Angels at the double
Elder header proves the difference
The home side came out deserved winners despite having to rely on just the one goal to claim all the points and a double over their Suffolk visitors. Lowestoft offered very little up front and rode their luck at the back to keep the scoreline from their point of view at a respectable level.[/b]
Using the more familiar 4-4-2 formation, Angels boss, Steve McKimm, selected Nick Wheeler and Damian Scannell as the wide men with Luke Blewden and Nathan Elder the strike force. Tom Phipp was preferred to Luke Allen in midfield while Udo Udoji displaced James Folkes at right back. There was to be no starting place for new signing Dan Thompson from Burgess Hill although the striker was to get a 15 minute run out in the closing stages.
That single goal came in the 8th minute following good work by Nick Wheeler on the left flank whose cross was then converted by Nathan Eder with an accurate header past Jake Jessup the Trawler Boys keeper. It has been a familiar goalscoring partnership this season but if the cross is delivered in the right area and the movement is good defenders continue to have difficulty dealing with the outcome. There was a palpable sense of relief around the team in blue and indeed the whole ground when Elder's header hit the back of the net. The Angels leading scorer had by his own high standards been in something of a goal drought.
It was Tonbridge who continued to play the better football mainly through working the ball skilfully to both wings and then putting the Lowestoft defence under pressure with accurate crossing. Chances came for Luke Blewden, Elder and Tom Phipp but they couldn't add to the goal tally.
The second half was much the same story with the Angels always looking the likelier to add to the scoreline. Elder's spectacular bicycle kick in the 54th minute was just wide, a Phipp volley on 77 minutes and a Tom Parkinson header eight minutes later were typical of the home side's dominance.
Despite the Tonbridge pressure, as the match reached a conclusion Lowestoft did attempt to salvage something with Rory McAuley heading straight at Anthony Di Bernardo in the Tonbridge goal in the 85th minute. In stoppage time Di Bernardo was favourite to claim a through ball but somehow misjudged his block momentarily giving Lowestoft hope of a late strike but the Tonbridge defence were quick to back up their missing keeper and the chance for the visitors was gone. The home side were to hold on for three valuable points to take them into 5th place.
Afterwards, Angels Assistant Manager, Barry Moore agreed that his team should have perhaps won by more but nevertheless had played some good football and created plenty of chances. "It was great to see Nathan end his goal drought and you could see how delighted the other players were for him. There were some other good performances and I thought our back line was superb, never giving Lowestoft any genuine chances."