No joy for Angels at Havant
Hawks always in control
The Angels can have few complaints at this loss to Havant & Waterloovile as for most of the afternoon they were second best to a side that used their experience and guile to take another vital step towards the league title, although Bognor Regis Town may have something to say about that. The visitors of course needed the points as much as the hosts to keep their play off hopes alive but for some strange reason their hearts didn't seem to be in it and they allowed themselves to be outmuscled in most areas of the pitch.
The fact that the game was still in doubt until the 83rd minute was more down to the Hawks failing to stamp their authority with goals rather than Tonbridge looking as if they might actually open their account. Angels boss Steve McKimm was honest enough after the game to admit he may have got the tactics slightly wrong by playing a diamond with Vas Karagiannis at the tip, Luke Allen right, Nick Wheeler left and Damian Scannell at the base.
On 21 minutes Wes Fogden for Havant had the goal at his mercy but his header hit the crossbar. It was only a temporary reprieve for the visitors as eight minutes later what appeared to be a slightly overhit free kick from the right was not dealt with by Angels keeper Jonny Henly or full back Ugo Udoji which gave Theo Lewis the relatively easy task of placing the ball into an empty net.
Chances came and went for Havant but on 42 minutes came a warning that the visitors weren't quite done when Andre McCollin launched a thunderbolt that Havant keeper Ryan Young did well to deal with. In truth it was an isolated moment for the visitors as the Hawks continued to dominate proceedings.
If Angels supporters were hoping for an improvement in their team's performance in the second half they were to be disappointed. Havant were largely running the game and creating the few chances that were on offer. Jason Prior missed a sitter on 57 minutes and Alfie Rutherford might have done better on 72 minutes with a shot that flashed just wide of the post.
By now Tom Phipp for the Angels had replaced Allen in midfiled and his passing range improved the look of the visitors but still no real chances were being created up front.
The almost inevitable 2nd goal for Havant which sealed their win eventually arrived in the 83rd minute. Henly made an excellent double save from a free kick just outside the area but with the ball running loose it was Wes Fogden who reacted quickest to smash the ball into the Tonbridge net and the points belonged to the hosts.
Perhaps the game's biggest talking point came with the dismissal of Jonny Henly on advice from an assistant for what is believed to be violent conduct. Video evidence will be crucial as to whether an appeal is launched. Udoji Donned the keepers jersey and was required to make one genuine save diverting a shot on to the post. At the other end Phipp provided Tonbridge's only real chance of the half with a curling free kick that deceived the Havant defence and would have needed only the slightest of touches to score. It would have only been a consolation on what was a disappointing afternoon for the Angels.
McKimm said afterwards: "Yes, we were second best this afternoon our passing wasn't good enough and we failed to put them under any real sustained pressure. There was a suspicion of offside with both their goals, but it's gone now. We will however have a long hard look at the video evidence with regard to Jonny's dismissal. In terms of the play offs, we have three more games to go and we will see where we are after the last of those games at home to Worthing.