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Bromleians 1
Rowson (23')
5 Tonbridge Angels Women
Churchill (39', 90'), Cresswell (55'), Jones (57'), Beeput (84')
Semi Final winners

Women through to League Cup Final

Tonbridge Angels Women reached the Final of the South East Counties League Cup with a second half in which their quality shone through on a slog of a pitch. A waterlogged pitch at Bromleians home ground saw the game switched to Chislehurst School for Girls.

After a first half in which the Angels had dominated but, going up the slope, the pitch had been a great leveller and the Angels went into the break on equal terms through an Aimee Churchill goal after falling behind on 23 minutes.

From the outset the difference in quality was obvious but the Angels passing game, effective on their home 3G, was difficult to play on a poor surface whereas Bromleians took a more direct route.

Nonetheless, Tonbridge would have been disappointed to fall behind after good chances had fallen to Charlotte Cresswell whose header was wide from a corner and after being put through by Churchill, Grace Mayhead slid her shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Tonbridge Angels’ goalkeeper, Ashleigh Rhodes, saved well after 19 minutes with the rebound scrambled to safety but, four minutes later, a free kick into the box found a scoring header,

Rhodes needed to be at her best as Bromleians grew in confidence making further saves before the Angels regained control with Mayhead being denied by a good, low save.

Eventually, six minutes before the break, Tonbridge drew level when Cresswell’s through ball saw Churchill drive it home from the edge of the box.

Both sides had chances to take a lead into the break but the goalkeeper’s stood up to the task.

With the slope in their favour in the second half, the Angels women quickly took control with Freya Jones striking a post and Cresswell firing over before two goals in the space of two minutes shaped the game. On 55 minutes, fed by Churchill, Cresswell struck a shot that flew over the head over of the goalkeeper and the lead was doubled when Jones angled a shot into the bottom corner after cutting in from the right.

For a period, the Angels looked like they might run away with the game but credit to Bromleians who fought back only to find Rhodes standing firm, especially with a brilliant save on 65 minutes than saw her palm to safety a shot and complete with a follow-up save. But she was only a spectator as the Bromley side saw a close range header go agonisingly wide.

The route to the Gallagher Stadium was sealed on 84 minutes when Mandy Beeput found the bottom corner from distance and in the very final act, Faith Gilson sent Churchill through to add a fifth.

A cup final is a deserved reward for Tonbridge Angels Women who have enjoyed a fine season following their reformation and next month, Margate will be their opponents at Maidstone United.

Report by Wink Tomkinson; Photo credit David Couldridge

Published Sunday 3rd March 2024