Elite’s fixture at Burgess Hill postponed
.......but action for the two Development sides
This week’s postponement of the first team’s game at Burgess Hill was something of a blessing as a flu bug that has swept through the Academy had affected several players.
With this, and a similar situation affecting the Bromley Academy, a stronger squad was taken to Hayes Lane for a Development fixture against Ravensbourne as manager Tom Parkinson sought to shake the post-Christmas lethargy out of his squad’s legs.
This was very much in evidence in a first half in which they struggled to come to terms with a small pitch at the rear of the main stadium and a physically bigger opposition.
Goalkeeper Charlie Martin had already been called on to make a save before a cross from the right to the far post was met with a towering header to put Bromley in front after nine minutes.
Bromley continued to press for much of the opening half-hour with the Angels failing to create any real threat. Martin was needed again to make a save from the Bromley goalscorer who was posing a constant threat.
Tonbridge created their first opportunity on 33 minutes when a well worked move between Luke Taylor and Saul Masungeyi ended with the Bromley goalkeeper making a good save turning the ball away for a corner, from which Harrison Mayhew headed narrowly wide.
Martin made a splendid save in the final minute of the first half, clawing an effort out of the top corner to preserve just a single goal deficit at the break.
A few home truths during the break saw Tonbridge open the half in a much more positive manner but it was a bit of a gift when Leo Deere was needlessly brought down for a penalty which was successfully converted by Ben Twist after 49 minutes.
A surging run and a cross across the face of goal from Taylor might have put the Angels in front a minute later, as might an effort for Bromley that Martin did well to touch over, but from the resultant corner, a tall central defender was allowed to steal in at the near post to put the home side back in front.
A good effort from Masungeyi on the hour was the precursor to an equaliser four minutes later when good work on the right set up the striker to sweep in an effort at the near post.
Both goalkeepers were kept fully employed in the remainder of the game, Martin saving well on a couple of occasions whilst the Bromley keeper denied Jacob Lambert and Taylor in a frenetic finish to a competitive game.
Parkinson was less than impressed with his side’s lacklustre performance and emphasised the need to improve both fitness and performance levels in the coming weeks if they are to continue to head the National Alliance table.
No such criticism from Rhys Bartlett as his side beat another Ravensbourne side by 2-1 at Hugh Christie with goals from Shay Haffenden and Brynley Ruck. But while taking a lot of positives from the win, Rhys also lamented his side’s need to improve their fitness. It seems that the Christmas hangover has not quite been shaken off!
A gentle reminder that the trials for next season’s Academy places are now just over a month away and if you haven’t already made your application then get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org