Football: Mighty Mackley and Tonbridge Angels run Maidstone ragged

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DOUBLE TROUBLE: Becky Janes closes in on her second goal PHOTO: David Couldridge

TONBRIDGE ANGELS Ladies moved back into the top three in Division One East of the South East Counties League with a convincing 4-1 win at home to rivals Maidstone United.

The Stones came out on top in all four meetings last season as they completed the treble.

They were runners-up at this level last year and arrived at Hadlow unbeaten in the league.

However, the Angels showed how far they have progressed since then with a display of strength and pace which quickly dismantled the visitors.

Becky Mackley set the tone when she hit the post early on. She made amends in the 10th minute with a cool finish into the bottom corner.

Mackley caused all sorts of problems for the visitors and on 13 minutes Lauryn Underhill on the right wing crossed for Mackley to head home and leave a shell-shocked Maidstone 2-0 down.

As half-time approached, Mackley played in Janes whose flicked effort was seemingly parried into the net by the visiting goalkeeper.

The referee did not award a goal, even after the Maidstone linesman had confirmed that the ball crossed the line.

Just before the whistle blew, Gemma Sullivan shrugged off a challenge from Sharon Lyons and put the ball past Sam Wright to reduce arrears.

Tonbridge kept up the pressure in the second half and Janes finally found the net on the hour.

Underhill supplied another perfect cross from the right and Janes made no mistake.

She doubled her tally on 77 minutes, scoring from a one-on-one after a good through ball from Mackley, to wrap up a fine win for the Angels.

But there was room for more controversy when the referee awarded a penalty in injury time.

Visiting captain Beth Kemp stepped up to take the spot kick but it was well saved by Wright.

Manager Dan Couldridge was delighted with his team’s efforts. “We were well prepared for this match both tactically and mentally, and the great work that [assistant coach] Reece Catt is putting in on the training pitch is really starting to come to light in matches.

“The team are playing with no fear, they will enjoy this win tonight and then look forward to the next challenge.”

Tonbridge now visit Ashford in the League Cup on Sunday [November 4, kick-off 1.30pm].

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