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Hampton & Richmond Borough 1
0 Tonbridge Angels

Heartbreak for 10 men Angels

It was heartbreak for the Angels who appeared to have done enough to have secured a hard won point against Hampton & Richmond Borough only to see their opponents grab a winning goal deep in stoppage time. 

The visitors had been forced to play over three quarters of the game with 10 men following the dismissal of midfielder Tommy Brewer for a rash challenge and whilst Tonbridge might have under the circumstances been satisfied to take a point in fact they had created chances to have perhaps even won the game. 

Steve McKimm had decided to drop Joe Turner to the bench with Jared Small and Khale Da Costa providing the width. Alex Bentley replaced James Folkes at right back due to injury, and Tommy Brewer took the holding midfield berth following completion of suspension. 

Little had happened in the game before that straight red card in the18th minute but it was soon followed by a half chance for the Angels through Khale Da Costa but his effort was weak and easy for Laurie Walker in the home goal. 

The visitors continued to look the better side with in the 27th minute Jack Rudoni and Jack Parter combining well with Parter able to reach the bye line but his cross was too near Walker. 

A free kick for Hampton in the 39th minute flashed across the visitors goal but no home player was able to apply the finishing touch. As the half came to an end there was some good pressure from Tonbridge but it ended with an attempted overhead kick from Da Costa that sailed over the bar. 

At the other end Danilo Orsi-Dadomo spurned a decent chance which was followed by another wasted opportunity for Beavers Jefferson Louis. 

At half time Steve McKimm decided to replace Jared Small with Joe Turner

It was however Hampton that made the stronger start with chances for Jake Gray and Ryan Hill but it was all building up to an extraordinary spell of pressure around the hour mark from the hosts during which the Tonbridge woodwork was hit and Angels keeper Jonny Henly made an extraordinary sequence of point blank saves. 

Whilst Hampton continued to see more of the ball with their man advantage it seemed that Tonbridge had ridden the worst of the storm. In fact they missed a glorious chance in the 63rd minute when a Da Costa cross was headed just wide of the post by the unmarked Turner. On 66 minutes Turner played in fellow substitute Tom Derry for another Angels chance and then in the 85th minute the same duo again linked up with Derry seeing his effort crash against the the base of the Hampton post. 

Of course the home side continued to exert plenty of pressure and there was still much work for the Tonbridge defence to carry out but it seemed as if they would be able to see out the game without their goal being breached. 

The Angels first corner of the game in the 89th minute saw Turner again involved but his header looped away for a goal kick. 

As the game entered stoppage time yet another Hampton attack was repulsed by the hard working Angels defenders and suddenly the break was on with Derry leading the charge. Should he have run the ball to the corner and possibly ensure a precious point, or gone on to attempt to score and perhaps win the game for Tonbridge? He chose the latter option, was dispossessed and Hampton were on the attack again. With maybe a couple of Angels players just slightly out of position a cross from the right was bundled over the line by Sam Deadfield and the game was won for Hampton. 

Afterwards, Steve McKimm said: “I asked for much more effort after last Saturday and I certainly got that from the players. But once again we’ve missed chances and switched off at the vital moment. Of course the sending off made a difference and I have to say it appeared at first glance to be the correct decision although I will look at the video.”

Published Saturday 28th September 2019