Only result of the weekend ends in defeat for U14s
By Jim Rowe
Lansdowne strike not enough in 1-2 loss
Out of five fixtures for Angels sides this weekend, due to the very poor weather this was the only match that was able to reach a conclusion, but it ended in defeat for our U14s.
The team returned to action with a tough fixture against Phoenix Sport from Dartford. The main Hadlow pitch having been unplayable for a number of weeks so agreement to play on the Academy pitch. Angels were missing Connor Murphy and Chester Smith through injury and started with a 4-4-2 Howie having to slot into the back four with Balcombe, Raffelt and Austin.
Phoenix started brightly playing with a back three and packing the midfield but Angels looked very dangerous on the break Lansdowne and Kent leading the line. Phoenix made the first breakthrough the striker slipping through and hitting a rocket of a shot that Gibb amazingly got a hand to and tipped onto the bar the ball coming back out and hitting a defender to go in. It was very unlucky neither team believing how Gibb managed to keep out.
Angels though immediately broke back great play through the midfield sent Billy Kent away who superbly held off his defender and squared for Lansdowne to crash home. Angels were now starting to get on top the ball over the top opening up Phoenix but the flag going up for some very tight decisions. Kent then broke through again one on one and the linesman raised his flag then putting down again but play had stopped. Hermitage was providing great width but Angels were not getting the ball out to him. Then a great set play from Phoenix lead to their second goal, Angels not tracking the run a the players crashing a header home.
Kent was sent through again this time the Phoenix player passing back so no flag and Kent shooting on his left but firing wide. Tyrie then won a great tackle on the edge of box sliding to Kent who squared for Wates to fire a good shot but straight at the keeper. Angels then had a great corner delivery by Austin the ball falling again to Wates but unable to get his shot off. Angels defence had now settled Balcombe winning some good tackles, Austin shackling the dangerous right winger and Howie and Raffelt trying to play out. Half time and the game poised at 2-1.
Phoenix again started the second half strongly but had dropped a player deeper to try and stop the threat of the pace of Lansdowne and Kent. The first 20 mins neither team really creating any real cut chances, Howie moved into midfield and Wilkins started to power down the right. Then a great corner leading to Howie hitting the post, the flag going up but the ref playing on but Angels unable to force home. Wates then seeing a great curling shot going agonisingly wide following great build up play again. Angels gambled towards the end and Phoenix broke away Gibb again pulling off a great one on one save. With minutes left Wilkins broke free again and powered down the right but great defending by Phoenix blocked Wilkins from connecting properly.
It was a much better performance by the Angels team than the defeat against Langton on a difficult surface. Kent and Lansdowne starting to play as real partnership but Angels know they need to start winning games soon and face a tough game against last season Champions Ebbsfleet next week.
Team - Gibb, Howie, Balcombe, Austin, Raffelt, Hermitage, Tyrie, Wilkins, Kent T, Lansdowne, Kent B sub Wates
Report from Todd Tyrie