Football: Tonbridge Angels Ladies star Mackley sees off mighty Herne Bay

Football: Tonbridge Angels Ladies star Mackley sees off mighty Herne Bay
ANGELS DELIGHT: Tonbridge celebrate Becky Mackley's winning goal PHOTO: David Couldridge

Tonbridge Angels Ladies clung on to their 18-month unbeaten record at home with an excellent win over Herne Bay.

The visitors arrived at Hadlow with ten successive wins under their belts as undisputed leaders of Division One East.

But Tonbridge stifled the opposition with a workmanlike display of ‘winning ugly’.

The first half was a cagey affair and the clearest chance came when Herne Bay’s captain Kate Foster started a counter-attack and released top scorer Lauren Harris, but her effort hit the foot of the post and bounced away to safety.

The home side struggled to produce any clear-cut chances and were pleased to go in at half-time with the match all square.

Tonbridge began the second half in the same vein but managed to find another gear as the game finally began to open up a little.

A clear chance arrived for the home side when Becky Mackley found herself clear with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the latter saved well at her near post.

From the resulting corner, Becky Janes picked up possession and laid a pass off to Mackley on the 18-yard line.

Her left-footed chip was lifted well out of the reach of the goalkeeper to give her side the lead.

Having the advantage only served to strengthen the resolve of the Angels, who continued to keep the visitors on a tight leash.

Herne Bay were restricted to one golden chance with a shot heading for the top corner but goalkeeper Sam Wright managed to tip it over the bar.

Tonbridge were now looking dangerous on the counter-attack, with Janes unfortunate to see a shot palmed onto the post by the goalkeeper.

Janes then broke down the right and delivered a cross which narrowly eluded the unmarked Megan Akehurst.

The hosts’ lead was not seriously threatened as the Angels closed out the match.

Manager Dan Couldridge was in buoyant mood, saying: “We’ve deservedly beaten the top two teams in consecutive games [after also defeating Ashford] and this team has earned the right to celebrate that.

“We always enjoy the big occasion so we will look to treat every game like a cup final as this outstanding season continues.”

The Ladies now face Bexhill United Reserves at Hadlow College in the SECWFL Chairman’s Cup on Sunday [December 2, kick-off 1.30pm].

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