Under-18's get hard fought point
Report and picture : Wink Tomkinson
The Under-18’s battled hard to take a point from Maidstone Road after going down to 10 men with 15 minutes to go when Mike Hollamby saw red for a second cautionable offence.
It was a pretty chilly evening but at least it was dry as Dom Welsh’s troops took to Chatham’s 3G showing a couple of changes with Hollamby and Ethan Knight coming into the starting XI.
Tonbridge started well and dominated the first half-hour in which they took the lead on 19 minutes.
First chance of the game fell to Knight who pulled his shot wide and this was quickly followed by Max Cormack testing the Chats goalkeeper, Rashawn Bowton, who despite his diminutive stature had a good game.
The goal was a fine individual effort from Cameron Honavar, who skilfully skipped a couple of challenges to tuck it past the advancing keeper.
Following the goal, the Angels continued to dominate with Bowton saving well from Felix Waring and Knight, so it was a surprise and somewhat disappointing when a defensive error allowed Adom Obeng to equalise for the home side.
The goal encouraged the Chats and they were the equals of their visitors for the remainder of the half.
In what was a good game, both sides started the second period brightly with the Angels seeing a header from a corner cleared from the line whilst a great effort from Harry Beech, for Chatham, rattled the cross bar.
Perhaps Chatham had marginally the better of the early part of the second half with Beech and Calum Scovell having efforts that were not too far wide whilst Honavar had a great chance, on 66 minutes, that was a whisker wide.
The game might have, perhaps should have, had a nervous ending for the Angels when Hollamby was sent off. His first touch on the touchline was a little heavy and in an effort to retrieve the ball his lunge carried him into his opponent, but down to 10 men the Angels were actually the better side for the final 15 minutes which, mysteriously, included the best part of 10 minutes added.
Honavar brought a good save from Bowton with a header, but at the other end a great chance was spurned when Matt Larkin parried from Beech, but the ball fell invitingly for a follow-up shot that was put wide.
A draw was the right result and Dom Welsh reflected afterwards: “A much improved performance, defensively excellent throughout (we made one mistake all game defensively and got punished), we just lacked the final finishing touch.”