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Tonbridge Angels U16 3
2 Sittingbourne

U16s open league campaign with three points

Angels have been placed in the South division with Eastbourne , Hastings , Bredhurst, Kennington, Punjab, Hollands & Blair, Rusthall and Sunday’s opponents Sittingbourne. 

Many of these teams we know little about due to being in different divisions previously, so this would be a big year for the ever growing U16 side, who will look to take there style to the opposition. 

Sunday (13/09) was the beginning, as we hosted Sittingbourne! 

The first 10 minutes started very quickly , and seemed very 100mph constantly throughout with very little going on. However with Angels looking the more likely and Sittingbourne happy to play on the break. Despite having much of the possession Sittingbourne showed early on they were going to push Angels back with high pressing and a physical approach. Shortly after on 14 minutes the Angels took the lead. Good defensive play from Mason Nicholls on the right hand side before feeding a penetrative pass into forward Fin Hartley, a little set and a precise ball to new signing Nathan Jeche who smashed home on his left foot. 

The goal probably came a little soon for the Angels as they took their foot off the gas and shortly after a long ball from a free kick was allowed to bounce over the back 4 and was finished superbly by the Sittingbourne winger, a superb finish but a really poor goal to concede from our behalf. This allowed Sittingbourne to grow into the game up until half time, Angels still with much more possession but the counter attack was a huge threat. On 30 minutes the Angels had a huge chance to re-take the lead, some patient build up from the back, a well spotted run from a Nathan Jeche was excellently found by Captain Joe Wallis, but Jeche’s effort was blocked well by the goalkeeper! Moments later just before HT a long clearance found it’s way through to Jeche again inside the box. He was bundled into by two Sittingbourne defenders... no penalty given. 

The Angels into the break level despite long periods of good pressure. Some excellent play and performance, lacking some final product in front of and around the goal. 

The second half was more of the same, plenty of possession, plenty of great build up just lacking the finishing touch. Sittingbourne sensed it may just not be our day as they piled bodies forward in look of a go ahead goal. Early in the 2nd half Hartley dispossessed the defender to race through but again the Bourne keeper well on hand to save. 

The introduction of Shea Brennan to the midfield early in the second half proved to be the game changed. Some positive midfield passes from deep began to open Sittingbourne up. On 55 minutes a superb defensive splitting pass awkwardly bounce up to the head of Jeche who was on hand to power his header home for his 2nd of the day. This seemed to re ignite the Angels who came on strong for the next 20 minutes. The defensive unit despite the first half mistake has played very well defending and recovering the ball from counter attacking plays. 

On 60 minutes it was the Angels who hit again, another defence splitting pass from midfielder Billy Wright proved to much for Sittingbourne, Nathan Jeche again on the end of it, this time a powerful run to the byline before cutting back to fellow forward Fin Hartley who smartly finished! 

However it was with 8 minutes to play Sittingbourne hit back, a well struck free kick cannoned off the post into the face of a Bourne player and into the goal! However the Angels pushed to put the game to bed late on and had efforts from Shea Brennan and Fin Hartley blocked. Again the defence comfortably managed to see out the remaining moments. Huge credit to Sittingbourne who managed to turn the game scrappy at times and stop the Angels rhythm !

A well deserved and much needed 3 points on opening day!

Line up : Larkin, Nicholls, Wallis, Little , Hodges, Hollamby, London, Lambert, Wright, Jeche, Hartley 

Subs : Lawrence, Brennan, Wolvey , McCusker, Dennis 

Thanks to Dom Welsh for report 

Published Tuesday 15th September 2020