Suburban Shield win for Ressies
Valuable game time for 1st teamers
Tonbridge used this Suburban Shield game to give game time to four of their first team squad. Tommy Whitnall played for an hour; Andre McCollin for 70 minutes whilst Ugo Udogi and Dan Thompson completed the full 90 minutes.
What little quality emerged from the first half was found at Whitnall’s feet and after a laborious 30 minutes when the ball broke on the edge of the penalty area it was Whitnall that buried it into the bottom corner.
Perhaps inspired by Whitnall’s injection off quality, Dan Thompson produced his own two minutes later when he took a pass from Taylor Sahzari and skipped a challenge before despatching a shot into the far corner to put the Angels two up.
At this point, Cray Valley were barely in the contest and a sharper Thompson and McCollin probably would have put the game far out of reach of their visitors.
Six minutes into the second period following a corner the ball fell for Connor Watson to volley into the bottom corner for a well taken goal putting the Angels seemingly out of sight at 3-0.
But, if Whitnall supplied the eye-catching performance of the first 45 minutes, Cray Valley’s substitute, Kieron Mulkerinns was to steal the show in the second. His appearance immediately raised eyebrows. On a relatively mild evening, he came off the bench in black tights more appropriate for an freezing evening of a fortnight ago. But the lad had something about him.
After 57 minutes, Mulkerinns spotted the Angels’ keeper Lewis Mitchell off his line and perfectly executed a lob to bring the game back to 3-1.
Ten minutes later, Cray Valley were right back in the game when a cross from the left found another substitute, Luke Saggers with time to pick his spot and reduce the deficit to a single goal.
When the visitors rattled the underside of the bar after 76 minutes, it was fair to say that Tonbridge themselves were fully rattled.
But the game was finally put to bed a minute from time when Watson struck a free kick past the wall for the Angels’ fourth goal of the evening.
There remained time for the man in tights to accumulate a second yellow card for comments made to the referee.
The match served its purpose for the first teamers for whom, manager for the night, Jay Stubberfield commented that he thought their attitudes had been superb.