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Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
1 Tonbridge Angels
Aransibia (74')
Devonte Aransibia (out of picture) scores the only goal of the game. Hampton 0 vs Angels 1 28.02.23.

Another win on the road for Angels

To save one penalty in a game is noteworthy enough but Angels keeper Jonny Henly denied Hampton twice from the spot and it will no doubt have the supporters reaching for the record books to try to find out whether or when that's been achieved before by a Tonbridge custodian.   Of course that feat was instrumental in helping the Angels take all the points but we shouldn't forget the contribution that Devonte Aransibia made in scoring the only goal of the game. 

The only change from the eleven that started at Bath City was Tommy Fagg in for Lewis Gard.

In the very first minute Joe Turner warmed the hands of Alan Julian in the Hampton goal and five minutes later there was strong appeal for handball in the Hampton area but nothing doing from the referee.  Although the Angels had made a reasonably solid start, with Hampton playing down the slope, their aerial threat soon came to fore and there were some anxious moments around the Tonbridge goal.  On the half hour mark Donaldson headed across goal and surely all a tap in was all that was required to open the scoring for the home side but the ball meekly crossed the line for a goal kick.   

With yet another Hampton attack around the 40th minute there was quite a scramble in the away area and eventually the referee blew for a penalty for the Beavers.  Up stepped Dan Wishart but Henly made a comfortable save and the visitors could breathe again. 

An on target shot from Fagg which Julian had to punch away on 13 minutes and a half chance for Jordan Greenidge on 25 minutes were, apart from those early Turner excursions, about the best moments going forward  in the first half for Tonbridge. 

The second half continued in much the same vein with Hampton seeing more of the ball and having the territorial advantage.  The route was very much get the ball out wide cross in and hope someone gets on the end of it.  It can work of course but when you have centre backs of the calibre of Jamie Fielding, Sonny Miles and Ben Swift defences can be difficult to break down.

Again, Tonbridge didn't open up their hosts defence too often but on 63 minutes there was an excellent run down the right wing from Marcel Elva-Fountaine who outpaced his marker but the cross in didn't quite reach its intended target and Hampton were able to clear their lines.  Nine minutes later the Beavers were not quite so fortunate.  There was a foul on Elva-Fountaine who had switched wings, Joe Turner took the kick delivering an excellent ball in and with the help of substitute and ex Hampton player Tommy Wood, Devonte Aransibia was on hand to place the ball past Julian.   

Could Angels hang on for the win or indeed increase their lead with a breakaway?  It seemed unlikely when Hampton were awarded a second penalty for what seemed a fairly innocuous challenge by Fagg.  Up stepped a different penalty taker for the home side, Adrian Clifton, but he had no better luck as once again Henly pulled off a save to frustrate the Beavers again.  

Tonbridge had only a few minutes to hold on to their lead and this they did by once again marshalling their defence to great effect.  It wasn't the prettiest of victories but at this stage of the season its the points that matter and it put Tonbridge just one place and one point outside the play off zone.

Afterwards, Saunders, said:  " We weren't at our best this evening but credit to all the lads we had to dig deep and when your keeper saves two penalties then you probably deserve to get something."       

Picture : Ian Clear. Devonte Aransibia (out of picture) scores the only goal of the game             


Published Wednesday 1st March 2023