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|MUSH Kent Youth League
Under 18 Central Division
|Mark Ritson reports from Culverden Stadium
|Tunbridge Wells U18
Wells enjoy feel good factor at Culverden Stadium
On a bright morning, the Wells continued from where they left off from last week's away win at Lordswood, with a hard fought victory over a physical Bearsted side.
Captain, Richard Heath, went back into defence alongside Tom Shenton and Tom Snowdon, whilst Daniel Burnett started in goal.
In a scrappy first half, both sides had chances to open the scoring. James Clements, who had an outstanding game on the left last week, nearly scored after 10 minutes after he was played in, but his shot went across goal.
Dan Totman knew he was in for a tough game, trying to out-pace the quick centre-back, running onto some through balls but to no avail.
Neither side made the 'keepers work as it was more of a midfield battle, with Luke Molineux and Ashleigh Plaskett trying to break down any attack through the middle with some good challenges.
In the second half, the Wells came out much better and put pressure on Bearsted early on, with Robin Cooper working well with James Stewart-Smith down the right, whilst Shenton and Heath cleared any danger with ease.
Totman signalled to bench after 5 minutes of the re-start that he couldn't continue due to an injury from the first half and Josh Snook came on to replace him.
Snook partnered Jamie Jeffery up front and instantly won aerial challenges for players to run onto.
After 55 minutes, the Wells deservedly took the lead through some excellent passing and movement. Robin Cooper found space on the right and played a lovely ball down the wing for Snook to run onto, who beat his marker and delivered a delightful cross to the back post for the oncoming Jeffery to plant a powerful header past the 'keeper to grab his second goal in as many games.
The game livened up and Wells put the Bearsted defence on the back foot when Clements went down the left on a powerful run, but was tackled just as he was about to pull the trigger.
But credit to the away side, who came back at the Wells with some long balls over the top, but were limited to long range shots.
The most significant part of the game came in the 75th minute when a Bearsted player found space on the edge of the 18-yard box, who played a neat one-two before curling a low shot which was heading towards the bottom right corner, but Burnett pulled off a magnificent save to keep the Wells in the match.
Bearsted then piled on the pressure and won a succession of corners inside the last 10 minutes. They could have equalised when their player produced a rasping shot on the edge of the box which just went over the bar by inches.
As the game was coming to an end, a total of 8 minutes was added on for injury time, something which baffled the Wells management.
However, with two minutes remaining, Bearsted won a corner, which was swung in with pace but the impressive Burnett claimed triumphantly.
The Wells hung on for all 3 points and after two games, are joint-top of the league. With players returning from injury, the Wells squad looks to become even stronger as they prepare to play a tough away game against Ramsgate on Sunday 19th.
With the first team also doing well in the Go Travel Kent League, there is certainly a feel good factor at Culverden Stadium at the moment.
Tunbridge Wells: Burnett, Heath (c), Shenton, Snowdon, Cooper, Clements, Plaskett (Ventura), Molineux, Stewart-Smith, Jeffery, Totman (Snook). Subs: Pett, Tincombe.
Man of the Match: Daniel Burnett