Tonbridge Angels Ladies 5 Vinters 1
ANGELS Ladies bounced back from a disappointing visit to Margate by producing a dominant performance to defeat the league’s second-placed team Vinters.
Tonbridge were beaten by the only goal on their league visit to Maidstone in November. The first half in the return fixture at Tonbridge Farm seemed to be a similarly tight affair as it remained goalless until half-time.
But the hosts enjoyed much of the possession and were unlucky not to go in front when Abbie Skilton saw a shot hit the post.
The visitors made a surprise substitution at half-time by swapping goalkeepers, but it was they who scored the opening goal within two minutes of the restart.
Vinters won a free-kick 35 yards from goal, and while Angels were expecting a cross to be delivered, instead Lauren Seymour caught keeper Sam Wright by surprise, driving a long shot high into the goal.
Tonbridge were back on terms two minutes later. Beth Kemp put a perfect slide-rule pass behind the defence and Abigail Skilton did what she does best, slotting home.
In the 58th minute the Angels were in front, Skilton’s corner kick finding Megan Akehurst, who chipped a shot first time into the top corner.
The hosts really turned on the style now as they began to dominate the match and on 66 minutes it was 3-1.
Helena Fothergill’s persistence won her the ball in centre midfield and played the ball out to Becky Janes on the left, who delivered a perfect cross to the far post for Skilton to fire home on the volley.
Ten minutes from time, Beth Kemp was brought down in the box but the substitute goalkeeper dived well to save her spot-kick.
Akehurst rounded off the best team move of the game to score her second on 82 minutes. Kemp again delivered a perfect pass into Janes, who played a first-time ball into the danger area for the striker to convert.
And it was Akehurst who was on hand again on 88 minutes to score her first hat-trick in Angels colours on her return to action.
The result lifts the Angels into third place and they can go one higher next Sunday if they can defeat Margate Ladies at Tonbridge Farm.