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Tonbridge Angels 1
Parter (89')
0 Concord Rangers

Points on the board!

An 89th minute header from the unlikeliest of sources secured Tonbridge Angels first points of the season, sending the majority of the 476 attendance home with a smile on their faces.

Sonny Miles, free from suspension, returned to the side with a man of the match performance and it was no coincidence that the first clean sheet of the campaign was attained.

Steve McKimm also restored Tommy Brewer to the side after missing Saturday’s game at Dorking through injury.

Joel Nouble had the first opportunity of the game but fired over before the Angels tested Concord goalkeeper Chris Haigh to the full when Joe Turner’s header from Tommie Hession-Harris was turned past the post diving low to his left.

The game tightened up through the first half but Jared Small’s pace was causing the visitor’s back line concern and a cross across the face of goal after 31 minutes just begged a touch.

A lack of the rub of the green has become a recurring theme of the opening games and it seemed the luck wasn’t with Tonbridge once more as Hession-Harris’ shot crashed against the crossbar after 38 minutes.

A fantastic run by D’Sean Theobalds, reminiscent of his super play-off goal, was only brought to an end with a saving block and the mere reward this time of a corner.

Concord started the second period on the front foot forcing a corner from which David Olufemi shot well wide.

Tonbridge quickly found their first half rhythm with Small continuing to concern the Concord defence flashing another cross that evaded everyone and followed this with a cross to the head of Tom Derry on the back post that drifted wide.

Decarrey Sheriff, who had been fleet of foot all evening, fired in a shot that was comfortably dealt with by Myles Roberts, whose confidence has grown game by game since his arrival.

The Angels hearts went slightly in their mouths just past the hour when Nouble went down in the box but the referee decided it was simulation and duly showed the yellow card.

Successive corners eventually saw Miles steer a header wide followed by McKimm ringing the changes with Small making way for Khale Da Costa and Chinedu McKenzie on for Tom Derry.

The Angels support, magnificent throughout, were once more cursing their luck when, after 79 minutes, Theobalds beat three players but saw his shot hit the bar and bounce away off the line.

Just when minds were edging towards accepting a point and getting something on the board, after concerted pressure, Turner swung a ball into the box and there was Jack Parter, left back and not exactly the tallest, to rise and glance a header past Haigh for an 89th minute winner.

A naturally delighted Steve McKimm was nonetheless pragmatic emphasising how important it was to get something out of this game with three difficult games to follow. “We are delighted that we got all three” he said “they haven’t won their first three games for nothing, we knew how good they are, but we kept going.”

Published Wednesday 14th August 2019