Tonbridge Angels F.C

Angels edged out in five goal thriller

The 608 attendance would have been thoroughly entertained by a game which produced a first minute goal, a further three in the first half, a missed penalty and two ‘skirmishes’ between the players in the second half.

Angels were looking to reverse a humiliating 5-1 defeat in October at Longmead – and the fans had barely taken their seats when Angels took the lead. Suarez won an early free-kick in the 1st minute. Rory Hill’s free-kick was delivered well into the box and it was met by the head of Suarez who rose above the Farnborough keeper Bradshaw to nod the ball into the net. The goal was timed at 37 seconds.

Farnborough came back strongly and Judge’s absence from the back four was plain to see. They fired a warning shot after five minutes when Charles and Ciardini (both making their home debuts) linked well and Ciardini’s shot was well saved by Lee Worgan.

But then Browning, Captain for the game in replacement of Judge, missed a sitter. Suarez flicked on a cross from Hill and Browning just had to apply the finish but he fired over.

Angels were made to pay when Farnborough equalised in the 12th minute. The lively Charles got on the end of a flick-on and he had plenty of time and space to finish past Worgan.

Then followed a sustained period of pressure by Farnborough, Worgan denying Bennett and then tipping a header over from the resulting corner. But the pressure finally told in the 16th minute when a corner by Page was headed in by Farnborough Captain Jeffrey.

Angels fought back in the next few minutes with Benjamin causing the Farnborough defence problems. In the 22nd minute he went on a run but his shot lacked power and was easy for Bradshaw. Three minutes later Suarez released Piper who hesitated and the moment was lost. In the 27th minute, Benjamin beat his man on the right hand side and flashed the ball across goal but there was noone there to meet it.

At the other end T.Olorunda, who struggled all afternoon, was caught in possession, but Ciardini wasted his shot.

After 34 mins, Benjamin went on an amazing solo run and his looped shot was flapped away by Bradshaw.

In the 38th minute, Worgan kept his team in the game with a sublime save from an overhead kick by Page. Five minutes later Worgan again was there to deny a Charles shot.

However, the Angels deficiencies in defence were again highlighted when Farnborough extended their lead, again from a corner. In first half stoppage time, a Bennett corner was headed in by Page.

Angels performance in the second half was much improved and they deserved to get something from the game. They had the lions share of the possession but couldn’t add the finishing touch. Finally Angels’ pressure told in the 70th minute when Benjamin sliced the Farnborough defence open and Hill was on hand to coolly finish past Bradshaw.

Angels continued to push for the equaliser and they were handed a lifeline in the 77th minute when Suarez was adjudged to have been bundled over and Walder, in the absence of the normal penalty taker Frannie Collin, stepped up. Walder struck it well to Bradshaw’s right but the keeper dived and made a marvellous save.

Jon Main was introduced to the action in the 81st minute in place of Benjamin and he had a great chance to equalise in the 85th minute when Hill’s long ball found him but once again Bradshaw was there to get a hand to it and the ball looped agonisingly onto the top of the net.

The game became rather heated in the last ten minutes and there were two flashpoints which caused two separate melees involving a number of players. Browning, Miles and Walder were booked for the Angels and Winn for Farnborough, although Browning could easily have been sent off for what looked like a two-footed challenge.

Angels huffed and puffed in the remaining minutes but no equaliser came and they were left to reflect on what might have been if they had scored the penalty.

Teams

Angels - Worgan, Walder, Heath, Browning (Capt), Olorunda.T, Miles, Hill, Piper, Benjamin, Suarez, Koranteng

Subs - Main, Beecroft, Kember, Crimmen, Hagan

Farnborough - Bradshaw, Smith, Treacher, Orlu, Jeffrey (Capt), Bygrave, Bennett, Winn, Charles, Ciardini, Page

Subs - Ferguson, Moody, Webb, Cobb, Tokarczyk

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