Log in or Register
Tonbridge Angels U18 1
McLeod (90')
5 Rusthall

Under-18's exit Kent Cup

Tonbridge Angels Under-18’s said their farewells to cup football for this season when they suffered a comprehensive defeat to an outstanding Rusthall side in the Quarter Finals of the Kent FA Merit Under-18 Youth Cup.

Nobody would have doubted the pedigree of this talented Rusthall side who progressed to the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup earlier this season before exiting at the hands of Kingstonian.

The nature of the 5-1 defeat left Under-18’s manager Dom Welsh speechless. “I am without words. There can be zero excuses from us today, second best in all departments with a really poor performance. Best of luck to Rusthall in the semi-final. There is no time to dwell as a quick response is needed for Monday’s Isthmian Youth League game against Sheppey United at Longmead.”

The visitors started on the front foot and the momentum never left them, taking the lead on 17 minutes when Hayden Marshall surged into space from midfield before shooting into the bottom corner from around 20 yards.

The Angels were restricted to a Felix Waring shot before Rusthall doubled their advantage from the penalty spot. The foul was less contentious than whether it was made inside the box. Nonetheless, Jack Lyons converted from the spot.

A third goal before the break left Tonbridge with an uphill battle in the second half. On 42 minutes, Lyons scored with a cleverly taken free kick, squeezing the ball directly into the net at the near post as the throng awaited a cross to the far post.

The second half saw the Angels more competitive but being mostly kept at arm’s length by a disciplined defence whilst Rusthall continued to maintain a threat. 

Defender Ben Martin-Coward was sent forward and he had the Angels best chance when sent clear but goalkeeper, Jack Glasborow, smothered at his feet.

The Angels crossbar was rattled before Rusthall added a fourth in the 86th minute when Zead Massood cut in from the left to finish into the bottom corner from a tight angle.

Tonbridge earned a consolation goal into added time when Cameron Honarvar combined with Fin McLeod to finish from close range but there was enough time remaining for Rusthall to add a fifth when a clever back heel on the edge of the box found Yusuf Rabbaj who curled his shot into the top corner.

It was a disappointing Sunday morning for the Under-18’s, who return to league action with a top three place still very much to play for.

Published Sunday 25th February 2024