Rusty 18's slip to defeat
It was a ring rusty Angels U18's that slipped to a disappointing home defeat against Corinthian.
Postponements and gaps in the fixture list have led to Dom Welsh’s side having gone five weeks without a game and it showed. Heavy touches and misplaced passes were the hallmark of the evening and a lot more was needed to overcome a decent Corinthian side.
On a wet, cold night, Dom Welsh was able to field as strong a side as at any time this season including new signing Joe Newman, who provided a positive note to the evening.
The Angels started brightly with both full backs testing the visiting defence. After three minutes, Adam Larkin linked well with Sam Firman but his shot was at the goalkeeper and a minute later, Newman latched on to a clearance and his cross fizzed across the face of goal.
Corinthian settled into the game and they forced a series of corners that saw a header saved by Matt Larkin, who also saved well from Henry Griffin with the rebound blazed over the bar.
Tonbridge had the ball in the net after 25 minutes but this was disallowed, seemingly for a push in the area. But, two minutes later, the visitors were in front as a corner was only cleared to the edge of the area from which Jeremiah Pinder drove a shot into the bottom corner.
The Angels responded with a couple of half chances but fell two behind after 37 minutes when the ball was worked down the right side before Isiah Daniel scored from an angle, 10 yards out.
As the rain fell harder at the start of the second half, Tonbridge opened up with a header from Adam Larkin that was wide.
The game as a whole rather lost its way and became scrappy with a couple of efforts per side not exactly working the keepers.
A good move involving Felix Waring and Firman ended with substitute Finlay McLeod firing over whilst Pinder also wasted a chance for the visitors.
The game became frustrating as many stoppages brought a World Cup time added of 13 minutes and after three of these the Angels gave themselves the opportunity when defender Will Puffette sent forward, headed goalwards for Firman to touch the ball over the line.
In the extended stoppage time, Tonbridge fashioned a chance but it ended with a header that cleared the bar.
Dom Welsh was disappointed with his team’s performance commenting: “I don’t think we showed a true version of ourselves tonight, it just didn’t click.”