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Sheppey United 0
2 Tonbridge Angels U18

Under-18 taste success on the island

The Under-18’s moved into fourth place in the table with a sound performance at Sheppey United and now sit just a point behind their hosts in their quest for a top three finish.

A day of gale force winds had subsided into what was still a strong wind that would be a factor in the game’s quality.

The opening quarter hour was evenly fought that showed every indication of a close, hard fought encounter that would ensue.

Both sides had efforts on goal in the first five minutes with Reuben Etherington firing over for the Angels and Harrison McCall shooting wide after winning the ball in midfield.

The home side enjoyed the better of the early exchanges although Matt Larkin was only really tested the once saving at the feet of Raeden Jeffrey.

 McCall produced a surging run from deep before shooting wide on 28 minutes before a superb strike from Zach Garcia from 20 yards with an angled shot into the top corner gave the Angels the lead. It was a fitting end to an industrious half from the Angels midfield engine.

The Angels finished the half on top with further efforts from Sam Firman.

With the wind slightly in their favour second half, Sheppey pushed hard for an equaliser but the Angels back line remained resolute with Garcia and Etherington putting in immense shifts in front of them.

So resolute were the Angels that whilst reducing the hosts to shots from distance that didn’t test Larkin, the best of the chances fell to the visitors with Firman bringing a good save from Sam Nicholson.

Six minutes from the end, Tonbridge as good as wrapped up the game when Fin McLeod headed home a Felix Waring corner.

Unfortunately the game ended on a low when the Angels’ Rockie Burke and Sheppey’s Ezra Oloyede saw red cards after a difference of opinion that sparked a mass outbreak of handbags.

That brought added time of 12 minutes in which the Angels preserved their clean sheet with relative ease.

Dom Welsh acknowledged the game hadn’t been a classic but that his side “completed the double over a talented Sheppey United side with some excellent defending and very good game management. We are learning different ways to win which is key for development.”

Published Tuesday 14th March 2023