Angels dent Hamlet’s title hopes
By Jim Rowe
Akrofi and Bantick strikes secure the points
Angels have made a huge impact on the destiny of the Bostik Premier title by inflicting a 2-1 defeat over Dulwich Hamlet at Imperial Fields, Mitcham.
There was no fluke about the win. This was a totally deserved victory as they engineered a game plan that managed to frustrate their hosts and repeatedly forced them into blind alleys. Angels attacking play was more ruthless and fluid and often had a nervous looking Dulwich back line back peddling. As well as the Tonbridge outfield players performed when you have a goalkeeper in Jonny Henly who made two or three outstanding saves then there will be a confidence about the defence and a belief that once you have a foothold you will be able to see the game out.
The first 10 minutes saw the Angels starting quite brightly without really creating any clear cut chances. Dulwich did improve and to be fair probably enjoyed their best period during the middle of the half but Tonbridge stood tall survived the onslaught and started to put some moves of their own together.
On 40 minutes Alex Akrofi went on a mazy run deep into the Dulwich final third. It appeared he may have gone too far to the left but he unleashed a glorious shot that seemed to bemuse Dulwich’s Amadou Tangara with the ball ending up in the far corner of the net. Just when the Angels supporters were asking the referee to blow for half time their side went and doubled the lead. With Akrofi and Nathan Elder both involved in the build up, Joe Turner saw his header hit the post with Sam Bantick quickest to react knocking the rebound just over the line.
The second half pattern saw Dulwich with most of the possession but Angels defending magnificently and always looking threatening on the break. Despite using all their substitutes, Hamlet simply couldn’t find a way through until it was too late. Eventually deep in stoppage time they forced the ball past Henly but time simply ran out on them and they were left to rue a result that may have ended their title aspirations.
Afterwards, Coach Justin Luchford said: “We asked for a response following an indifferent performance against Tooting & Mitcham here last Saturday and we certainly got one. The team played for each other and were always ready to help out a colleague and I think that made the difference. Overall I think we shaded it and deserved the win. If only we could be more consistent who knows where we could have been in the table at this stage of the season.”