A sharp lesson for U18s
Report by Wink Tomkinson
If there is a time for a reality check, then preseason is that time. Sunday’s performance and comfortable win was quickly put into perspective as the Under-18’s opponents, Kent Football United were stronger in almost every department and ran out deserving 3-1 winners.
KFU showed from the first whistle that they would be an altogether different task for the Angels side. A huge centre forward dominated the central defenders whilst speed and trickery on the flanks opened up the chances for the big striker and when the Angels were able to break forward they were met with some resolute defending.
The opening minutes were KFU’s with the big striker clearing the bar in the very first minute and screwing another shot wide after ten.
The Angels slowly got a foothold in the game with Max Cormack and Harry London missing the target with efforts.
Following a free kick on the edge of the box that was scrambled away, successive corners ended with a floated cross into the six yard box from where KFU’s big striker converted with a diving header after 30 minutes.
A half-time talking to for the Angels seemed to have the desired effect when the Angels equalised after four minutes of the half. A cross into the box from George Rayner was touched on and Fin Wolvey reacted quickest to prod the ball home.
Parity barely lasted a minute when a hopeful ball towards the edge of the box saw Matt Larkin making the uncharacteristic mistake of advancing to collect a ball he was never going to get, was beaten to it which offered the opportunity for the KFU player to walk the ball into the unguarded goal.
Larkin quickly redeemed himself with a flying save and catch from the ever-dangerous striker.
In fairness to the Angels lads, they pressed hard for an equaliser with Harry Sargent and George Theis testing the goalkeeper and Ethan Knight seeing his free kick deflected safely into the keeper’s arms.
But a rapid breakaway, 10 minutes from time, saw the KFU winger cut in from the left and bury the ball into the bottom corner to put the result almost beyond doubt.
In added time Wolvey was brought down in the box for a penalty award but when his spot kick sailed over the bar it about summed up the Under-18’s night. A wake-up call has sounded and knowing manager Dom Welsh, very much listened too.