It was a worrying moment for Angels supporters when in the 16th minute they were witnessing Tom Beere being stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. It is however sometimes the case that in times of adversity players will come together to overcome the odds that appear to be stacked against them. Wide midfielder Joe Turner took over Beere’s role having to play a much more defensive position than he’s used and Adem Ramadan came off the bench to go to the left wing position and caused problems for the hosts all afternoon.
But the afternoon for Tonbridge wasn’t just about those two players by any means. Every man in a blue shirt plus the one in the keeper’s jersey contributed to a decisive win at a place with a slope, a bobbly pitch and noisy supporters that sent a message to the rest of the league that their challenge for a playoff place is more than credible.
Angels did have the better of the first half and in particular Chinedu McKenzie will have been frustrated during that first 45 minutes with three good chances falling to the ex-Haringey Borough man.
All the time it was goalless Whitehawk periodically did provide some threat but in truth there was only one real moment of panic for the Angels when former Tonbridge player Henry Muggeridge flighted a free kick which eluded the visitors defenders and glanced past the back post for a goal kick in first half stoppage time.
Any frustration or concern felt by the visitors during the break was immediately dispelled as the second period got underway. Central defender Sonny Miles who lost his marker placed a firm header from Turner’s corner past Melvin Minter in the Hawks goal and following that breakthrough Angels never looked back.
On 66 minutes Jack Parter took a free kick which was expertly headed by Arthur Lee into the path of McKenzie; following his frustrations of the first period he was in no mood to miss out on scoring the Angels second goal. The 78th minute saw Turner’s corner neatly converted by Tom Derry for the Angels third goal and the same player was on hand to make it four for the visitors when he latched on to Ramadan’s blocked effort in stoppage time.
As usual the Angels defence was in uncompromising mood. Jonathan Henly had little to do but was on hand to pull off a terrific save from Nathaniel Pinney in stoppage time to gain himself a clean sheet for the fifth consecutive league game.