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Chelmsford City 1
Trotter (90')
0 Tonbridge Angels
Tommie Fagg goes close

Angels unbeaten run comes to an end

Angels saw their unbeaten run come to an end in the cruellest fashion with a winner for Chelmsford City scored in the 2nd minute of stoppage time.   The game had appeared to be petering out for a 0-0 draw when a controversial free kick was awarded to the hosts for a foul that to many had appeared to be a fair tackle.  There was a coming together of players with various yellow cards flourished and the match was restarted with that free kick from which Chelmsford were to score the only goal of the game.

Assistant Manager, Tommy Parkinson made a rare start together with Tommie Fagg,  while Lewis Gard dropped to the bench and Tariq Hinds was ruled out with a hamstring problem. 

In truth for a fixture involving two sides who were on the fringes of the play off zone, it was a desperately disappointing affair with the ball spending a lot of time in the air, with misplaced passes and aimless clearances. 

From a Tonbridge point of view, the first half did see them create perhaps the better clear cut chances. Leading Angels scorer Jordan Greenidge did cause some problems for the Chelmsford defence meeting Joe Turner's crosses but the big chance came for Tommie Fagg on the half hour mark with a header at the back post from Craig Braham-Barrett's cross which if its an inch the other way its a goal.  In these kinds of games with chances at a premium those have to be taken. In the 42nd minute Ben Swift did have a shot which was just wide of the Chelmsford goal but that pretty much summed it up for the first 45 minutes from a Tonbridge point of view .    

Chelmsford for their part did force a couple of saves from Jonny Henly but they were saves you would expect him to make.   

If the first half was unremarkable, then the second half was poor from both sides.  Chelmsford did have the majority of possession but couldn't  open up the Tonbridge defence while the visitors were only able to make the occasional stuttering foray into their hosts final third.  Angels only managed to muster  one decent shot at their opponents  goal which came from Devonte Aransibia and that went over the bar. .  There seemed a reluctance to make any substitutions for the visitors - maybe Angels Boss Jay Saunders having seen the state of the pitch and assessed that way the game was going decided to keep his bench largely intact on the basis of settling for the draw.  Eventually Lewis Gard was brought on replacing Aransibia in the 84th minute but it made little difference. 

In all honesty it is likely the majority of Angels fans would have walked away reasonably happy with a point but the loss of all three points so late in the game made it an instantly forgettable evening in Essex. 

Afterwards Saunders said : "It certainly wasn't a great game and I'm not sure either side deserved much out of it.  To lose it right at the end was frustrating to say the least but we will dust ourselves down and prepare for our trip to Bath City this coming Saturday."     

Photo: Ian Clear.  Tommie Fagg goes close with a first half header.              .              


Published Tuesday 21st February 2023