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AFC Hornchurch 0
2 Tonbridge Angels
Read (45' pen, 90')

Two goal Read gives Angels the points

If Angels are destined to achieve end of season glory of some kind then they will look back on matches like these where the foundations of success were laid. It was a workmanlike win rather than spectacular but it would have been difficult to achieve anything more on a pitch that for mid-October was poor to say the least.

The visitors withstood the early enthusiasm of the Urchins a period during which ex Angel George Purcell twice went close including hitting the woodwork while a home free kick presented a chance to Jordan Clark.

Tonbridge were now however starting to get their passing game into gear typified by a glorious move involving Joe Turner, Adem Ramadan and Tommy Whitnell whose on target shot was blocked for a corner by a desperate Hornchurch boot.

It proved to be the prelude to a fine spell of Angels dominance which saw Turner's cross reach Read with the striker able to turn in the box but his effort was just wide. Undaunted, the visitors continued to persevere and following another good spell of possession which saw the Urchins defence pulled this way and that, eventually a frustrated defender tripped Read as he burst through and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. In spite of Callum Chafer guessing the right way, Read’s shot was accurate and nestled in the corner of the goal to give the Angels a vital half time lead.

Despite the efforts of the home side to get back into the match during the second period, their play was far too predictable with the use of the long ball and the well organised Angels defence dealt with everything which meant that Jonathan Henly had a very easy afternoon.

In truth there was little goalmouth action at either end although on 70 minutes Jack Parter’s cross flashed across the Hornchurch goalmouth and a couple of minutes later a decent Tonbridge move ended with Turner’s shot hit straight at Chaffer. Turner was involved again on 75 minutes with his free kick forcing Chaffer to make a good tip over.

If the second half has been somewhat lacklustre it was at least lit up by a fine Tonbridge second goal. In the 90th minute substitute Jared Small ran 60yds down the right flank and his pin point cross met the head of Read for his brace and the game was safe for the visitors.

Afterwards, Angels boss, Steve McKimm said: “We knew about the pitch and we knew how Hornchurch would play and we dealt with their initial threat very well. Second half I thought we were comfortable and I don’t think they seriously threatened our goal.”

Published Thursday 18th April 2019