Angels lose at Harlow
Out performed by hosts
The Angels put in a lack lustre performance and could have few complaints in losing 1-0 to a mid table Harlow side who out muscled their visitors in all areas and at times played some good football. Despite being on top for much of the game the hosts could have ended up sharing the points by not taking their chances but that would have been undeserved.
It was a quiet opening to the match with neither side able to build any real momentum. After five minutes Anthony Di Bernardo had to be alert to deal with a cross cum shot from Mario Noto cutting in from the left followed six minutes later by an Alex Reid shot but again Di Bernardo was equal to the task.
The first glimmer of hope for the visitors resulted from a Luke Blewden long throw in the 15th minute that was flicked on by Nathan Elder with the ball eventually finding its way to Mitchell Nelson whose shot was well wide of the goal.
As the game progressed Noto became an increasingly influential figure. In the 22nd minute he was almost through but an alert Tom Parkinson just about managed to cut out the danger.
Nick Wheeler who by his own high standards had a disappointing game and was substituted early in the second half did manage to get a cross in on 29 minutes but it was diverted for a corner which then failed to beat the first defender.
It was no surprise when Harlow took the lead in the 32nd minute. That man Noto fed Junior Dadson who calmly placed the ball past Di Bernardo and saw his shot hit the post and into the goal.
Although there was a chance with Mitchell Nelson's header cleared off the line on 36 minutes, Harlow at this point should have cemented their lead with chances falling to Jared Small and Alex Read but they were all spurned. Angels again had the chance to level things on half time through another Nelson header that was cleared off the line.
Tonbridge came out early for the second half no doubt with some words of advice from the coaches ringing in their ears, but if supporters were then expecting an improvement on their team's performance they were to be disappointed.
Alex Reid in the 48th minute had a chance to double the hosts lead but his shot was from a tight angle and it flashed across the goalmouth with nobody available to apply the finishing touch.
The game then became something of a midfield battle with Harlow having the better of it but unable to convert that supremacy into real goal chances. However on 68 minutes Jared Small was put through by playmaker Noto with Di Bernardo quick off his line to cut out the chance.
With the game moving into the last 15 minutes, Tonbridge suddenly realised they needed to apply the pressure. Of note was a chance for substitute, Tom Phipp on 77 minutes who was now providing a bit more bite in midfield. Within the next three minutes further chances fell to Elder, Alex Akrofi, and another for Phipp. If only the Angels had shown this much effort earlier in the game.
Following a 'handbags' incident in front of the dugouts which saw substituted Nelson and Harlow substitute Syrus Gordon both cautioned, there was one more chance deep in stoppage time for the away side through Luke Allen's goalbound shot, but it hit a Harlow defender's leg and ran out for a corner.
Afterwards, Angels boss, Steve McKimm conceded it had been a poor performance from his team. "We had them watched twice, knew their strengths and weaknesses and gave the appropriate instructions to players including tracking their runners which with regard to the goal they failed to do. If they don't take those instructions on board then they risk losing the game. We can't win the championship now, but we can still make the playoffs with the number of matches we have left to play. I'm not going to make excuses about injuries. Today simply wasn't good enough."