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Oxford City 5
Ashby (13', 20'), O'Donkor (60'), Iaciofano (82'), Clark (90')
0 Tonbridge Angels
The Velocity Stadium, Oxford City

Angels suffer comprehensive defeat at Oxford City

It was always going to be a tough fixture with The Hoops challenging for a play off place or even better, but despite that Angels travelled in good heart with Boss, Steve McKimm going for an adventurous line up with a 3-5-2 formation.  

New signing Teddy Perkins from Welling United, skipper Sonny Miles and Tommy Parkinson made up the back three. Central midfield comprised Tom Beere, Adam Lovatt and James Taylor while Jamie Fielding and Craig Braham-Barrett provided the width. Finally Adam Coombes and Tommy Wood were the two strikers with Aaron Smith-Joseph dropping to the bench.

The opening minutes saw Oxford City have most of the possession but without creating any clear cut chances.   On 7 minutes the hosts did manage to penetrate the Angels defence but without success and on 9 minutes  a Tom Beere free kick saw Tommy Wood launch a strong header but it was straight at Dudzinski in the Oxford goal.

One minute later came arguably the defining moment of the whole game.  Angels goalkeeper Jonny Henly was shown a straight red card  for handling outside his area. With no replacement goalkeeper on the bench, outfield player Jamie Fielding bravely volunteered to take the jersey and played a large part in at least keeping the deficit down to something approaching respectable levels.  

Unfortunately Fielding’s first action as stand in goalkeeper was to pick the ball out of the net following Josh Ashby’s exquisite free kick and a similar scenario was to occur six minutes later when the same player displayed excellent technique to double the advantage for the hosts.

To Angels credit they kept the score line deficit to just the two goals at the break but the second half saw a good Hoops side help themselves to three further goals against a tiring Angels side who it must be said never threw in the towel.   Understandably there were not many Angels raids into the Oxford final third but on 69 minutes there was a half chance for Tommy Wood as the ball ran loose in the hosts goal area and then in the 84th minute there was strong and apparent valid claim for a handball by Oxford in their area, but the referee didn't agree.  It wouldn't have changed the result of course, but the decision typified a miserable afternoon for the visitors.       

Asked about the lack of a substitute goalkeeper on the bench McKimm explained that his son Toby who has often taken that role had been offered the opportunity of a dual registration at Isthmian Premier Merstham and he had been required at Moatside that afternoon. “In hindsight of course we needed him here but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Last week I put a substitute on the field, Tommy Wood, and he sews up the game for us, this week I’m beating myself up for not having a sub keeper. I have to take it on the chin  We’ll go away, lick our wounds and look forward to entertaining Braintree at Longmead next Saturday.”

The defeat drops Angels to 18th in the table while Oxford City remain in 3rd, handily placed for an assault on the play offs.

Published Saturday 5th March 2022 (last updated Sunday 6th March 2022)