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Hemel Hempstead Town 4
3 Tonbridge Angels
Perkins (31'), Taylor (54', 86')
James Taylor scores his second in Hemel Hempstead (4) v Angels (3) 26.03.22. Dave Couldridge

Angels second best in seven goal thriller

Angels became architects of their own downfall when they dropped a precious point at Hemel Hempstead Town deep in stoppage time.  Having come back on level terms no less than three times, a decision deep in stoppage time to pass the ball around in their own half rather than clear upfield when they had the chance was to cost them dear.  

It was a game full of incident with seven goals, two red cards for the hosts, a saved penalty by Henly and a melee involving practically every player on the pitch.  

Within four minutes the Angels fell behind when they failed to deal with a dangerous Hemel Hempstead attack,  Foneku applying the finishing touch.  There was more pressure from the hosts in the ensuing 10 minutes but gradually Angels started to come more into the game forcing nearly an own goal from a Tudors defender and then on 21 minutes a clever back heel from Coombes that almost put Wood in.  

There followed more pressure from Hemel Hempstead with Foneku nearly in but Henly quick off his line and then Castiglione’s cross took a defection and Henly again in action clawing the ball away to safety.  There then came a three minute spell which arguably was to change the complexion of the game.  

Hemel were awarded a penalty for handball by Craig Braham-Barrett which Henly saved and then immediately following a Tom Beere free kick saw Hemel fail to clear their lines with Teddy Perkins allowed to score his first goal for the club.  

Unfortunately for Tonbridge they were to fall behindd for the second time with a well worked attack in which they hit the woodwork with Foneku claiming his second goal from the rebound. 

The Angels finished the half the stronger with a succession of corners and other set pieces but still went in for the break the one goal adrift.

There had been a decent cross from Joe Turner which Craig Braham-Barrett couldn’t quite reach at the far post but on 54 minutes James Taylor produced an extraordinary 30 yarder that completely deceived Tudors keeper Craig King and ended up in the back of the net to draw the Angels level once more.  

A minute later with the visitors tails up Turner saw his effort crash against the post with the ball luckily rebounding to keeperKing. 

James Taylor was becoming more influential making some terrific runs deep into Tudors territory and at that point there was even a feeling that the visitors might take all the points. It wasn’t to be as on 73 minutes Hemel Hempstead got their noses in front again with a relatively straightforward header. 

On 85 minutes Fasanmade saw red for a second bookable offence and Angels took full advantage of the numerical difference with Taylor getting his second a minute later sweeping in Beere’s corner.  Surely Angels would see this one out to at least take a share of the points but it wasn’t to be as Chris Paul took advantage of some sloppy defending by the visitors to win the game. 

Just before that crucial strike there had been a ‘handbags’ incident just in front of the Hemel goal with a yellow card shown to a Hemel player and even after the final goal there was an Angels free kick just outside the Hemel penalty area which their wall successfully repulsed and another red card for the hosts. You couldn’t take your eyes off the action for a second. A good match for Non-League Day? Well yes if you were a neutral or a Tudors supporter but certainly not if you were following the team in yellow! 

Afterwards, Angels Boss, Steve McKimm said: “I’m devastated at the manner in which we have lost today.  We’ve scored three away from home and we shouldn’t be losing the game.  All the goals conceded by us were avoidable in my opinion but obviously I’ll be having a look at them.  We need to put this result behind us and prepare for Welling United next Saturday.  Very pleased for James Taylor and Teddy Perkins scoring their first goals for the club.” 

Published Saturday 26th March 2022