Thursday, 3 May 2018

Tonbridge Angels Academy 1 Charlton Athletic Academy 6

Match 129/17/1579 - Wednesday, 2nd May 2018 - Academy Friendly

Tonbridge Angels (1) 1 Stirman
Charlton Athletic (1) 6 Jenkins 45+2, Silvera 50,55,69 (pen) Barker 84 Appiah 90
Headcount: 65

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 38/8,413

Despite the ultimate result, the first match of the newly-formed Tonbridge Angels' Academy can be viewed with great optimism. For 45 minutes, they gave as good as they got against a well-established National League Academy side despite only having limited time together following the trials that have been completed with 38 boys going forward into next year’s Academy.

Two teams will be entered into the Natonal League Academy and the Kent Youth League with their home games to be played at Longmead or K Sports.

After team pictures were taken with a brand new Angels strip of blue with white sleeves and sides, reminiscent of a kit worn in the mid-1970s that had been donated by McDonalds, Tonbridge got into their stride quickly and had the first chance of the game when Faz Abassi headed over.

The Angels' goalkeeper, Tommy Taylor, who will fulfil the job of goalkeeping coach within the new set-up, was called into action a minute later making a fine double save to thwart the Addicks centre forward, Jack Jenkins.

Charlton’s Andre Thompson-Faeron gave Regan Bowden a difficult time in the first 20 minutes but the full back grew into the game, eventually lessening the effectiveness of the tricky winger.

Tonbridge were having to work hard to contain their opponents, who it should not be forgotten are already training five days of the week, with Taylor making a save before Harry Beadle shot against a post.

But the Angels were not without their own threat and, following a corner delivered by Josh Stirman, the ball found its way into the net after 27 minutes.

Tonbridge might well have doubled their advantage after 33 minutes when Stirman had an effort cleared from the line followed, three minutes later, when the Charlton goalkeeper, Harry Whitling, saved at the near post to deny Elliot Capel.

Two minutes into added time at the end of the first period Charlton got themselves level when Jenkins scored from 10 yards.

The second half brought substitutions aplenty for both sides and Charlton appeared a lot stronger for the changes. They were quickly on the front foot with Angels substitute goalkeeper Joe Roberts saving before Troy Silvera was allowed a turn and strike from around 10 yards to give the south Londoners the lead.

After 55 minutes, Silvera cut in from the right to fire home a shot as the visitors took control of the game at 3-1.

Tonbridge had a good chance to reduce the arrears after 62 minutes when Ned Lewis was sent clear but the goalkeeper saved at his feet.

Charlton’s Kai Garande was brought down after 69 minutes for Silvera to complete a 19 minute hat-trick from the spot.

The Angels showed spirit with Lewis heading over a Tom Nolan cross; Lewis shooting wide after being set-up by Zak Wolvey whilst more good work down the right by Nolan set up a further heading opportunity.

However, a towering header by Charlton’s Charlie Barker made it five and on the final whistle a move that really showed their quality ended with Jimmy Appiah scoring for close range.

Nobody should be dispirited, as Tommy Parkinson emphasised after the game his lads are not going to meet teams of Charlton’s quality next season and his own lads are only going to get stronger and more cohesive as a team with their football education.

Edit: Charlton, with thanks to them, did supply a line-up so numbers were be replaced by names.

Picture: David Couldridge

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