Angels fall to early FA Cup exit
The Angels unfortunate relationship with the FA Cup continued this afternoon in Berkshire as they were swept aside by Isthmian League South Central side Binfield who produced a powerful second half display scoring four times without reply.
For a variety of reasons, manager Jay Saunders had 13 players unavailable, leaving him with two Academy players in his starting line-up, Josh McArthur making his first team debut with another three taking their places on the bench.
In a rustic setting, on a pitch that was in desperate need of a lawn mower, the scene was set for an upset but no Tonbridge supporter present could have expected the second half performance that led to an embarrassing defeat.
Binfield opened the half on the front foot with Sean Moore forcing Jonny Henly into an early save with the Binfield captain also wasting a golden opportunity after 16 minutes when he shot over. In between, Tonbridge’s only effort of the opening half was a Lewis Gard shot that was well saved by Chris Grace, low to his right.
The Angels had an early chance in the second period when TQ Addy shot into the side netting but it was Binfield that went ahead after 58 minutes when Moore latched onto a loose ball, 20 yards from goal, curling a shot into the far corner.
Grace excelled to turn over the bar a Miles header after Swift had headed on a corner but once Johnny Efedje’s header from a corner doubled Binfield’s advantage after 72 minutes, there was only going to be one winner.
Lewis Peg’s corner sailed over the head of Henly and into the far corner for the third goal with 10 minutes remaining and in the last minute of time added, Brad Pagliaroli had an acre of space in the penalty area to compound the Angels agony.
Jay Saunders offered his apologies to the travelling support in his post-match interview commenting: “A lot of lads let themselves, the club and me down. Full credit to Binfield, but in 13 years of management that is one of the worst performances from my sides.”
The manager will be hoping that several of his senior players are available for selection for next week’s trip to Cheshunt in a return to National South action.