Penalties: Tonbridge Angels 4-1 Gillingham
Angels knock out Gillingham in Kent Senior Cup
Angels proceed to the quarter finals of the Kent Senior Cup after knocking out Gillingham but needed a penalty shoot to confirm the win.
The home side fielded a strong line up with normal skipper Sonny Miles dropping to the bench and leading scorer Jordan Greenidge rested. Ruben Soares-Junior and Jack Wood were the replacements with Jamie Fielding dropping to the back line. Joe Turner was wearing the captain's arm band.
It took Angels just three minutes to take the lead. Soares-Junior had made a good run down the right and having squared the ball it was eventually picked up by Tommie Fagg whose effort took a wicked deflection and ended up in the back of the net.
Seven minutes later it was again Soares-Junior causing problems for the Gillingham defence but his final effort went just over the bar.
The unmarked Lewis Gard was presented with a big chance on the edge of the area but he ballooned his shot well over the bar.
On 18 minutes the Angels keeper Jonny Henly made a huge save having to adjust his body when a shot came from close in.
Tariq Hinds was catching the eye for the home side on the right with some fine control and was always ready with good distribution.
Jack Wood had a couple of chances for Angels but despite their overall dominance the side was unable to add to the score line. Just before half time Soares-Junior might have supplied that moment but after some fine trickery he ended up too deep and the cross was easy for Gills keeper Jake Turner.
Five minutes into the second half Joe Turner was upended in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Devonte Aransibia took the penalty but Jake Turner made an excellent save to keep the score at 1-0 to the Angels
As the half progressed there were chances for Jack Wood and Joe Turner but following some Tonbridge pressure there was a Gillingham breakaway and Jaden Clarke found himself clear finishing well past Henly to level the scores.
Lewis Gard and Jack Wood had chances to win it for Angels but the game concluded with the dreaded penalty shoot out. Within the mind games of penalty shoot outs, it might be said that the Gills held the advantage having equalised relatively late on and Angels already having missed a spot kick during the game. There was however one distinct advantage for the home side; they won the toss and were facing their own supporters in the South Stand. Historically Angels don't have a particularly good record in these events but in fact it proved rather easy for the home side who scored four times with Gillingham only able to make one of their efforts count. In particular Aransibia who had missed the earlier penalty award bravely stepped up to take the second penalty and made no mistake. The action was capped off when Soares-Junior cheekily chipped Jake Turner which put the tie beyond the reach of Gillingham.
Tonbridge will now face Ramsgate away on a date to be determined.
Afterwards Angels Boss Jay Saunders said: "I wasn't overly pleased with our performance tonight but very pleased to get through to the next round."
Picture: Kathryn Bell