Academy ease their way through in FA Youth Cup
Shorn of several of the National Under-19 Alliance team by virtue of age, manager Tommy Parkinson gave several first year students their FA Youth Cup debuts and included Fin Hartley on the bench from the Kent Youth League Under-16 squad.
Playing up the Steve Cook Stadium slope, the Angels quickly got into their stride with captain Ben Twist at the centre of much the action, shooting narrowly wide after six minutes and supplying the cross for a Cameron Wotton header to go wide.
Tonbridge’s dominance finally translated to the scoreboard after 23 minutes when a clearance found Anthony Gill on the left side, 25 yards out, who placed a lofted shot into the far corner of the net.
The only disappointing point of Tonbridge’s first half performance was that their dominance did not produce another goal until the 45th minute. Louis Copeland’s pace saw him into good positions on several occasions but the finishes were frustratingly inches wide of the far post. Wotton brought a good save out of the Punjab goalkeeper with a header from a Twist free kick.
On the stroke of half-time the scoreline took on a truer reflection of the half when a cross was headed back across the face of goal by Alex Thompson for Wotton to head home from close range.
The second half was mostly in the same vein with the Angels creating several good opportunities but unable to add to the scoreline. Luca Woodhouse and Wotton were far too much of a handful for the Punjab back line but a mixture of good goalkeeping and narrow misses kept the score at 2-0.
Tonbridge Angels will now travel to VCD in the First Qualifying Round on a date yet to be confirmed.
Parkinson said after the game that he was pleased with the performance given that it was the first time this particular team had played together. They had defended their own box well with first year Chester Smith outstanding leaving goalkeeper Charlie Martin with very little of note to do.