Angels returned from the West Sussex Coast with a precious three points which saw them move up to 5th in the table with a game in hand on the teams around them. They had to work extremely hard to get the win which included steadying the ship after going behind during the middle of the first period but this side never know when they are beaten and from front to back they never allowed their opponents time on the ball.
The crowd had hardly had time to get their places in the stand or favourite spots on the terrace when the scoring opened. Twenty four seconds on the clock saw Jack Parter for the Angels seize on a loose ball on the left and swing in a cross that took a wicked deflection and ended up in the back of the net.
Brad Lethbridge for the Rocks was emerging as their potential danger man and he had a sighter on 8 minutes. On 16 minutes he did rather better having cut in from the left and his effort had goal written on it all the way. Just one minute later and Bognor were in front. Leading scorer Jimmy Muett operating in the right hand channel beat Angels keeper Jonny Henly with a low shot.
At this point it looked like it might be a long afternoon for the visitors but gradually they started to stifle their host’s attempts to play a passing game. On 29 minutes a Joe Turner cross reached Alex Read who had cleverly got between his two markers, and with Rocks keeper Dan Lincoln rooted to his line, was able to direct his header with pinpoint accuracy to level things up.
Goals breed confidence and for the remainder of the half the Angels looked the stronger side with chances falling to Adem Ramadan, Sonny Miles and Turner.
The second period began in much the same vein with Bognor unable to play their normal fluent football and the Angels always looking dangerous going forward.
On 55 minutes Tonbridge were awarded a free kick on the right and as the ball floated in there was a push on Miles with the referee pointing immediately to the spot. In truth it was a cheap penalty to concede but nonetheless Turner dispatched it with ruthless efficiency to put the Angels ahead for the second time in the game.
That was the way it stayed although Tonbridge had chances to make things even safer with Read, Chinedu McKenzie and Turner causing all sorts of problems for the Rocks defence.
For their part, Bognor did stage something of a late rally forcing a couple of decent saves from Henly but the Angels kept their concentration to see out the game.
Angels Assistant Manager Barry Moore said afterwards “We know how Bognor like to play by creating from the back and working the ball out wide so our plan was to nullify this threat as far as possible and I thought it largely worked. We brought Beero (Tom Beere) on for the last 10 minutes or so to help us get over the line to replace Adem who had worked his socks off. It was a terrific performance by everyone.”
Updated 20:38 - 19 Feb 2019 by Jim Rowe