Tonbridge Angels 7-0 Ascot United - Ascot deserve a hell of a lot of respect for getting to this round and one spot kick away from beating us, says Barry Moore
Tonbridge Angels 7 – 0 Ascot United
|Location||Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN10 3JF|
TONBRIDGE ANGELS 7-0 ASCOT UNITED
The Emirates FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 6th September 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Longmead Stadium
TONBRIDGE ANGELS assistant manager Barry Moore says Ascot United deserve respect for their efforts during these two FA Cup ties.
The tenth-placed Hellenic League side missed a great chance to cause a FA Cup First Qualifying Round giantkilling on their small pitch adjacent to furlongs seven and six on Ascot Racecourse on Sunday during a game that Tonbridge Angels dominated despite drawing 2-2.
Ascot midfielder Paul Coyne had his last-gasp penalty brilliantly saved by Anthony Di-Bernardo, which was redemption after his blunder gifted Ascot the lead.
But there was no second chance for Jeff Lamb’s bravehearts as Tonbridge Angels outclassed a side two league’s lower by opening the floodgates to win 7-0 in front of 376 fans at Longmead Stadium in tonight’s one-sided Replay.
Tonbridge Angels recorded their highest FA Cup win tonight, although predecessors Tonbridge FC thrashed Worthing 11-1 in the Second Qualifying Round back in 1951.
Steve McKimm’s side set the tempo high straight from the kick-off and Ascot United could not live with it.
“We worked a lot on fitness in the summer so we knew that we would be in better physical condition than them,” said Moore.
“Straight away we went for the kill. We went from kick-off, Luke Allen driving through the middle of the pitch and I think we got a cross or a corner within 15 seconds so that was our intent and just to suffocate them really, put them under a bit of pressure.”
Jesse Wilson powered a header into his own goal, as Tonbridge Angels opened the floodgates inside 12 minutes, before target-man Nathan Elder headed in his sixth goal of the season and his second headed goal against the same opposition.
Winger Damien Scannell slotted in a third to kill the game off before half-time.
Central midfielder Luke Allen capped off his man-of-the-match performance with a fourth goal, before winger Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson came off the bench to add a fifth.
Ascot United were reduced to ten men for the final 10 minutes when central defender Ryan Britnall was shown a straight red-card for a two-footed lunge.
Ascot keeper Carl Dennison, who pulled off a string of fine saves during the first half, helped the ball in to score the second own-goal of the night, before substitute Tom Phipp notched the seventh goal with the last kick of the game to seal a trip to league rivals Wingate & Finchley in the Second Qualifying Round on 17 September.
“We had a tough game on Sunday, we only one day to recover, similar to them, they’ve got the same thing,” said Moore.
“We didn’t feel we played bad on Sunday if I’m honest, we had some chances, a few cleared off the line and just said to the lads we’ve got a bigger pitch here, a much bigger pitch and move the ball from side-to-side quickly and hit them early doors and hopefully we can nick a couple of goals and then put the pressure on.”
Reflecting on Ascot’s big chance to win the game on Sunday with Coyne’s penalty, Moore said: “I’d say that would’ve been very unjust (had he scored) because I thought we were the better side and rightly so! We should be, make no mistake about it, we should be the better side. But all the clichés that’s the beauty of The FA Cup and we go to Sudbury on Saturday and then we focus on The FA Cup in the middle of next week.”
Tonbridge Angels set the tone by playing a very high attacking tempo straight from the first whistle and they put Ascot United on the back foot.
Dennison was called into action inside the opening seven minutes when he dived to his left to push Allen’s right-footed curler, which was heading towards the corner, around his post after the ball came to him after winger Nick Wheeler cut into the penalty area.
Luke Blewden swept the ball out to Scannell on the right and his cross was met by Elder’s cushioned header which sailed across goal and harmlessly wide.
Wheeler was inside his own half when he played a long ball over the top to put Elder through on goal but he powered his shot off the target.
Moore said: “Nathan’s tried to put some power on it, if it goes on target it’s in because of the pace of the ball and Nick Wheeler is always a danger, always a threat. He chops outside, he gets inside and Nathan’s got that in his locker where he can hit the target from the edge of the box.”
But Tonbridge Angels opened the floodgates by taking the lead with 11 minutes and 45 seconds on the clock.
Wheeler whipped in a precise free-kick from the right and Ascot’s central defender Wilson planted his header into the right-hand corner of his own goal.
