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Brightlingsea Regent 0
2 Tonbridge Angels
Read (32'), Small (89')

Angels go six points clear at the top

Even Angels boss, Steve McKimm had to admit that his team have currently hit a rich vein of form and “long may it continue”. McKimm is wise enough to know that good form may not last for ever and that there will be arguably stronger opponents than Brightlingsea Regent but for now he and his players will enjoy sitting on top of Bostik Premier with a six point lead and September not even over.

This Angels side is looking so strong with an ironclad defence, a creative midfield and a strike force capable of popping up with goals; everyone appears to understand their roles within the 4-4-1-1 formation that McKimm wants them to play.

In today’s game while Regent put in a huge amount of effort, technically managing to keep the game alive until the 89th minute, once Tonbridge had got their noses in front the hosts never looked likely to take any genuine control.

Efforts for the Angels from Adem Ramadan, Tommy Whitnell and Joe Turner in opening half hour were simply a prelude to what occurred in the 34th minute. The ever willing Jack Parter fed Turner wide on the left who cut past two Brightlingsea defenders before executing a brilliant pass to Alex Read; the in form striker proceeded to place the ball smartly past James Bradbrook in the hosts goal to put the Angels 1-0 up.

Chances continued to fall the way of Tonbridge but there was no further score during the half due in no small measure to the efforts of Bradbrook whose saves were keeping Brightlingsea in with a chance. There had been just one moment of concern for the visiting defence when in the 25th minute Matt Baxter managed to overcome the offside trap but his shot brought forth a great save from Jonny Henly.

The second period opened with Tonbridge continuing to do the majority of pressing including a cross from Read to the unmarked Turner whose shot skied over the bar. Perhaps Brightlingsea’s best moment of the half came in the 52nd minute. For once the home forward line had managed to disrupt the Angels back line forcing a goalbound shot towards an unguarded net when from nowhere Arthur Lee came to head dramatically off the line. There followed a Regent corner with a header that forced a smart save from Henly down at his near post.

That was about as good as it got for Brightlingsea as Tonbridge saw the remainder of the half out relatively comfortably and always looked the likelier to score. This was indeed exactly what they did in the 89th minute when a pass from Turner through to substitute Jared Small saw the winger cut inside and unleash an unstoppable shot from 25 yards which even the reliable Bradbrook was unable to deal with.

Published Thursday 18th April 2019