Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Chelmsford City 3 Tonbridge Angels 1

Match 74/19/1796 - Monday, 14th February 2020 - National League South

Chelmsford City (1) 3 Wraight 27 Lita 47 Knowles 90+3
Tonbridge Angels (1) 1 Turner 17
Attendance: 611
New Ground: 341

Admission: Pass
Programme: £3
Mileage: 114/5,639

Fair to say, this hasn’t been a great few days. A no fault road traffic accident on the way to Longmead on Saturday ended the afternoon’s entertainment from the game against Hungerford Town and commencing the laborious process of dealing with insurance companies with the almost forlorn hope of getting back on the road as soon as possible.

Salvation came with the wife’s car thus enabling a first visit to Melbourne Park, home of Chelmsford City. An athletics stadium, there are some difficult viewing positions, one of which I found early in the second half and whilst repositioning straight after the whistle for the start of the second half, I missed the home side’s second goal. The main stand is an impressive structure but is a decent javelin throw from the pitch. Another seating area on the opposite side is closer but still eight lanes away. Behind one goal there is a covered standing area with half-a-dozen steps of terracing whilst the opposite end is open to the elements.

Given the country-wide problems with flooding and waterlogged pitches, Chelmsford not only did well to get the match on but the surface looked in remarkably good nick.

In a game of two halves, Tonbridge failed to make the most of their first half superiority and paid the price in the second period when, frankly, they didn’t turn up.

Tonbridge made the early running forcing a couple of corners, but Sonny Miles was needed to head off the line in eighth minute. Jason Williams was proving himself a nuisance to his markers but a clever back heel was not strong enough to worry the Chelmsford goalkeeper, Laurie Walker.

But the visitors took a deserved lead on 17 minutes when Christ Tiehi won possession and crossed from the right bye-line to Joe Turner, who touched the ball home from close range.

On 25 minutes, a free kick found the head of Rian Bray, who steered it wide. It was a chance to put a two goal deficit against a side running low on confidence and the missed opportunity was quickly to be rued.

Just two minutes later, a through ball got in behind the Tonbridge back line and Tom Wraight finished clinically.

Tonbridge still enjoyed the best of the half but were unable to get their noses in front.

On realising the my choice of watching the second half from in front of the main stand left me with a completely obstructed view of the far goal, a quick repositioning to behind the goal with the Tonbridge faithful wasn’t quite fast enough as Chelmsford went 2-1 up when a cross from the left found Leroy Lita at the far post to score.

The second half was not really much of a contest. Although Chelmsford were the dominant side they didn’t really create that much, whilst Tonbridge created absolutely nothing. The contest became a bit tetchy with a couple of skirmishes and this was highlighted in time added when Jonny Henly went forward for a last gasp corner that was cleared to Tony Knowles who shot into the unguarded net from the half-way line. His celebratory run to the opposing bench was both unnecessary and childish provoking another fracas.

A week to forget.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Harris Academy 2 Hugh Christie 1

Match 73/19/1795 - Wednesday, 12th February 2020 - Kent Schools Academies Championship

Harris Academy (1) 2
Hugh Christie (0) 1
Headcount: 3

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 70/5,525

Folkestone Invicta 3 Tonbridge Angels 1

Match 72/19/1794 - Tuesday, 11th February 2020 - Kent Senior Cup 2nd Round

Folkestone Invicta (0) 3 Ter Horst 52,58,82
Tonbridge Angels (0) 1 Ajayi 50
Attendance: 193

Admission: Pass
Programme: £0.50
Mileage: 76/5,455

Every so often a match comes along that you think it might well be better in the long run to lose this one and for 45 minutes it looked as though both teams had drawn the same conclusion. On a freezing cold night what was needed was a rip-roaring cup tie and this didn't offer anything of that nature.

As the referee attempted to defrost his whistle at the end of the first half, a Khale Da Costa free kick clipped the top of the bar to refocus the hardy attendance away from the cold that was biting at the extremities.

Goals will always enliven a contest and, with four of them, at the least the second period had some talking points.

Tonbridge opened the scoring on 50 minutes when a quickly taken free kick found Jared Small whose cross to the far post was converted by Joshua Ajayi for his first goal for the Angels.

The lead was to last just two minutes as Invicta worked the ball to the edge of the box from where Johan Ter Horst who ripped a shot past Ted McDonald in the Angels goal.

On 58 minutes Ter Horst doubled his tally when he found himself with an acre of space around the penalty spot to fire home following a Matt Newman cross.

Tonbridge responded with a bit of fight. Rhian Bray might have done better than direct a header wide from a corner and Christ Tiehi saw his fine effort go unrewarded as it rebounded off a post.

But the tie was wrapped up, to the relief of most of the crowd who didn't even want the extended time that penalties would bring, when Her Horst completed his hat trick after Ian Draycott's shot had been deflected into the striker's path.

The tie, that had been originally drawn to be played at Longmead Stadium but due to the ongoing pitch problems and a previous postponement was switched to Cheriton Road, was at least out of the way. Game time had been got into the legs of players and some fringe players had been given the chance to perform.

The M20 was shut on the way home leaving one to consider one's own sanity!

