Angels fail to reach play offs
Defeat at Folkestone is end of the road
Angels crashed out of play off contention with a surprisingly lack lustre performance at relegation threatened Folkestone Invicta. Take nothing away from the hosts who totally deserved their 1-0 win which while not ensuring safety certainly gives them a realistic chance of escaping the drop.
Tonbridge on the other hand were left reflecting on a season which at times promised much but in the end fizzled out with a feeling of distinct underachievement.
Folkestone could have been out of sight by half time. There were two chances for the home side within the first three minutes and then another on 7 minutes when ex Angel Joe Taylor somehow missed from three yards out.
It took until the 25th minute before the Angels managed to fashion any kind of realistic chance when Nick Wheeler had a dangerous run into the heart of the Invicta defence with the pull back to Vas Karagiannis whose effort was blocked. This was followed by chance for Alex Akrofi but the danger for Folkestone was cleared at the expense of a corner.
There were further Invicta chances through Taylor and Sam Hassler but the home side were not to be denied for too much longer. An attack down the left wing in the 40th minute provided a cross for full back Nat Blanks who had made a good run and although the shot was slightly misfit it was enough to beat Jonny Henly in the Angels goal.
Just on half time Alex Akrofi should have done better with a Karagiannis cross but the effort was inches wide.
As expected Tonbridge came out with more resolve in the second half and on 59 minutes Akrofi and Elder combined to force Folkestone keeper Tim Roberts's to smother the ball.
Perhaps the best moment for the Angels came on 68 minutes when Wheeler, substitute Dan Thompson and Elder almost forced an equaliser but the Folkestone defence were able to scramble the ball away. There followed around 10 minutes of decent Tonbridge pressure mainly through the promptings of Liam Smith but the Folkestone defence was well organised and constantly frustrated the Angels.
And that was pretty much that as Angels huffed and puffed but there was no genuine cutting edge and too much predictability with Folkestone able to deal comfortably with whatever was thrown at them.
The referee somewhat generously allowed 5 minutes of stoppage time but if he had given 10 minutes it would have made little difference - Tonbridge quite simply never looked like they would score and even if they had it was three points that was required not one.
And so a feeling of distinct anticlimax descended on the ranks of Tonbridge supporters who had turned out in numbers to cheer their team on. It was the Invicta fans singing at the end as they saw the home side take a significant step towards safety.
In fairness the Angels failure to reach the playoffs has been coming for some time. Since the end of February, performances have been patchy with only two league wins and both of those by just the single goal. In fact the form in that period has been more of a relegation nature rather than a play off campaign.
Afterwards a bitterly disappointed Angels boss Steve McKimm said: "Yes it was another poor performance today. They wanted it more than us and only two or three players can emerge with any credit. It's true that some of our strongest players are out injured but I expected more from the players. I admit I've made mistakes along the line but our dressing room isn't as strong as last season. Inevitably there will be changes and I'm already thinking about those changes."