Angels First Team - Match centre

Hendon
Tonbridge Angels
Full time
N Elder (68'), A McCollin (86')
Sat 1 Apr 15:00 - The Ryman Football League - Premier Division Attendance 264

Vital win for Angels

Back up to 4th after McCollin's strike seals three points

Seven days is a long time in football and if last Saturdays encounter with Harlow Town produced a poor display then the effort the Angels put in today away at Hendon was in sharp contrast. Not that the hosts made it easy and why would they. The Greens are facing their first ever relegation in their long and illustrious history and this was a huge game for them as well as the Angels who were desperate to get back in the play off mix.

The 2-1 win for Tonbridge was just about deserved over the 90 minutes but it was a close run thing with the winner coming seven minutes from time.

New loan signing Vas Karagiannis went straight into the starting line up on the right flank while Alex Akrofi partnered Nathan Elder up front. The defence was unchanged from the Harlow game and in midfield Nicky Wheeler was left wing, Luke Allen centre and Damian Scannell in the holding role.

Tonbridge made the worst possible start going behind after just 14 minutes. The referee had no hesitation in making a penalty award for what appeared to be a push and Matt Ball made no mistake from the spot sending keeper Jonny Henly the wrong way.

On 18 minutes Karagiannis forced a good save from Hendon keeper Tom Lovelock round the post and from the resulting corner Sonny Miles unmarked at the back post had a clear sight of goal but he drove his effort into the side netting.

Tonbridge enjoyed a good spell of pressure around the half hour mark which concluded with the unmarked Nathan Elder facing goal with the ball but a saving tackle from a Hendon defender preserved their one goal advantage.

The 35th minute saw a brilliant run from Nicky Wheeler whose cross deserved a better outcome although the clearance was to fall to Scannell whose cross also was somehow smuggled away by the Hendon defence.

A heart stopping moment for the Angels came in the 37th minute when Khale da Costa's run and pull back was met by Kezie Ibe only for Henly to pull off a smart save. Four minutes later another excellent cross from Wheeler was well defended by Hendon and on the stroke of half time Allen's free kick was inches over the host's crossbar.

Almost from the kick off Dave Diedhiou almost managed to double Hendon's advantage but was foiled by Henly while a minute later it was Akrofi's turn to worry the hosts forcing a good save from Lovelock.

As the half progressed the wing play of Wheeler and Karagiannis was beginning to stretch the Hendon defence and with Scannell protecting the back line the Angels were starting to control proceedings. Chances fell to Karagiannis, Akrofi and Miles and it was perhaps not too much of a surprise when that Tonbridge equaliser eventually came in the 68th minute with Karagiannis's low cross diverted past Lovelock by the Angels leading scorer, Elder.

With a draw not much use to either side it was now very much game on. Reis Stanislaus for Hendon saw his shot just clear the bar while in the 77th minute Luke Blewden played Andre McCollin into a dangerous position with his shot agonisingly wide from a Tonbridge point of view. Luke Blewden had a chance himself two minutes later with a set up from Jack Parter, and then immediately after that Marcel Barrington for Hendon after a good run down the left created the space for the shot and which Henly was able to deal with.

The winning goal came in the 86th minute when Tonbridge substitutes, Blewden, and Dan Thompson combined for another substitute McCollin to poke the ball past Lovelock and just over the line. The visitors were able to fashion further chances for Thompson and Wheeler while Barrington tested Henly again at the other end but finally referee Neal Templey blew the whistle for the last time to mark the end of a hard fought game.

Afterwards, Angels manager Steve McKimm said: "All the players have done well today, they've worked hard, kept their concentration and constantly pressed the play. Vas has got through 90 minutes which is excellent and he's going to be important to us in the last few games. We shall train hard midweek and then we have Havant next Saturday which is a huge game for both clubs. I'm looking forward to it."

The win sees the Angels climb from 6th to 4th and back in a play off slot. Whilst Bognor and Havant battle it out for the title, eight other clubs including Tonbridge are playing for the remaining three play off places. It looks like being a very exciting and nail biting finale.

Key moments

68:00
Goal Nathan Elder scores for Tonbridge Angels
86:00
Goal Andre McCollin scores for Tonbridge Angels

Highlights

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90:00 Player of the Match
Damian Scannell is awarded player of the match for Tonbridge Angels
86:00 Goal 0 - 2
Andre McCollin scores for Tonbridge Angels
86:00 Assist
Dan Thompson makes an assist for Tonbridge Angels
83:00 Sub Off
Nathan Elder is substituted off for Tonbridge Angels
83:00 Sub On
Dan Thompson is substituted on for Tonbridge Angels
71:00 Yellow Card
Mitchell Nelson is yellow carded for Tonbridge Angels
68:00 Goal 0 - 1
Nathan Elder scores for Tonbridge Angels
68:00 Assist
Vas Karagiannis makes an assist for Tonbridge Angels
68:00 Sub Off
Luke Allen is substituted off for Tonbridge Angels
68:00 Sub On
Luke Blewden is substituted on for Tonbridge Angels
66:00 Sub Off
Alex Akrofi is substituted off for Tonbridge Angels
66:00 Sub On
Andre McCollin is substituted on for Tonbridge Angels
59:00 Yellow Card
Sonny Miles is yellow carded for Tonbridge Angels
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Hendon
  • Tonbridge Angels
  • 0
  • Sonny Miles Yellow Card 59:00'
  • Alex Akrofi Sub Off 66:00'
  • Andre McCollin Sub On 66:00'
  • Nathan Elder Goal 68:00'
  • Vas Karagiannis Assist 68:00'
  • Luke Allen Sub Off 68:00'
  • Luke Blewden Sub On 68:00'
  • Mitchell Nelson Yellow Card 71:00'
  • Nathan Elder Sub Off 83:00'
  • Dan Thompson Sub On 83:00'
  • Andre McCollin Goal 86:00'
  • Dan Thompson Assist 86:00'
  • Damian Scannell Player of the Match 90:00'

Team selection

Henly, Jonathan Henly, Jonathan
Smith, Liam Smith, Liam
Parter, Jack Parter, Jack
Nelson, Mitchell Nelson, Mitchell
Miles, Sonny Miles, Sonny
Scannell, Damian Scannell, Damian
Karagiannis, Vas Karagiannis, Vas
Allen, Luke Allen, Luke
Wheeler, Nick Wheeler, Nick
Elder, Nathan Elder, Nathan
Akrofi, Alex Akrofi, Alex

League round up

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Havant & Waterlooville 46 94
2. Bognor Regis Town 46 92
3. Dulwich Hamlet 46 80
4. Enfield Town 46 76
5. Wingate & Finchley 46 75
6. Tonbridge Angels 46 74
7. Leiston 46 73

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