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Staplehurst Monarchs 0
9 Tonbridge Angels U18
Cooney (13', 65'), Etherington (22' pen), Silva (35'), Wallace (49'), Martin-Coward (57'), Honavar (59', 61', 64')

Angels U18's progress in Kent Youth Cup

Tonbridge Angels Under-18’s comfortably progressed to the Second Round of the Kent Merit U18 Youth Cup at Staplehurst Monarchs.

Ultimately, Dom Welsh’s side scored nine times but they had to come to terms initially with a Monarchs side that competed well on a smallish pitch. They also came up against a goalkeeper, James Nash, who produced a heroic performance with many, many saves.

The Angels opened the scoring when they caught out the home side with a short corner routine that saw Reuben Etherington touch the ball to Cameron Honarvar who cut in and buried a shot into the far corner.

Tonbridge knocked the door before, after 27 minutes, a run from deep by Honarvar ended with him being brought down in the box for Etherington to score from the spot off the underside of the crossbar.

Now comfortable in their surroundings, Tonbridge started to control the game and set up the one man resistance from Nash, who made great saves to deny Noah Millis and Honarvar before the short corner routine once again undid the hosts with Evan De Silva applying the finish.

Set pieces were proving the undoing of the home side and, four minutes into the second period, Logan Wallace, a 15-year-old who didn’t look out of place among his elders, hooked in a corner from close range and despite further heroics from Nash, heads dropped among the home ranks as the Angels added five goals in the space of eight minutes.

On 57 minutes a corner delivered by Felix Waring found Ben Martin-Coward at the far post to head home; a Wallace dinked cross saw Honarvar nod home; Honarvar added number seven as Wallace’s initial shot was saved by Nash; from a throw-in Honarvar headed home and, on 65 minutes, a fine run and finish from Teddy Cooney wrapped up a crazy eight minutes.

The final 25 minutes was a procession of Tonbridge attacks, but the home defence got their heads back together whilst the visitors were perhaps a little guilty of overplaying with the tie well and truly won.

There was more than enough time for the Staplehurst goalkeeper’s stock to rise even higher with saves aplenty whilst a post denied Sam Gerrard in the final act of the game.

Manager Dom Welsh commented after the match: “Really professional performance with some excellent goals scored and good to get a clean sheet on the road. Credit to Staplehurst who made the early exchanges tough for us and worked hard throughout.”

Published Monday 25th September 2023