Angels shine under the lights
Tonbridge took an important three points in their derby match against Dartford in a fine performance that made the visitors look ordinary despite having some experienced players in their line up. Angels Boss Steve McKimm went for a three man central midfield with D’Sean Theobalds and Joe Turner given licence to support the lone striker Ade Yusuff while Tommy Brewer was in the holding position. Khale Da Costa and Jared Small provided the width and it has to be said it was a formation that worked very well. All through the game the home side were able to work the ball quickly out of defence and build up a series of attacks that constantly stretched the Dartford defenders.
The Angels enjoyed much the better of the first half and for the first 10 minutes were totally dominant with Yusuff having two good chances to open the scoring in the 12th and 14th minutes. Just as Dartford were starting to exert some pressure or rather have some possession another fast moving Tonbridge attack saw Yusuff tackled from behind in the area. Despite missing a spot kick on Saturday up stepped Turner to confidently dispatch the penalty to give the Angels a deserved lead in the 27th minute.
A temporary lull in the Tonbridge attacks saw a Dartford effort force a good save out of Jonny Henly in the 32nd minute but the Angels were soon back on the offensive with Sonny Miles a whisker away from doubling the lead following yet another Angels corner. Somewhat against the run of play Dartford managed an equaliser in the 43rd minute when Tonbridge failed to deal properly with a rare Dartford corner and the ball was eventually forced in.
Angels were not to be denied a half time lead however as Small made one of his breaks down the right flank and with the perfect cross there was Turner who really needed just a tap in to restore the lead.
There was a double substitution at half time for the Darts but it made little difference to the overall pattern of play with the home side continuing to look the more dangerous. Six minutes into the half D’Sean Theobalds threaded a fine pass through to Da Costa but the wingers effort was just wide. Just past the hour mark Theobalds himself tried his luck this time forcing a good save from Dartford goalkeeper Mark Smith. On 69 minutes Small again outwitted the Dartford defence to send in a glorious cross which would have just needed a touch and four minutes after that James Folkes repeated the trick but again no Tonbridge player could provide that tap in that would have made the scoreline just a little more secure.
Arguably Angels needed that security as following a foul that earned Miles a booking the resultant free kick for Dartford just outside the area saw the visitors equalise in the 75th minute through Charlie Sheringham with the help of some indifferent marking. There followed a five minute spell when Dartford started to assert themselves and perhaps might have been looking for an unlikely win.
The Angels backed by their passionate supporters were simply not ,going to allow all their good work go to waste and once again took control of proceedings. The only question was would they have to settle for the draw or could they get the win they deserved. Yusuff had a chance on 79 minutes but the shot lacked power and Smith was able to scramble across his line to make the save.
Finally Tonbridge claimed the winner they had deserved through the outstanding Theobalds wriggling his way past Dartford defenders and putting a short cross for substitute Tom Derry to hit the Angels third goal in the 85th minute and send the home supporters into wild celebrations. Deep in stoppage time Turner had a shot from the edge of the area brilliantly saved by Smith.
Afterwards Assistant Manager Barry Moore said: “I thought we absolutely deserved the three points tonight. We moved the ball quickly, our passing was good and we dug in when we had to. I’m delighted for the boys with everyone playing their part.”