Moore said: “Can you blame the defender? No! He’s made a last ditch attempt to clear the ball on the stretch. You’ve got to give credit to Nick whose took it and put it in that area where the keeper can’t get it. Any touch from a defender and you’ve got a chance of it going in.”
Dennison produced a fine diving save to his right to thwart Tom Parkinson with a downward header after he met Jack Parter’s cross from the left.
Wheeler floated in a deep corner from the right towards the far post where an unmarked Parkinson saw his looping header palmed over the bar by the outstanding Dennison.
Tonbridge Angels doubled their lead with 21 minutes and 24 seconds on the clock.
Wheeler whipped in a corner from the right and Elder steered his header across goal into the bottom far corner – just like Sunday’s goal.
Moore said: “When Nath gets in front of people, as we all know, it’s very hard to get the other side of him so if the deliveries good and hits the area and Nathan’s on the other side of you, nine times out of 10 he’s hitting the target.”
Tonbridge Angels were their usual threat from Wheeler corners and Jerrome Sobers (partnering Sonny Miles in the heart of defence because George Beaven was nursing a tight groin) directed his header across goal and past the far post.
Dennison received warm applause from all around the stadium for pulling off a brilliant save in the 29th minute.
Allen cut inside and floated in a cross which was cracked on the volley by Elder, the ball was destined to whistle into the bottom near corner, only for the Ascot keeper to dive low to his left to pull off the brilliant save.
“I know it might sound, I’m not being sarcastic or anything but their keeper tonight pulled off two or three fantastic saves,” said Moore.
“He couldn’t do nothing from Elder, the volley was superb and give him credit there but keep knocking on the door, one or two are going to go in.”
Tonbridge Angels decreased their tempo on the half-hour mark and this gave Ascot United a chance to weather the storm.
“It’s natural. Players’ are players,” said Moore. “We’ve all been there where you’re thinking ‘this is going a bit too well’ and you start misplacing a few passes but we had a little 10 minute spell where it was a little bit like that. They had the ball, we had the ball but I don’t think Tony had anything to do the whole game really.”
But Dennison’s heroics weren’t going to stop Tonbridge Angels scoring their third goal in the 39th minute.
Allen played a sublime through ball along the deck to put Scannell through on goal and he slotted the ball underneath the advancing keeper.
“We’ve been saying especially after Sunday to Luke, you’re great at driving into space, you’ve got to get people and yourself, tell people to make runs in behind players. Scannell is experienced, he made a great run across the defender and just slipped him in an area for him.”
Even right-back James Folkes unleashed an angled drive which drew another save from Dennison, who dived swiftly low to his left to prevent the ball nestling into the bottom corner of his net.
When asked what was said during the half-time interval, Moore revealed: “Be professional, show you’re the higher team, don’t be sloppy, don’t take liberties because no matter what the score is Ascot deserve a hell of a lot of respect for getting to this round and one spot kick away from beating us!
“We said don’t take liberties with them, keep moving that ball and eventually we’ll get more chances.”
Ascot United enjoyed a spell of possession during the early stages of the second half. Their two-goal hero on Sunday, striker Charlie Samuels, drove a shot that deflected off Jack Parter and went behind for a corner.
Right-back Jack Smille swung in the corner from the right and Britnall rose to send his header over the crossbar.
Tonbridge Angels won 23 corners against Ascot’s five over the two games, such was their dominance.
But Tonbridge Angels built-up well down the left to add their fourth goal in the 55th minute.
Blewden played a throw short to Parter, the pair exchanged passes as Ascot sat back and Parter played a low pass inside to Allen, who was given time and space to drill his right-footed drive into the bottom left-hand corner from 30-yards.
Moore said: “If we move the ball side-to-side quickly it stretches teams and if it stretches teams to go and press wide there will be more space in the middle and that will be the case. Into Luke, a great, strike, bottom corner.
“He’s a fantastic prospect. Being an ex-midfielder myself, I think the boy’s got everything. What he’s got to eradicate from his game is maybe having a couple of extra touches when he doesn’t need to but I think he’s shown this season his athleticism and his eye for goal and we’re reaping the rewards.”
Allen then drove a similar shot flashing past the same post before Phipp entered the fray and striker Blewden should have scored his first goal of the season on the hour-mark.
Classy Phipp sprayed the ball out wide to Wheeler, who whipped in an inch-perfect cross but Blewden glanced his header across goal and past the far post.
