Friday, 1 December 2017

Woking Under-21 2 Tonbridge Angels Under-21 3

Match 66/17/1516 - Thursday, 30th November 2017 - Suburban League Premier

Woking U-21 (1) 2
Tonbridge Angels U-21 (2) 3
Headcount: 21
Played at Knaphill

Entrance: £2 Senior
Programme: None
Mileage: 140/4,323

Knaphill holds one of my best memories of last season when an outstanding performance from Tonbridge Under-18s took them through to the final of the Lucas Fettes Cup after taking apart a Woking side to the tune of 5-1. That under-18 side were well established over a number of years and were, almost certainly, the best youth side seen at Tonbridge for a generation. Chris Wye has had no such luxury and it has been an arduous task to assemble a team that is competitive.

Back at Knaphill, a ground of which I’m fond but not the torturous journey, 10 months later it was a pleasure to witness the progress that this development team has made, if even it was brass monkeys.

Woking started the game brightly and it didn’t need the eye of a top scout to recognise that their left winger, Reggie Young, was going to be a source of problems for the right side of the Angels’ backline. He set up a chance for Decan Appuh, a mountain of a lad, after eight minutes that goalkeeper, Ibrahim Attiah, did well to tip over and shot wide after skipping past Ciaran Naddison-Singh.

It was somewhat against the run of play when the visitors took the lead from the penalty spot after 16 minutes. Andrew Sesay is a rough diamond that Wye has unearthed and it was his pace that took him into the box to be brought down. Skipper Ryan McFarlane drove the ball to the left of the goalkeeper to open the scoring.

The lead was not to last long, just three minutes. Appuh was proffered too much time and space to pick his spot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

The game went into a period of Woking dominance with Young and Appuh at the heart of everything.

On the break, good work from Steve Panayi opened up an opportunity for Sesay that was deflected wide and Sesay set up a chance for Luciano Osbourne to fire over the bar.

In the closing stages of the half, Tonbridge gained some real momentum. Woking goalkeeper, Dimi Kyriateis saved low to his left from Sesay; he tipped over an effort from Jordan James and parried one from Osbourne away. From the resultant corner, a knock-on found Kobie Ambrose at the far post to steer the ball home giving the Angels a half-time lead.

Into the second half, the pace of Sesay was troubling the Woking defence and in the 52nd minute he took a pass from Osbourne to rifle a shot into the centre of the goal.

Unfortunately, once again, the breathing space of a two goal lead was not to last and five minutes later, Young’s direct running set up a chance for Ross Murdoch which he buried from the edge of the six yard box.

Woking, with half-an-hour left on the clock, set about repairing the damage but resolute defending and some good goalkeeping kept them at bay whilst the Angels’ always looked dangerous on the counter.

Sesay had run himself into the ground by the time he was substituted with nine minutes remaining to be replaced by Charlie Dumas. Tonbridge game-managed the remaining time with added minutes being added to the added minutes to record consecutive wins that takes them above Woking in the league.

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