Angels go through in FA Trophy
Angels are through to the 3rd Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Trophy but they were made to work hard at a windswept and wet Park Lane by Canvey Island of The Pitching In Isthmian North who had only tasted defeat once before in all competitions this season.
Despite the awful weather conditions, Angels generally looked the superior side and used the ball well in the final third setting up numerous chances but their current weakness of failing to take those chances threatened to perhaps cause an upset particularly as the game was scheduled to go to penalties should the scores have been level at 90 minutes.
Canvey Island can be pleased with the way they frustrated the Angels and indeed the visitors were very grateful to their goalkeeper Jonny Henly who made two exceptional saves as the clocked ticked down when it seemed certain that his net would bulge.
There was an early effort from Canvey’s Harrison Chatting that sailed over the bar but much of the action was taking place at the other end with chances falling to Tom Beere, Tommy Wood and Joe Turner. Around the 20 minute mark Evans Kouassi had a couple of sights of the Tonbridge goal but both efforts failed to find the target.
Tommy Wood works incredibly hard up front with his colleagues frequently finding him in good positions but he’s in a barren spell so far as actually scoring is concerned and so it proved again with at least four chances that he was unable to convert. His luck is bound to change.
On 32 minutes Chatting let go with a fierce shot from distance but it was relatively comfortable for Henly although if a Canvey player had been following up it might well have been more awkward for the Tonbridge stopper.
In the second half Angels had the wind in their favour, it made a huge difference and for the opening 20 minutes they were virtually camped in the Canvey half. It was during this period that the vital goal came in the 58th minute following good work from Aaron Smith-Joseph and Craig Braham-Barrett who unselfishly laid the ball off to Joe Turner who let fly from 15 yards and with the help of a slight deflection saw the ball beat Canvey keeper Bobby Mason.
At this point it seemed as if Angels would take complete control and score further goals such was their authority. Indeed they did get the ball in the net in the 64th minute but it was ruled out for offside.
Canvey did however manage to steady the ship and started to successfully play their way through the Angels midfield although chances were still limited due to the good work of the Angels defence well marshalled by Sonny Miles and Tom Parkinson.
The game was now far more even with in particular Canvey Island getting some joy on their left flank while the visitors continued to look dangerous through the midfield promptings of Tom Beere, Doug Loft and Joe Turner.
As the game entered the last five minutes Canvey Island were making a huge effort to get that elusive goal and draw the sides level. They were starting to get behind the Tonbridge defence and in those moments Jonny Henly was crucial to keeping his side in front with two fantastic point blank saves which saw the Angels safely into the hat for Monday’s draw.
Afterwards a delighted Angels Boss Steve McKimm said : “Very pleased with today’s performance in awful weather conditions. We watched Canvey midweek, they are well organised side and we knew it wouldn’t be easy but the boys have come through well but certainly indebted to Jonny at the end.”