Tashi strike lands all the points at Merstham
By Jim Rowe
.....and Angels defence rewarded with clean sheet
Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm was a happy man at the conclusion of this Bostik Premier encounter that saw his his team take all the points and keep a clean sheet. “I thought everyone did well today and followed their instructions against a good side in Merstham who pushed us all the way. It reminded me of the home game against them when there was only the one goal in it which of course went to them on that occasion.”
The away side had the stronger start with half chances falling to Alex Akrofi, Jack Parter and Sam Bantick within the first 12 minutes. On 14 minutes Merstham worked their first genuine opening when ex Angel Liam Harwood put Reece Hall through but the angle was too tight. On 19 minutes the always dangerous Charley Penney momentarily appeared to have outwitted the Angels defence but the ball seemed to hold up on the surface and the chance was gone.
There was a further chance for Penney on 28 minutes but the shot was weak and the follow up from Hall was blocked. A Tonbridge The 38th minute saw the Angels best chance of the half. A well constructed move saw Joe Turner slip the ball through to Bantick who was through on goal from the right but the effort was brilliantly blocked by Merstham keeper Ashlee Jones.
The first 15 minutes of the second period saw the hosts up their game and the Tonbridge defence having to work hard to keep the game goalless with Penney executing the miss of the match. The visitors however started to turn things around from the hour mark with some sustained pressure on the Merstham goal. The decisive moment come in the 71st minute when Akrofi chased down what looked like a lost cause, slipped the ball through to the unmarked substitute Tashi-Jay Kwayie who placed the ball smartly to the right of Jones to put the team in blue one up.
And that was the way it stayed despite Merstham predictably exerting some pressure but with Craig Stone protecting the back line quite brilliantly all game it was to prove a frustrating afternoon for the hosts.