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19 Tonbridge Angels Academy
Sheppey Academy

Academy amass record breaking win

The Academy showed very little mercy on bottom placed Sheppey United as they racked up their biggest ever Academy win with an amazing 15 second half goals.

Sheppey are in their first year in the National League Under-19 Alliance and were no match for an established Academy, least of all the reigning champions and the club setting the pace this season.

Given the ultimate result, it was a steadfast effort from the islanders to go into the break four goals down, having conceded three in the opening 10 minutes. But an early salvo of second half goals saw heads drop and as legs became cramped, the Angels were scoring almost at will in the final 20 minutes.

It was a blustery day at Holm Park which, before kick off, made you wonder if it could be a leveller but the game was already beyond doubt after nine minutes as the Angels raced into a three goal lead.

A first minute corner won after Leo Vowles brought a good save from the home goalkeeper but poor marking from the resultant corner allowed Vowles to score from close range. Within a minute, Josh McArthur drove into the box to bury his shot into the bottom corner. When a cross from the right was turned into his own net by a Sheppey defender, the game was as good as over before 10 minutes had elapsed.

The Ites youngsters steadied the ship somewhat and fashioned a chance of their own but the shot was struck over the bar.

After 23 minutes a really good move involving Hayden Velvick and McArthur opened an opportunity for Will Saunders to crash home a fourth.

Tonbridge created several chances in what was mostly one-way traffic but some brave goalkeeping kept the score at 4-0.

And so to the second half that became an avalanche of goals from minute 51 through to the 59th in which the scoreline went from four to nine. Ben Hermitage scored from the penalty spot and three minutes later capitalised on a woeful back pass. McArthur rolled a shot in for seven; Vowles from close range for eight before McArthur claimed his hat trick.

A 20 yard effort from Hermitage brought up his hat trick and took the Angels total into double figures and after Hermitage had struck both bar and post in the space of 10 seconds, Tom Green smashed home the eleventh and, after 68 minutes, Hermitage got his fourth and the Angels 12th.

It was a strange anomaly that 12 goals scored and, despite his usual hard working performance, leading scorer Velvick had failed to find the net. This was corrected on 77 minutes, linking with Hermitage before slotting home.

It initiated another flurry of goals, five in seven minutes, as the Sheppey side folded.

Skipper Joe Tyrie found the top corner from 25 yards; substitutes Sam Grant and Ashton Thomas and McArthur’s fourth took it to 17.

Added time goals from Grant and Vowles rounded off the one-sided encounter.

Sheppey United are a progressive club with a rich Kent Youth League pedigree, one hopes that they are able to recover from a chastening first season experience to establish their Academy in the National League Alliance.

Published Wednesday 4th January 2023