|Pepsi FA Youth Cup
Third Qualifying Round
|Stephen McCartney reports from Longmead Stadium|
|Tonbridge Angels||5||Tom Reeves
Matt Hollyoak 40
Kevin Carpenter 89
|Eastbourne Borough||1||Liam Baitup 82|
Reeves books ticket to the Orient
PORTSMOUTH target Tom Reeves' hat-trick helped Tonbridge Angels book a ticket to the Orient after sending Eastbourne Borough crashing out of the Pepsi FA Youth Cup at Longmead Stadium tonight.
The sixteen-year-old former West Ham United striker, who is also being watched by Premiership giants Chelsea, scored a clinical hat-trick, and strikes from Matt Hollyoak and substitute Kevin Carpenter has given the Angles confidence for their trip to Brisbane Road next week, on a day to be confirmed within the next couple of days.
Eastbourne Borough made a lively start to the game, hitting the post after only six minutes, but despite plenty of possession they couldn't find a way past Angels goalkeeper Shayne Goldsmith until the 82nd minute.
The Angels, however, scored their first goal in the 18th minute, from their first attempt on goal and against the run of play.
Hollyoak delivered a deep cross from the right touch-line, which should have been comfortably collected by visiting goalkeeper Joe Brownall.
But he made a complete hash of the cross, dropping it at the feet of Reeves, who from two yards smashed the ball into the back of the net.
Tonbridge full-back Louis Smith was mugged by Mark Haydock by the corner flag and a deep cross picked out Alex Thompson, whose header went agonisingly over the crossbar. Two minutes later, Liam Baitup's long range shot sailed over the Angels crossbar.
Tonbridge, however, doubled their lead in the 27th minute when Reeves netted his second of the game.
Elliott Everson received the ball inside the penalty area from his skipper Ian Parkes, but Brownall made a brave block, but the ball fell into Reeves' path and the prolific striker slotted the ball into an empty net from 14 yards.
Tonbridge made sure their trip to Leyton Orient was sealed, when they netted goal number three in the 40th minute.
Reeves was the instigator spreading the ball to Hollyoak on the right hand side. Cutting into the penalty area, leaving the defender bemused, the blonde haired attacking, hardworking midfielder, drove a shot, which the goalkeeper got something to, but couldn't prevent the shot creeping into the far corner of the net.
Clinical Tonbridge found themselves 3-0 up at the break, although Eastbourne showed glimpses of good play, but lacked the killer touch in the final third of the pitch.
The game was put to bed in the 58th minute when the Kent side scored their fourth. Hollyoak received the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area, cut the ball back to Reeves and he slotted into the bottom far corner from 12 yards.
Reeves, could have celebrated his hat-trick a minute earlier but with only the goalkeeper to beat, he slipped his shot agonisingly wide of the foot of the far post.
The good number of travelling supporters in the crowd of 159 deserved better but their team did score an 82nd minute consolation when Baitup nodded home from close range after Goldsmith misjudged a cross from the right hand side.
Carpenter, who worked tirelessly up front, thumped home the Angels fifth goal in the 89th minute, and the victory pleased manager Barry Jeffrey.
"A thoroughly deserved victory really and a very professional performance," Jeffrey beamed.
"We've had performances like that in patches this season, but apart from that opening fifteen minutes, we totally dominated the game and deserved the victory."
Jeffrey has high hopes for hat-trick hero Tom Reeves.
"We will certainly be hoping he progresses into the first team squad.
"We actually have Portsmouth looking at him at the present time and I believe Chelsea are interested.
"Tom will be 17 later this month and he joined us as an under 14 from West Ham. We've put four years work into him and you've seen the result tonight. The boy has so much quality. I don't think we can hang onto him, but that's the betterment of the boy he goes on."
Speaking about Kevin Carpenter, Jeffrey added: "He worked tirelessly. He is a young lad we picked up at the start of the season. I was actually refereeing a charity game he was playing in so I invited him down. He is very raw but he is progressing nicely, works tirelessly and yes, he deserved his goal."
With a trip to Leyton Orient awaiting the Angels next week, it will be a very good evening for the squad as they take to the turf in a Coca Cola League stadium.
Jeffrey, however, is confident his side can progress further in the competition and knock out the league club.
"People will look at this particular tie and say yes it's our cup final, but I feel with the quality we've got within this squad, they are capable of beating a Coca Cola League side. I think we can beat Leyton Orient and we are looking to go beyond the first round."
Tonbridge Angels: Shayne Goldsmith, Matt Hollyoak, Louis Smith, Michael Cramp, Richard Shaw, Richard Cole, Elliott Everson, Ian Parkes (Capt), Lee Hamilton (Adam Davies 64), Ton Reeves (Joe Brookman 90), Neil Davies (Kevin Carpenter 24). Subs: Matt Crane, Alex McEwan
Eastbourne Borough: Joe Brownall, Gary Corklin (Capt), Kyle Holford (Ben Barnett 75), Mark Tomsett, Dan Poulton (Lucas Mann 55), Colin Johnson, Aaron Filsell, Liam Baitup, Alex Thompson, Mark Haydock (Aaron Jones 27). Subs: Joe Haffendern, Peter Robins
Referee: John D'Arcy