Blewden cut the ball back to Wheeler, who teed up Allen, who hit his first time shot over the crossbar from a central position on the edge of the penalty area.
Fortum-Tomlinson issued Ascot a warning when he dragged his shot past the foot of the far post from the right-hand side of the Ascot penalty area.
But the winger added Tonbridge Angels’ fifth goal in the 66th minute.
Phipp cut open Ascot’s defence to put Fortnum-Tomlinson in down the right, he cut inside and stroked his left-footed drive into the bottom corner.
“I think that was about Brad’s first touch, I thought his first touch was superb,” said Moore.
“He knocked it out three or four yards in front of him and like last year at Grays, he scored a lot of goals from a wide position. It was a great finish!”
Sunday’s villain turned hero, Di-Bernardo, made a routine catch in the 69th minute tonight, comfortably catching Britnall’s looping header after a cross from right-back Smille.
Ascot United’s difficult night grew even more difficult when diminutive referee Damith Bandara had no option but to show Britnall a straight red-card after his two-footed lunge on Allen.
Moore said: “Luke’s had a heavy touch, luckily he didn’t go in for the tackle with the player and it might have well been frustration from the centre half because he wasn’t horrible. None of their players were vindictive or kicking people. He probably just had a rush of blood, frustration and I think he knew what was happening afterwards.”
Tonbridge Angels added a sixth goal when Scannell swung in a corner from the right which was helped in by Dennison at the far post.
“Own goal, definitely, yes definitely,” added Moore.
“I felt for the keeper because of the first half performance, a couple of saves and it was just a little bit too hard for him and spilled in the net.”
A dominant Tonbridge Angels side created further chances but Scannell and Phipp flashed low drive wide before Phipp scored the record breaking seventh goal with 46:04 on the clock.
Allen was fouled by Smille and Phipp curled his free-kick over the wall, the ball nestling into the bottom left-hand corner to score with the last kick of the game.
“The boys are over the moon as well as the staff and the fans. It’s nearly a year to the day when he done his knee. He’s been desperate to get back. He’s had a couple of minor, minor set-backs but you saw when he comes on he’s got that bit of class about him,” hailed Moore.
“All our midfield three are out-and-out midfielders, Tom Parkinson, Luke Allen and Tom Phipp and you’re not going to get three midfielders as good as them in this league. We was over the moon when he put that one in the net.”
Moore offered some kind words on Ascot over the two games as their best ever FA Cup run came to an end after beating Milton United (2-0), Didcot Town (4-3) and coming so close to grabbing all the FA Cup headlines with a shock win on Sunday.
“I don’t think Tony really had anything to do (tonight). He came and punched a couple that were in the box but out and out saves I don’t really remember him having a shot in the whole game. That’s credit to Jerrome (Sobers), who’s come back in and Sonny who had to move to left-side centre half.
“Ascot made us very, very welcome on Sunday, they conducted themselves in a superb way. They said to us in the bar after Sunday, one of their staff said ‘sometimes you only get one chance’. Luckily for us we turned up tonight and upped it a little bit. They never gave up, even at the end and they deserve all the respect.”
Tonbridge Angels: Anthony Di-Bernardo, James Folkes, Jack Parter, Tom Parkinson (Tom Phipp 59), Jerrome Sobers, Sonny Miles, Damien Scannell, Luke Allen, Nathan Elder (Tashi-Jay Kwayie 68), Luke Blewden, Nick Wheeler (Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson 64).
Subs: Tommy Whitnell, Stewart Copeland
Goals: Jesse Wilson 12 (own goal), Nathan Elder 22, Damien Scannell 39, Luke Allen 55, Bradley Fortnum-Tomlinson 66, Carl Dennison 84 (own goal), Tom Phipp 90
Booked: Jerrome Sobers 77, Tom Phipp 80
Ascot United: Carl Dennison, Jack Smille, Steve Deverall, Ryan Britnall, Jesse Wilson, Theo Jones (James Smith 74), Thomas Hedges (Samir Regragui 65), Paul Coyne, Charlie Samuels, Ben Knight, Luke Wilson (Gavin Brainch 83).
Subs: James Brazier, Remi Meyers, Jeff Lamb
Booked: Charlie Samuels 31, Paul Coyne 73
Sent Off: Ryan Britnall 80
Referee: Mr Damith Bandara (Horsham, West Sussex)
Assistants: Mr Harry Wager (Tunbridge Wells) & Mr Simon Cutler (Sheerness)
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