Angels U15s progess in Faversham Cup
By Jim Rowe
Extra time winner
The Under 15s faced a tough tie in the second round of the Faversham Trophies Cup against Larkfield. Having faced each other in the League earlier in the month, the Angels knew they were in for a tough game, having come back from 2-0 down to equalise with the last kick of the game in the previous encounter.
Our injury list ever growing with Kian Austin, Billy Kent, Leo Hazelwood and Dan Wates all missing. We did though welcome back Jamie Lawrence and he led the line for the Angels with Howie playing in behind and a midfield four of Tyrie, Wilkins, Lansdowne and Nwanosike. The back four made up of Hermitage, Murphy, Balcombe, Smith with Gibb in goal.
The rain had helped the pitch, but there was a strong cross wind. The Angels started off well, keeping good possession and fashioned a couple of good half chances, Lansdowne making inroads down the left and delivering some good early crosses but Larkfield defended resolutely.
Larkfield were looking dangerous on the break and played some good balls over the top of the Angels defence, with Hermitage needing to make a couple of fantastic interceptions.
Angels continued to enjoy progress down both flanks, but when it broke down, Larkfield pumped the ball through very quickly behind Balcombe and Murphy. Despite the threat of the break, Angels looked quite comfortable with Balcombe and Murphy starting to the play the ball out of defence, but a great 35 yard effort gathered pace in the wind cameo back of the cross bar, rebounding Into the net off the back of Gibb.
The goal shook the Angels and galvanised Larkfield who then dominated for the next spell with Hermitage again making a last ditch interception to thwart another attack from the visitors. Larkfield then got a very good second goal with a flick over the top onto the Larkfield striker who finished superbly lifting the ball over Gibb.
We shifted formation, bringing Howie back into midfield, Toby Kent into the middle and we started to get hold of the game again, desperately trying to get a goal before the break. Howie was brought down in the box for a penalty but his penalty come back off the post and the first half ended 2-0 to Larkfield.
It was looking like it was going to be one of those days but the young Angels boys refused to lie down and knew with the pitch second half they could get in behind Larkfield.
Into the second half Tyrie, Wilkins, Kent and Howie started to get a firm grip on the middle and the Angels were now getting down the Larkfield left hand side regularly. Lawrence, who had put in an amazing shift up front chasing down every lost ball, was sent away down the right and when he got away from his man he put in a superb ball across the five yard box and there was that man Lansdowne to force home.
With 18 minutes left Angels knew they had a chance, Larkfield were now sitting deep and using up as much time as they could, giving away silly fouls and Angels were unlucky not to get on the end of a couple of set plays.
Exall had replace Hermitage at half time and was combining well with Lansdowne down the left and when Lansdowne was sent away he beat his man forced his way into the box and was brought down for a penalty. Lansdowne duly stepped up to slot away the spot kick and make 2-2.
With just under 10 minutes left Angels pressed for the winner but Larkfield still had that long ball in the locker. Smith had put in a great performance and taken a few hefty knocks so Raffelt had dropped into right back and the back four continued to look very solid.
There was a lot of tired legs in extra time, Lawrence had been fantastic all game, working his socks off, and when he chased down yet another ball he got his well deserved goal after blocking a clearance from the keeper and dribbling the ball into the empty net and complete the comeback. He won’t deserve a goal more all season much to the delight of his team mates.
It was now Angels turn to run the clock down and they continued to pump the balls into the corners, Wilkins and Howie had put in a massive shift and continued to close down to the final minutes and despite a late penalty shout Angels saw out the game to go through to the third round.
Team - Gibb, Hermitage, Murphy, Balcombe, Smith, Wilkins, Tyrie, Lansdowne, Nwanosike, Lansdowne, Howie, Lawrence, Raffelt, Kent T, Exall.
This week the team are at Hadlow in the league against Langton 11am kick off.