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Tonbridge Angels 0
4 Sutton United

Lessons to learn from strong Sutton

Tonbridge Angels came up against a strong Sutton United squad who as recently as April were a football league side, but it could be argued we learned more from playing a much stronger opposition than we did on Saturday in Longfield.

The team line-up looked much nearer to a Tonbridge Angels one with eight of the eleven starters signed up Tonbridge players.

Jay Saunders' plans didn't quite go smoothly.  Ryan Hanson felt ill after the warm up so stepped aside, Ronny Nelson came off after half an hour for personal reasons, and Ned Lewis, back at the club as a trialist, received an ankle injury meaning we played the last 20 minutes of the game with ten men.

Sutton, as expected, started strongly and it didn't take long to go ahead.  Dillon De Silva's cross was eventually met by the head of Tyler French who headed past the first of two trialist keepers with just four minutes on the clock.

Tonbridge found life hard trying to create anything of our own, but were defending well, only to concede with two minutes to go before the break as a classy strike from Eduino Vaz found the top corner from the edge of the area.

Unlike Saturday, Tonbridge kept the same side at the start of the second half that ended the first, and started the second half with intention, getting balls in from wide.  Saunders made a number of changes on the hour mark including the introduction of Sean Shields, and Liam Vincent, who was with us on loan from Portsmouth last season, and Shields almost set up a goal which would have halved the deficit within minutes of coming on.  He found himself in space on the right, and crossed for a keen arriving trialist who put wide from close range.

On 68 minutes, Matt Rush, who once had a brief spell at the Angels during covid, but spent last year at Maidstone, made it 3 for Sutton with a calm low finish, and after having a goal ruled out for offside two minutes earlier, Sutton academy striker Joden Trickett made it four on 78 minutes with another low strike.

Liam Vincent brushed a post with a cross in the final minute as Tonbridge searched for a consolation, but as we know, scorelines barely matter at this stage of pre-season.

Jay Saunders said: "It was a good test for us, you learn more from games like that.  It was mixed side and we thank Sutton for coming down."

Starting Line Up:  Trialist; Lema, Trialist, Nelson, Clifford; Wagstaff, Maloney; Shomotun, Santos, Dabre; Trialist.

Subs:  Tyrie, Shields, Vincent, Lewis, Trialist x4. 

Report by Matt Davison

Published Wednesday 10th July 2024