Football: Tunbridge Wells Foresters Ladies turn over a new leaf

Scott Moran, Flo Anastasiou, Karli Povey, Rona Wignall, Kelly Moran, Becky Mackley, Courtney Smith, Megan Akehurst, Lauryn Underhill, Reece Catt; Becky Janes, Leanne Foster, Alex Weston, Helena Fothergill, Hollie Rabbitt, Sara Walker, Charlotte Coulter

Football: Tunbridge Wells Foresters Ladies turn over a new leaf

by Andy Tong | 29th May 2019

THE newly formed Tunbridge Wells Foresters Ladies’ team have started with emphatic wins in their first three friendlies – scoring 20 goals and conceding just one.

The women’s team was formed after a mass exodus of 21 players from Tonbridge Angels in March along with their coaches, manager Reece Catt and his assistant Scott Moran.

They hope to be allowed to compete in Division One of the South-East Counties Women’s League from the start of next season.

They won their first match away to Sevenoaks Town Ladies 6-0. Becky Mackley, whose form at Tonbridge saw her win a place in the county side, scored a hat-trick.

Becky Janes was unable to score from the penalty spot but there were further goals for Rona Wignall, Sara Walker and Jodie Coombes.

The Foresters’ first home game saw a demolition of Diamond United with the talented Mackley finding the net four more times.

'The new team is going extremely well, better than ever really, and things have really fallen into place for us'

The prolific Janes got on the scoresheet twice and there was a hat-trick for Walker and a goal for Lauryn Underhill.

The Ladies faced a sterner test at home to Bexhill United. They were 3-0 up at half-time thanks to strikes from Mackley, Karli Povey and Underhill.

But the second half was a much more even affair, with Bexhill hitting back after a spill by goalkeeper Helena Fothergill. But a deflection handed the hosts their fourth and gave them a comfortable cushion to see out the game.

Alex Weston, the Foresters centre-back, told the Times: “The new team is going extremely well, better than ever really, and things have really fallen into place for us.

“We have been very successful over the past few games and this is down to the hard graft put in at training.

“There has been a massive focus on our fitness and our work on and off the ball. We have concentrated a lot on playing out from the back, moving off the ball, creating triangles and playing the ball on the deck.”

She says the players have had a ‘fantastic’ reception since they arrived. “We have big respect and love for our management team, and also the club chairman and the board have been extremely supportive, which we are really grateful for.

'I noticed a couple of the younger girls come and watch us, all kitted up representing the club. It’s fantastic to see the support'

“We are all really happy with how we have just settled in and how keen and passionate they are about us. The chairman has been to watch all of our friendlies, and he is really promoting us to the other players and squads involved at the club.

“I noticed a couple of the younger girls come and watch us, all kitted up representing the club. It’s fantastic to see the support for ladies football from all levels.

She added: “We are all ex-Tonbridge players but we are always open to newcomers and encourage anyone to come down and have a couple of trials, it really is a great squad!

“We are looking for an experienced goalkeeper, and there have been conversations about a development squad, so we are looking to build up.”

Alex says the change of scene has proved hugely beneficial.

“I’d say the past few months of changes and events have made us closer as a group.

“The support from fellow players, and our new management team, has been amazing.

“We’ve got our spark back, our mojo and our laughter and it’s the best feeling ever stepping onto that pitch with some of your closest friends.”

Visit forestersfc.com/teams

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