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FA Youth Cup: Angels progress with fine performance

Tonbridge Angels Youth secure a 3-1 win over K Sports

Tonbridge Angels Youth team progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup, producing an excellent performance to come from a goal down to win by 3-1 at K Sports.

Their reward is a home tie against Croydon, who two seasons ago fought their way through to the Third Round Proper before going out to Wigan Athletic.

In front of a very healthy attendance, probably in excess of 200, both sides put on a show that was a credit to youth football.

The opening 25 minutes was very competitive with neither side getting completely on top. For the Angels, Cameron Wootton put a header narrowly wide after eight minutes and Ben Hermitage pressed the K Sports goalkeeper, Rohan Jull, into action on a couple of occasions.

After 25 minutes, the Angels goalkeeper Nat Gibb made his first save of the evening from Mackenzie Gardiner.

The home side took the lead after 27 minutes from the penalty spot after a clumsy challenge. Gardiner converted, sending Gibb the wrong way.

The setback actually stirred Tonbridge into greater action and they started to dominate the game. Following a series of corners, claims were made that the ball had crossed the line following a header but the linesman was unmoved.

Efforts from Harry London and Wootton sailed over the bar before, in the first minute of added time, a brilliant cross from Leo Vowles found Wootton at the far post to score a well-deserved equaliser.

In the early moments of the second period, Vowles repeated the act but this time the ball narrowly evaded Wootton.

K Sports were hanging on, as Wootton was sent clear but denied by Jull with his feet, with the rebound falling to London who shot over the bar.

It did seem only a matter of time before the Angels got themselves in front and it duly came after 54 minutes when the ball was recycled to the left hand side of the box from where Luca Woodhouse drilled a fine shot into the bottom corner.

Four minutes later, it was 3-1 when Hermitage picked his spot from 25 yards to fire into the top corner with a shot that no goalkeeper was going to save.

On the hour, Tonbridge survived a scare when Gibb saved from Ayinde Galawu with the follow-up shot being cleared from the line by Kian Austin.

Tonbridge replaced their strikers, Wootton and Billy Kent who had worked tirelessly and looked the most likely to increase their lead in the closing stages as the Angels saw the game out with relative comfort.

Manager Tommy Parkinson was naturally delighted with his side’s fine performance, commenting after the match: “From start to finish we had the game under control. We had one scare from the penalty, other than that we dominated the game from start to finish.”

The Second Qualifying Round fixture is scheduled for the week of 27th September.

Wink Tomkinson

Published Saturday 18th September 2021 (last updated Thursday 23rd September 2021)