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Academy fall to defeat in League Cup Final


Strong Dover side take the honours

Despite a valiant effort, Tonbridge Angels Academy found a powerful Dover Athletic side a touch too strong in the Kent Schools FA Academies League Cup Final at Herne Bay.

Dover, who play a level higher than the Angels, fielded a strong side that included Archie Hatcher and Henry Young who have both been members of the Crabble’s first team squad and Hatcher will trial this summer at Blackburn Rovers.

Tonbridge started the game brightly forcing a couple of corners and having an early opportunity when Hayden Velvick sent Mackenzie Richardson clear but his effort was narrowly wide.

In response to that scare, Dover had a decent chance before Tim Marapara gave them the lead after 17 minutes after winning a challenge in midfield and striding forward to score from the edge of the box.

Dover continued to dominate and when Hatcher fired a free kick into the top corner from 20 yards the Angels faced an uphill battle.

But battle on they did and, on 35 minutes they were back in the game when Noah Millis crossed from the right for Richardson to finish.

Early in the second half, Tonbridge struck a post and Leo Vowles and Ollie Thomson linked well to go close but it was Dover that extended their lead after 52 minutes when a cross from the right found Young who swept the ball home from 18 yards.

The Angels worked hard to find a way back into the game and were on the wrong end of a couple of dubious refereeing decisions that might have offered an opportunity from the penalty spot and Josh McArthur went close but Dover had the quality to see the game out and lift the trophy.

Published Sunday 19th May 2024