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Bromley 4
2 Tonbridge Angels U18

Angels fall to Ravens in FA Youth Cup

Bromley produced a powerful second half performance to overcome a 2-1 half-time deficit and knock Tom Parkinson’s side out of the FA Youth Cup on a wild, wet night at Hayes Lane.

The rain, swept by a stiff wind caused problems for both sides all game with the ball zipping off the 3G resulting in many over hit passes.

Bromley, who play a division higher than their visitors, went ahead after five minutes when a ball into the right side of the box saw Angels goalkeeper, Matt Larkin, advancing to collect but beaten to the ball. The Bromley forward, lobbed to ball goalwards, but it appeared to be going wide before Lateef Adaja followed it in to head the ball into the net at the near post.

Tonbridge responded immediately and, a minute later, were level when a corner from the right, taken by Leo Vowles was headed home by skipper Tom Green.

It was the injection of confidence that the Angels needed and they went on to dominate the first half.

Bromley showed a vulnerability from set pieces lofted into the box and, after 25 minutes, with a carbon copy of the first goal, Vowles' corner was this time headed home by Will Puffette.

Vowles continually posed problems for the home side’s defence and two minutes later surged into the box but only found the side netting.

Harry Day forced Bromley goalkeeper, Cemal Osman into a good, low save as the Angels finished the half strongly and well worth their lead.

The home side emerged early from the dressing room, undoubtedly with a flea in their ear, and a vastly different performance from Bromley resulted.

It was felt that the next goal would be vital and it went to the home side after 56 minutes and sparked a spell in which the Angels were swept out of the game. 

From the outset of the second period, the Angels were under pressure with Larkin saving a header from a corner and, after 51 minutes, the bar was struck as a shot was hooked on after another corner.

There was an inevitability about the equalising goal, although the manner in which it was conceded was disappointing. A cross from the left found Adaja, in front of goal with time and space to pick his spot.

On the hour, Tonbridge might have found themselves back in front when Harry London’s effort was saved and the follow-up from Hayden Velvick was agonisingly wide.

That proved a big moment in the game as, within four minutes, Bromley scored twice. A cross from the left found the head of Shakur Beech, who once more benefited from too much space. A free kick, on 66 minutes, from the right by Frankie Hvid, that sailed straight into the far corner signalled the end of the Angels interest in the FA Youth Cup for another year.

But, credit should be taken that they weathered the storm and were competitive to the final whistle. A penalty was conceded deep into injury time which gave Adaja the opportunity to complete his hat trick but his shot missed the target and, to be fair, 5-2 would have been harsh on the Angels.

It was very much the cliche of a game of two halves and Parkinson echoed that commenting after the game: “First half we were excellent but second half we crumbled, and Bromley in the end were worthy winners.”

Published Friday 30th September 2022 (last updated Saturday 1st October 2022)