U18's topple the league leaders
A first-ever win for Tonbridge Angels Under-18 against Isthmian Youth champions, and this season’s league leaders, Sutton Common Rovers came in quite bizarre circumstances that would not have been witnessed many times before.
Three times the Angels were awarded penalties, three times they were missed without working the goalkeepe by two different takers.
SCR came with a depleted side, but this was probably the Angels best performance of the season and it would have been interesting to see where this performance might have taken them against a full strength Sutton team.
From the first whistle to the last, Tonbridge showed an attacking intent and displayed a creativity that produced chance after chance but, sadly, in front of goal opportunities came and went with regular abandon.
After a bright start, the Angels were awarded a penalty after eight minutes when Ethan Knight was brought down but Felix Waring’s spot kick cleared the bar.
Sam Firman tested the SCR goalkeeper, Derek Humphries, before, on 21 minutes, a second penalty was awarded, this time for a foul on Will Puffette. Waring bravely stepped again for the spot kick but this time his effort was wide of the right hand post.
Whilst the Angels were still enjoying the better part of possession, SCR created a couple of chances around the half-hour with Lorcan Oliver firing over and Matt Larkin making a really good save to deny Daniel Lewis.
Four minutes remained of what might have beenseen as a frustrating half when the home side put together a top quality move that brought the opening goal. Rockie Burke started the move with a pass that sent Cameron Honavar away and his pass found Sam Firman in space to drive the ball into the bottom corner.
Honavar stretched Humphries again before the break with the Angels good value for their lead.
The Angels continued their dominance in the opening minutes of the second period with Knight and Honavar going close before, after 49 minutes, they were awarded a third penalty after Max Lambert had been felled. This time the responsibility fell to Max Cormack, but once again the spot kick cleared the bar.
Chance creation could not be faulted as Lambert sent Honavar clear only to be thwarted by the keeper’s legs and then Lambert struck a post.
With so many chances spurned, it seemed almost inevitable that SCR would get one chance and that would be all they needed but Larkin was alert to save from Xavier Obi and Max Lapa.
The game was finally put to bed in the 89th minute but not before efforts from Burke, Lambert and Puffette had brought more frustration. But, good work from Burke ended with the ball falling at the feet of Lambert who hooked home from close range.
Dom Welsh was pleased with the performance and his side’s creativity but even he was perplexed as to how only two goals were scored!