a great cross that Howie could just not quite get his head onto.
Wilkins and Tyrie were holding the midfield well, Wilkins driving on when he could and Tyrie picking up the loose balls and protecting the back four. Hermitage continued to cover every blade on the pitch providing an outlet but also always giving defensive coverage whenever needed. The centre back pairing of Balcombe and Murphy had looked very comfortable allowing Smith and Austin to play whenever they could driving forward at every opportunity. Angels though could not get the breakthrough second goal and Kings Hill were now starting to grow into the game, breaking with pace and playing some neat passing football but Balcombe and Murphy stood firm. The first half ended with Angels just the one goal up and they knew the game was very finely balanced.
Second half and it was Kings Hill who started the better of the two teams enjoying good possession and Angels looking to counter. Angels creating a great chance early on for Howie to break clear on the half way line but his eary shot going wide. Kings Hill were starting to look very dangerous down their left almost breaking through but Smith with a couple of fanstatic tackles. Angels shuffled the team Howie dropping into centre back and Raffelt coming on to the right and Wates pushing forward to play up top and Angels looked more solid. Hermitage brilliant throughout came off for Toby Kent who looked to narrow the pitch and make the Angels even more compact. Kings Hill were now starting to push more players forward but the defence was holding strong, Murphy sweeping in behind Howie brilliantly and Smith and Austin flawless. Raffelt was providing great defensive cover down our right and Angels then creating a couple of chances to finish off Kings Hills, Raffelt weaving between two players and putting a great ball into the box and Wates almost getting onto the end of a Lansdowne cross. With minutes left Angels almost forced in a corner but Kings Hill broke quickly winning a corner themselves after great defending from Austin. Kings Hill threw up their keeper for the corner but there was the most calmest person on the pitch to come out and claim superbly, than man Gibb's who had kept his concentration brilliantly throughout and the final whistle was blown.
Team - Gibb, Balcombe, Murphy, Smith, Austin, Hermitage, Tyrie, Wilkins, Kent T, Howie, Lansdowne, Wates, Raffelt, Kent B
Next week the team are at home again 11am KO in the cup against Junior Elite