Invicta's second half comeback leaves Angels pointless
By Wink Tomkinson
Three goals in nine minutes condemns the Angels to defeat
Tonbridge Angels failed to serve up any festive cheer for their travelling support as they slipped to defeat at Folkestone Invicta after going into the break a goal to the good.
Tonbridge’s wretched luck with injuries continued with Alex Akrofi failing a late fitness test and his strike partner Nathan Elder picking up a hamstring injury and needing to be substituted after just 15 minutes.
With Akrofi missing, into the side came Dan Thompson and Sam Bantick took his place in starting 11 with Dan Bennett dropping to the bench.
After a quiet opening ten minutes, it was the visitors who took the lead a minute later. Joe Turner won a challenge on the right of midfield and fed the ball forward to Bantick whose through ball sent Thompson clear on goal to slot the ball past Tim Roberts in the Invicta goal.
Elder’s substitution proved pivotal to the game. Following his departure, the ball failed to stick in the final third resulting in continuous pressure from the home side.
Jonny Henly made saves from Ian Draycott and the impressive Ade Yusuff before making a desperate stop in first half time-added with Sonny Miles completing the clearance.
Early in the half, Yusuff was allowed to run from midfield before firing in a shot that Henly dealt with comfortably.
But it was the writing on the wall and after 58 minutes the hosts were level when, once again, Scott Heard was allowed to cut in, unchallenged, from the right before shooting past Henly and into the bottom corner.
It was the start of a disastrous nine minutes for the Angels. After 65 minutes, Yusuff cut in from the right hand side and fired in a low shot between Henly and his near post from an acute angle to put Folkestone in front.
Two minutes later it became an uphill task for Tonbridge as a clearance from Henly struck Draycott with the rebound rolling into the unguarded net. It might be said that the scoreline was no more than Folkestone deserved but it was a cruel blow.
With Tonbridge barely threatening in the final third they were desperately holding on to save a heavier defeat. Henly saved from Yusuff and Hasler before Thompson steered a header wide from Turner for the Angels’ only effort of the second half, this coming in the first minute of added time.
Barry Moore said after the game: "I'm extremely disappointed. I thought we looked solid first half. We said (at half time) don't drop off but we didn't keep the ball well enough going forward."
Steve McKimm will be crossing fingers and toes that his front two are available for Saturday’s trip to Brightlingsea Regent.
Report Wink Tomkinson, picture Michael William Page