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Corinthian 3 Sporting Khalsa 0

Match 71/19/1793 - Saturday, 8th February 2020 - FA Vase 4th Round

Corinthian (1) 3 Jack Billings 15 Housego 57 Tanner 69
Sporting Khalsa (0) 0
Attendance: 246

Admission: £3 Senior
Programme: £1
Mileage: 50/5,379

Match Report

Friday, 7 February 2020

Abbey School 4 Hugh Christie 0

Match 70/19/1792 - Wednesday, 5th February 2020 - Kent Schools Academy Premier

Abbey School (2) 4
Hugh Christie (0) 0
Headcount: 12

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 70/5,329

Despite six goals, three points and continuing to head the National League Under-19 Alliance, Academy boss Tom Parkinson was less than impressed following his side 6-3 home win against Eastbourne Borough. An early goal from Saul Musengeyi set the Angels on their way but this was quickly reversed as poor defending allowed the visitors to take a 2-1 lead. Luke Taylor restored parity just before the break and when Musengeyi was sent through via a fantastic through ball from Aidan Murphy followed by Jacob Lambert stealing the ball from a defender to score it seemed plain sailing once more, but a penalty brought the Sussex side back into the game. Goals from Ned Lewis on 81 and 90 minutes made the game safe but Tom was particularly disappointed with the first half performance.

Dominic Welsh’s Development squad journeyed down to Faversham where they met a much strengthened Abbey School who represent Dover Athletic’s Academy. With no fixtures for either their first or second teams they fielded a mixture from the three squads giving our lads an uphill task from the outset. For the opening 20 minutes, the Angels second string were well in the game but a straight ball through the centre that was well finished gave Dover the lead and the momentum that was not too be reversed and ending with a 4-0 defeat. Credit should be given though that they stuck at the task against a physically bigger, stronger side that left several of the Angels side nursing heavy knocks on the sidelines.

Development 2 were awarded a 3-0 win over Halley College who were unable to field a team.

Man of the Match Awards went to Luke Taylor for the Elite squad and Tyler Richardson from the Development game.

This week’s team of the week consists of: Tommy Seal (2); Luc Hutson (2), Harrison Mayhew (1), Mikey Ryan (2); Leo Deere (1), Tyler Richardson (2), Aidan Murphy (1), Adam Barden (2); Jacob Lambert (1), Ned Lewis (1), Luke Taylor (1).

Harry Hudson and Charlie Martin went on to Croydon to feature in the senior team’s friendly at the Croydon Arena. Harry came on as a 60th minute substitute and put the Angels 2-1 in front after 71 minutes with his first senior goal. Charlie took Jonny Henly’s place between the sticks for the final 15 minutes and can claim a clean sheet as the Angels ran out 4-1 winners.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Rusthall 4 Sutton Athletic 1

Match 69/19/1791 - Saturday, 1st February 2020 - SCEFL1

Rusthall (2) 4 Lawrence 7 (pen) Miles 69, 84 Clover 90
Sutton Athletic (0) 1 Desanges 78
Attendance: 121

Admission: £4 Senior
Programme: £1.50
Mileage: 38/5,329

Rusthall Report

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Bishop Justus 1 Hugh Christie 0

Match 68/19/1790 - Wednesday, 29th January 2020 - Kent Schools Academies Championship

Bishop Justus (0) 1
Hugh Christie (0) 0
Headcount: 5

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 78/5,291

Two wins and a defeat for our Academy sides this week. The Elite team travelled to Gravesend, and the Elite Venue, home of Punjab United for their fixture against Ebbsfleet United. A first half goal from Saul Musengeyi had them in front at the break and a Ned Lewis penalty and a towering header from Harry Hudson, converting Sam Babayale’s cross completed the scoring. Man of the Match was given to Hudson, who has led his team to three consecutive clean sheets with his goal being his tenth of the season from centre back. The head-to-head with Whyteleafe continues at the top of the table with the Surrey club also winning 3-0 at Dulwich Hamlet.

The Development 1 squad enjoyed a goal-laden win at home against Halley Academy (Blackheath), triumphing 6-2. Coach Dom Welsh called it “a great performance against a strong Halley team with some really good attacking play contributing to great goals” which were scored by Brynley Ruck with a hat-trick, a pair from Joel Banks and another from Angus Fife. Man of the Match was awarded, unsurprisingly, to Ruck for three composed finishes.

The Development 2 team paid the price of failing to take chances at Bishop Justus (Bromley) and were beaten by a goal two minutes into added time. This was a bitter disappointment for the back line and goalkeeper who had defended valiantly for the entire match, but a single shot on target all game tells its own tale. Man of the Match went to Bernard Malaj, who worked tirelessly despite a back injury.

The coaches have instigated their team of the week and for the sake of statistics here are the last two weeks as last week’s was not published here. So, this is the week when all our teams won and kept a clean sheet. ((1) is Elite; (2) Development 1 and (3) Development 2). Callum Donoghue (3); Leo Deere (1), Harry Hudson (1), Luc Hutson (2), Wesley Ibeawuchi (3); Jacob Lambert (1), Tom Pettman (2), Bijan Gurung (3), Ben Twist (1); Bernard Malaj (3), Luke Taylor (2). For the week of 27th January: Charlie Martin (1); Deere, Hudson, Mikey Ryan (2), Kian Smallwood (3); Shay Haffenden (2), Joel Banks (2), Joe Brown (2), Exause Bizima (1); Brynley Ruck (2) and Malaj (3).

Of our players out on dual registration, Saul Musengeyi made his debut for Snodland and picked up a Man of the Match award, so well done to him. Also well done to Development 2 coach, Rhys Bartlett, who added the fifth goal in Tunbridge Wells’ romp at Canterbury!