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Tonbridge Angels U18 2
Etherington (8' pen), Firman (31')
0 Metropolitan Police

Into the Semi-Finals we will go!

It wasn’t quite 2019, and all that, but for the Angels youngsters it means much the same as a 2-0 win over Metropolitan Police sees them march on and into the Isthmian League Cup Semi-Final.

If 2019 doesn’t ring too many bells for Logan Wallace and Fiachra Pritchard, it’s because they hadn’t even started secondary school on that May day!

The Angels were not to be overawed by the occasion of the Quarter Final producing a first half performance in which they took the game to their opponents and were rewarded with a two goal half-time lead and a second half in which they contained the Met with goalkeeper, Toby Edwards, asked only to make one serious save.

Within two minutes of the opening whistle, Felix Waring brought a good, low save out of the Police goalkeeper, Joseph Hill and were ahead in the eighth minute when a superb interchange between Sam Firman and Cameron Honarvar saw the latter brought down in the box for the award of a penalty. Reuben Etherington, calmness personified, found the bottom corner to give the Angels the early advantage.

While Tonbridge dominated, the Met Police were not without their moments and the Angels were forced to defend well from a series of corners with Edwards making one save of note from Daghan Basaranufare. 

A driving run from Ben Martin-Coward saw his shot deflected into the goalkeeper’s arms and Firman shot over, before on 31 minutes, Firman, who had an electric first half, ran from deep without much in the way of challenge before reaching the box from where he blasted the ball into the roof of the net.

Two goals down at the break, the visitors needed to throw a certain amount of caution to the wind and they posed many questions of the Angels defence but, on the break, it looked more likely that the home side would add to their advantage.

One such counter-attack, on 63 minutes, saw Martin-Coward and Honarvar set up a chance for Waring in front of goal but his shot was high.

Golden chances to get back into the game were spurned by the Police as Basaranufare headed over from a corner and Edwards had his one real save to make to deny Igor Souza.

In the final 10 minutes, as the visitors became stretched, chances fell to substitutes Wallace and Fin McLeod but Police keeper, Hill, denied them.

A delighted Dom Welsh said said after the game: “It was a big win against a talented side. We had the moments of quality in the final third in the first half and then showed our ability to close games out.”

At the time of reporting we know that the semi-final opponents will come from the winners of the Cray Valley v Kingstonian tie, but we don’t know where it will be played.

Published Tuesday 23rd January 2024