Free gifts at the Market
By Jim Rowe
Angels defensive errors prove so costly
Once again this fixture provided plenty of goals but arguably three crucial Tonbridge defensive errors gifted the hosts a comfortable three points. With Tom Jelley unavailable due to illness, Liam Smith played at right back, while to give more pace and mobility up front Tashi-Jay Kwayie started in preference to Nathan Elder.
Needham Market went in front after just seven minutes when with their first serious attack they won a corner from which the Angels defence failed to pick up the movement of their opponents giving Luke Ingram the chance to strike home.
Angels then took a firm grip of proceedings with a series of 4 on target shots one of which forced a superb save from Needham custodian Danny Gay tipping over a deflected Sam Bantick effort. It seemed only a matter of time before the Angels would restore parity but it didn’t quite happen and conversely it was the hosts who went further ahead.
On 23 minutes a short clearance from Jonny Henly to Craig Stone saw the defenders pass easily intercepted with the ball passed out to the Marketmen’s John Sands who had the relatively easy task of beating a startled Henly at close range.
Despite the deficit the Angels continued to make most of the running which included a Tashi-Jay Kwayie effort on 44 minutes.
The second half started in much the same vein with a Joe Turner shot on the turn while Bantick hit the crossbar. Perhaps the best opportunity for Tonbridge came in the 58th minute when Alex Akrofi fed Kwayie whose effort was just over. Thirteen minutes later Angels substitute Nathan Elder’s knock down to Akrofi saw the striker’s effort blocked by Gay but no visiting player could take advantage.
Despite the Tonbridge pressure it was Needham Market who went further ahead when a dreadful mix up between Henly and his defence presented Adam Mills with an unguarded net; he couldn’t miss and didn’t.
With a three goal advantage the Marketmen started to play at last with the confidence a three goal lead at home deserved. It came as no surprise when they scored a fourth but the way it came was probably a mystery to all in the ground. A decent enough cross from the right into the Angels penalty area carried through to the left where Mills attempted to get the ball back into the danger area but instead to his amazement and all others his cross ended up in the back of the net.
Four goals down the Angels had nothing to lose, pushed up and went on to score two of their own - it was that kind of game. A Dan Thompson assist was poked home by Bantick in the 85th minute and two minutes later Turner potentially made it interesting with a shot from the edge of the area that Gay couldn’t hold. But it was too little too late for Tonbridge who had lost the game through individual defensive errors and a failure to take enough of the many chances they had created.
Picture :Chris Coolbear