Tonbridge Angels 1 Dartford 5
AN EXPERIMENTAL Angels side proved that they were competitive against a well-drilled Dartford team but eventually went down to a heavy defeat at Hayesbrook.
The team was reshuffled with first starts given to Megan Akehurst and Tomi Akinlusi and regular starters Abigail Skilton, Courtney Smith and Becky Janes all rested to the bench.
Akehurst should have put the hosts in front, finding the net in the fifth minute but having her effort harshly ruled out for a foul on her opposing marker.
The visitors kept the ball well, and their energy levels when out of possession meant the Angels never had a moment’s rest.
The pressure told late in the first half when a clearance was closed down and the resulting shot was powerful enough to beat Angels keeper Tracy Edwards.
Tonbridge made five changes at half-time and were immediately in disarray, with confusion at the back allowing a shot to creep over the line to double Dartford’s lead.
The visitors then capitalised on a poor clearance to score their third, before substitute Skilton latched on to a through ball and reduce the arrears.
Two clinical finishes late on stretched the scoreline to 5-1 but manager Dan Couldridge was keen to stress the positives.
“As well as personnel we were able to try out a few positional changes, looking ahead to the crunch games awaiting us in February,” he said.
“We competed well against an Academy side and have plenty to be positive about going into the final six games of the season.”