Tonbridge Angels 4-4 Leatherhead - Match Report
A point gained, or two lost?
It would have been an age-old debate that would have gone on in the bar until closing time. A point gained, or two lost?
On an absolutely filthy night, two sides produced a match that was thrilling for the paying spectator but would have left the respective managers tearing their hair out which probably accounts for Steve McKimm’s after-match comment that it was a “disappointing game in which nobody took responsibility especially in the first half. They did in the second half exactly what I asked them to do in the first and, lo and behold, we scored goals. But we got a point from 3-1 down; they gave me a good reaction.”
Jimmy Bullard, the Leatherhead boss was always an entertainer as a player and his side certainly gave their small travelling support value for money in the first period.
Tonbridge were ahead with only four minutes on the clock. Nick Wheeler swung in a wicked cross from the left into the area of uncertainty for any goalkeeper; it begged a touch but as no one managed that, the ball sailed serenely on its path to nestle into the far corner of the net.
The home side was undone after 12 minutes when a long punt through the middle was misjudged allowing Daniel Carr, their on-loan striker from Dulwich Hamlet, to run on and slip the ball past the advancing Anthony Di Bernardo.
The visitors continued to take the game to their hosts and it came as little surprise when they took the lead after 34 minutes, albeit with a fluke cross from Kadell Daniel, who looked as surprised as anybody, as his misplaced effort looped over Di Bernardo.
On the stroke of the break, the Tanners went into the dry of the dressing room with a third goal to their credit as Ty Smith was allowed far too much time and space to curl a low shot into the far corner.
McKimm certainly engendered a reaction from his side with the deficit being reduced to a single goal just four minutes after the restart. Tom Phipp skipped a couple of challenges before producing an exquisite lob from 20 yards that left Louis Wells helpless.
Tonbridge were on level terms after 70 minutes when Tom Parkinson literally nicked the ball from the toes of a couple of defenders before standing up the perfect cross for Nathan Elder to head home.
Six minutes later the comeback was complete when Jack Parter started and finished a move with a toe poke past Wells who had dived at his feet. Bullard took exception to the goal, claiming it was taken from the hands of his goalkeeper and was sent from the dug-out for his protestations.
Unfortunately, the comeback was not quite complete and, within two minutes, Leatherhead were back on terms with a similar goal to the Angels’ opener. Smith swung in a cross-turned-shot from the left that evaded a box full of bodies to find the far corner of the net.
The closing stages saw Di Bernardo saving from Carr to preserve the point.
Point gained, two lost? That’s for you to decide.
Wink Tomkinson, rain sodden notebook, Longmead Stadium.