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Tonbridge Angels Academyv
Ebbsfleet Utd

Academy win battle of unbeaten sides

The Academy maintained their unblemished start to the League season whilst inflicting a first defeat on their visitors, Ebbsfleet United with a comprehensive win at Longmead on Wednesday lunchtime.

Three goals in the opening seven minutes of the second half put the game out of reach of Ebbsfleet after a first half in which the Angels were wasteful in front of goal, despite going into the break a goal to the good.

That lead barely reflected a half of Tonbridge dominance from the outset in which the visiting goalkeeper, Connor Cooper, was not only kept busy but excelled in the process. Two chances went astray in the opening two minutes with Jezreel Davies going close following a corner and moments later Hayden Velvick shot across the face of goal.

Will Saunders tested Cooper, before the goalkeeper made a double save to deny both Saunders and Ben Hermitage.

Saunders needed to be substituted in the 18th minute by Billy Robbins as the chances continued to be made and wasted, or denied, as Cooper continued to save the day.

On 23 minutes, an extraordinary piece of skill from Davies, deserved a better outcome than a disallowed goal as he beat three players but unfortunately as he lobbed the ball over the head of one defender, the ball struck his hand before he dispatched his shot into the bottom corner.

But Davies was not to be denied, two minutes later, when from all of 25 yards, he picked up a loose ball in midfield and struck a shot into the top corner that Cooper could only watch and admire.

The right hand post came to the goalkeeper’s rescue when a cross-cum-shot from Hermitage bounced off the woodwork, who also pulled a shot wide on the stroke of half-time.

Two minutes after the restart, Velvick was sent clear by a long pass forward, the pacy forward took on his marker, turning inside, before firing in a shot past Cooper.

A third goal came on 49 minutes when, following a right-sided corner from Leo Vowles, Tom Green knocked the ball goalwards from the far post for skipper Joe Tyrie to touch it over the line.

In this five minute spell, Robbins did well to pull the ball back inside the area for Vowles to power an unstoppable shot from 12 yards to almost put the game to bed and, perhaps, a little complacency set in as Ebbsfleet pulled a two goals back.

Angels’ goalkeeper, Nat Gibb dwelt on the ball and was robbed allowing a tap in for 4-1 and on 72 minutes the visitors might have sensed they were back in the game when a ball out of defence saw Hadez Karim race clear to finish past Gibb.

But tha Angels regained their ascendancy with Josh McArthur setting up Hermitage for 5-2 and substitute Joseph Mdyadora produced a composed finish after cutting in from the right.

Tyrie headed over twice in the closing stages as the Angels finished the game strongly.

Academy Manager Tommy Parkinson commented after the game: “A solid performance from the squad against a good Ebbsfleet side. Some good goals scored but lacked quality in the final third at times.”

Published Wednesday 16th November 2022