Angels win away to Chelmsford City at last
How do you quickly get over a 7-0 mauling in the FA Cup? After just two days go to somewhere, in this case Chelmsford, where you haven't won since 1951 and claim a victory that restores confidence throughout the team and the club.
It wasn't perhaps the best of fixtures to face with little time to recover from Saturday's defeat to Bradford City but in football you have to get on with it and it was gratifying to see the players simply carry on with their jobs, dig deep and carve out a win which they fully deserved for their courage and sheer dogged persistence.
Angels Boss, Steve McKimm, shuffled his pack and it certainly worked. In came James Folkes, Rian Bray, Khale Da Costa, and Tom Beere while Sonny Miles who took a slight knock on Saturday, Alex Akrofi,Ben Greenhalgh and Jack Parter reverted to the bench.
Tonbridge were ahead after just nine minutes. A corner taken by Da Costa saw stand in skipper Tom Parkinson playing his first ever National South game climb the highest to place the ball firmly beyond the reach of ex Angel keeper Lee Worgan. Some pressure from the hosts followed but the conclusion was a shot from Daniel Imray that went over the bar.
Angels were again on the offensive around the 20 minute mark with a chance for Beere and a wicked cross from Da Costa which could only be dealt with by conceding a corner. The hosts were however starting to assert themselves with a Tom Wraight effort easily dealt with by Angels keeper Jonny Henly but then Henly again in action this time a point blank save to keep his side in front. Clarets Adam Little should have done much better on 31 minutes with an inviting cross from another ex Angel, Alex Teniola. Concern for the Angels came when centre back Arthur Lee was stretchered off just before half time but with Parkinson going into defence and Ben Greenhalgh coming into midfield, the Tonbridge equilibrium was maintained.
Chelmsford came out for the 2nd half full of determination and on 54 minutes saves from Henly and then Beere off the line saw the latter collect a pass from Da Costa and running with the ball into the Chelmsford half. Despite having two defenders in attendance the Angels midfielder got his shot away which eluded Worgan and ended in the back of the Clarets net. It was a fine strike by the ex AFC Wimbledon player and was to seal victory for the visitors.
There was more defensive work for the Angels to carry out including a goal line clearance from Bray, but in truth it was the visitors who were creating the more clear cut chances. Da Costa, Tommy Wood, and Joe Turner.all had opportunities to make the game completely safe but in the end the two goals proved to be enough.
This was a fine victory for Tonbridge with everyone playing significant roles in the win. Rian Bray who had been dropped for the last two matches perhaps had a point to prove to his manager and was a close contender for man of the match but it was Tom Beere who had that accolade as judged by the Angels supporters who were watching the live stream back in Kent. In reality of course there were 14 men of the match out there.
McKimm said afterwards: "The players had something to prove after Saturday and were determined to give themselves a chance this evening. We've come to a difficult place and beaten a good Chelmsford side by following instructions and keeping concentration. Everyone including subs deserved this win."