Angels depart FA Trophy
The thought of a 2nd round FA Trophy tie away to Yeovil Town in January failed to lift the Angels from their continued awayday blues as they fell to a well organized Hampton & Richmond Borough at the Beveree by conceding two goals without reply. They weren't outplayed or overrun and made Hampton work hard at times but the simple truth is the hosts will have harder assignments on their fixture list.
Its a difficult moment for Angels Boss Steve McKimm as he sees his side with no wins away from Longmead this campaign and a paltry total of two points on the road with five goals scored, two of them penalties. With three away fixtures coming up over the Holiday period all against 'big' sides, Hemel Hempstead, Dartford, and Maidstone Utd something has to change otherwise his side could well find themselves locked into a desperate battle against relegation come the New Year. To add to his and the team's disappointment there was the sight of holding midfielder Christ Tiehi being stretchered off with an ankle injury in the dying seconds of the game.
As on last Saturday, the Angels fell behind early following a mistake by Rian Bray appealing in vain for an offside flag that never came. His moment of hesitation allowed Danilo Orsi-Dadomo to run on to a through ball, dribble round Jonny Henly and fire into an empty net from an acute angle. There were just eight minutes on the clock.
There were half chances for Tom Derry and D'Sean Theobalds restored to starting place in the midfield and on 33 minutes the best opportunity for Angels when it seemed easier for Derry to score from a fine cross from Khale Da Costa but it was always Hampton who looked the likelier to score. Right on the stroke of half time there was a decent appeal for an Angels penalty but the referee waved it away.
A couple of free kicks for Tonbridge in dangerous areas early in the second half might and perhaps should have yielded more profit but the well organsed Hampton defence dealt with the danger. A goal for The Beavers around the hour mark was to give them the safety net they desired and they never really looked like yielding that winning position unlike the previous Saturday. A cross from the right was only half cleared, the hosts re-cycled the ball and it reached Ruaridh Donaldson who was given far too much room. His low shot was well placed finding that precious area between Henly and his left hand post and Tonbridge despite kicking down the slope had a proverbial mountain to climb.
Hampton could have put the game to bed with two very good chances but Angels kept going with De Costa blazing over when well placed while Joe Turner was just wide with a low shot. Almost on 90 minutes the Hampton goal seemed to gape wide open but no one in a blue shirt could take advantage and that was pretty much it with the Beavers already thinking about ordering coaches for their trip to Yeovil.
Few Angels players can emerge with too much credit although Sonny Miles continued to organize his defence to frustrate the opposition while Joe Turner battled away on the left flank as if his life depended on it. The central midfield engine room of Harry Donovan, Tiehi and Theobalds never really got going with Donovan probably affected by an early yellow card and Theobalds' with much on his mind just now as he ponders on his footballing future. Derry toiled up front but was well marshalled by the home defence with skipper and centre back Charlie Wassmer back from suspension the main organizer.
Yes its an old cliché but Angels can now concentrate on the league and for sure they certainly need to.