Angels U18's Blue Wall
For the second time in a matter of a fortnight, the Under-18’s had to face a meteorological storm as well as that imposed by their opponents.
A very good Welling United side, pacy with some technically gifted players asked an awful lot of questions of the Angels, so to come away with not only the three points but also a clean sheet speaks highly of the organisation and endeavour of the youngsters.
Right from the outset, and sustained through the opening half-hour, Tonbridge were forced to concede a huge share of possession to ensure that space behind the back four was not allowed to the speedy visiting forwards.
To add to the problems, albeit one for both sides, the blustery wind whipped along by Storm Debi, made lofted crosses into the box a nightmare for the two goalkeepers.
As said, Welling began the game on the front foot forcing Angels’ goalkeeper, Toby Edwards into two good saves within the first three minutes, breathing a sigh of relief when the rebound from second effort was headed over from close range.
Edwards produced a moment of goalkeeping magic on 11 minutes when an effort from Jed Borders took a wicked deflection that need Edwards to claw the ball away from behind him.
It was largely against the run of play when the Angels took a 15th minute lead. A loose pass out of defence was seized upon by Cameron Honarvar and his pass found Fin McLeod inside the left side of the penalty to rifle a shot across the face of the Welling goalkeeper and into the far, bottom corner.
The Angels goalkeeper remained far the busier saving from Oli Powers and Borders and four minutes before the break, he brilliantly turned over a 30 yard free kick from Welling’s dead ball specialist Powers.
Into the second period and Tonbridge started to impose themselves more on the game in an attacking sense. Honarvar tested the goalkeeper with a 30 yard free kick and was also narrowly wide as the game passed the hour mark.
But Edwards and his back line were far from idle, successfully dealing with a succession of corners delivered into the swirling wind.
A well worked move between Felix Waring and Ben Martin-Coward saw the latter shoot just past the right hand post. After 76 minutes, Logan Wallace replaced the hard working McLeod and within six minutes the Under-16’s player doubled the Angels lead, defying his height disadvantage, to score with a header following a brilliant run and cross from Noah Millis.
As Welling desperately pushed on to retrieve the game, chances fell on the counter to the Angels to add to the scoreline with substitute Evan Da Silva going close and in the final act of a thoroughly, entertaining encounter, skipper Will Puffette headed over.
A delighted Dom Welsh said after the game: “An excellent result against a good Welling side who threw absolutely everything at us. The boys defended with their bodies on the line in the second half and we were able to punish mistakes and be effective in the final third.”
An equally magnanimous Welling manager Jason Lyons said: “No complaints from the management after that performance … Fair play to Tonbridge who were excellent defensively.”