U14s in narrow loss against the Fleet
By Jim Rowe
Angels contribute to high quality game
Tonbridge Angels will be glad to see the end of dry January after their third loss this month. Flu and injuries have not helped the cause but for the first time this month Angels were able to name two fit subs and hope to have Chester Smith back shortly.
Angels welcomed back Connor Murphy who was short of match fitness but was able to start at centre back with Howie, Balcombe and Hermitage making up the back four with the ever reliable Gibb in goal. In fairness they put in a fantastic performance against the Champions and were very unluckly to come away with nothing. Angels completely dominated the first half, Kian Austin pushed further forward and was in fantastic form combining well with Hermitage down the left. Austin created the first chance a lovely ball in behind the defence to Billy Kent that the defender just managed to toe but Kent just failed to get any touch with the keeper stranded. Wates starting on the right was combing well with Balcombe, Wates delivering several good crosses and getting the better of his marker. Wilkins then play a lovely ball inside the defender for Wates but his cross just missed Kent. Tyrie and Wilkins held the extra man in midfield with Ebbsfleet playing three at the back and Angels looked very dangerous down the flanks. Angels were making it very difficult for Ebbsfleet to get out of their half and good pressing then sent Lansdowne through one on one but he shot just over.
Tyrie then hit a peach of a cross field ball to send Lansdowne through one on one this time he beat the keeper and the ball looked like it was going into the far corner but bobbled agonisingly wide. Gibb in goal had a very comfortable first half, Howie and Murphy had settled very well with Hermitage and Balcombe and Angels knew they should have come in at half time in front.
Second half and Ebbsfleet came out of the blocks very quick, Angels held their line well and Gibb swept up anything that came over the top. This half was much more evenly contested and after about 15 mins Ebbsfleet won a corner that was wickedly curled in and met at the far post. It was a kick in the teeth for Angels but they responded magnificently and went on the attack again but Ebbsfleet defended superbly. Toby Kent and Alex Raffelt tried to get down the flanks when they could but Ebbsfleet were much more settled this half. Howie had moved into midfield for the last 10 and was now starting to dominant. Then in the final few minutes Austin who put in a man of the match performance won an unbelievable tackle high up the pitch and sent Billy Kent through one on one, it was under his feet and he just dug the ball out too much firing over the bar.
It was a terrific game of football on a very difficult pitch and hats off to the Ebbsfleet boys and coaches who always conduct themselves well and play the game the right way.
Team Gibb, Howie, Murphy, Hermitage, Balcombe, Wilkins, Tyrie, Wates, Austin, Lansdowne, Kent B, Raffelt, Kent T
Angels are at home this week against Langton Green 11am KO Hadlow.