Football: Folkes finds just reward for Tonbridge Angels

Turner's strike cancelled out by windy gust
Tonbridge Angels

Tonbridge Angels 1 Nottingham Forest U-23s 1

TONBRIDGE ANGELS signed off their pre-season with a creditable draw against Nottingham Forest Under-23s after staging a rousing second-half performance.

The youth team was brought to Longmead by the Forest Academy coach Gary Brazil, who retains a local connection having been born and brought up in Pembury.

The visitors included Greek international Apostolos Vellios, formerly of Everton, and Victor Sodeinde, a striker signed from Maidstone United earlier this year.

Both teams took advantage of a pristine surface to pass and move to great effect. Joe Turner saw an early effort deflected for a corner and Jonny Henly save with his feet from Vellios.

Nottingham Forest took the lead after 26 minutes when a cross evaded Jack Parter and Sonny Miles and found its way to Sodeinde, who shot into the far corner.

Tonbridge had the ball in the net on the half-hour when a free kick from Tom Beere was headed home but it was ruled out for offside.

Alex Read fired over the bar, Tom Parkinson’s effort was blocked and Turner was denied by a fine low stop by Jordan Wright.

The Angels started the second half on the front foot, and a far-post header by Arthur Lee was pushed to safety at the foot of his post by Wright.

The deserved equaliser came after 51 minutes when Turner crossed to the far post and James Folkes headed across goal into the far corner.

A rasping drive from 25 yards by Tommy Whitnell was tipped over as the hosts ended the game strongly but they could not find the winner.

The Angels travel to Merstham in their first Bostik League Premier game on Saturday [August 11] before the first home game against Lewes on Tuesday [August 14].

It’s like watching Brazil

Gary Brazil, who grew up in Tunbridge Wells, is the Academy manager at Nottingham Forest, and has acted as caretaker boss of the senior side on three occasions during managerial upheaval at the City Ground. The 55-year-old was in charge when Forest famously beat Arsenal 4-2 in the FA Cup third round in January. In a distinguished 18-year playing career he scored 160 goals in 658 games for Sheffield United, Preston North End, Newcastle United, Fulham and Barnet before cutting his managerial teeth at Notts County.

PICTURE: FAST LEARNER: New signing Adem Ramadan (in blue) shows his pace PHOTO: David Couldridge

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