Tonbridge Angels Ladies 18 Barming 0 By Andy Tong

BEST FOOT FORWARD Tonbridge Angels Ladies play their first game at Longmead to mark the Rainbow Laces campaign – and won 18-0; (l-r) Charlotte Coulter, Helena Fothergill, Heidi Archer, Leanne Foster, Sharon Lyons, Becky Janes, Florentia Anastasiou, Kelly Moran, Sam Wright, Nancy Syrett PHOTO: David Couldridge

TONBRIDGE ANGELS Ladies made their league debut at Longmead stadium on Sunday (December 3) as part of the Football Association’s Rainbow Laces campaign.

They celebrated the occasion in style by -thrashing bottom-of-the-table Barming 18-0 in the South East Counties Kent Division One.

BRAIDS MAIDS The players wear rainbow laces in their hair

The Inclusivity in Football scheme, run in conjunction with the equality charity Stonewall, creates awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in football.

All the players sported rainbow laces in their boots to mark the occasion and some of the team wore them in their hair too.

Barming, without a point all season, were only able to field nine players and Angels, under league rules, had to do the same while operating rolling substitutes – which they did to devastating effect on the wide open spaces of Longmead.

MEGA STRIKE Megan Akehurst fires in one of her four goals PHOTO: David Couldridge

Megan Akehurst scored the first of her four goals after six minutes. Lauryn Underhill netted five goals, while Becky Janes recorded a hat-trick. There were two goals for Beth Kemp, while Courtney Smith, Maisie Gibbs, Becky Jarvis and Nancy Syrett also scored.

The home side remain in second place in the league going into the winter break but the scoreline provided a huge lift to their goal difference which could prove crucial in the battle for the title.

Manager Dan Couldridge said: “Since the Charlton Cup game [when the Ladies were beaten 22-0] in which we learnt a lot, we’ve only dropped two points and certainly we believe we are good enough for promotion and would be able to compete at a higher level.”