Angels dig deep to win at Hungerford
Angels won all the points in West Berkshire which puts them just three points of the play offs with four successive home league games to come.
It was a disjointed opening 10 minutes as both teams failed to gain any real fluency.
On 11 minute Kyle Bailey for the hosts got a shot away that was not too far off target and then 8 minutes later Ryan Jones forced a good save from Angels Jonny Henly. At this point Hungerford were slightly the better side but on 18 minutes Damon Golding showed the way for Angels with a sumptuous cross although no one could take advantage.
There followed a gilt edged chance for Tonbridge on 24 minutes when a Craig Braham-Barrett cross should have been headed home by the unmarked Jordan Greenidge but instead landed tamely in the arms of Crusaders keeper Jed Ward.
There were further chances for the visitors through Gard and Golding and eventually the threatened goal arrived. A well delivered corner Lewis Gard corner was headed home by the unmarked Aransibia at the back post on 36 minutes.
With Hungerford playing down the famous or should it be infamous slope, it was clear that Tonbridge would be facing a defensive test particularly with their hosts chasing the game.
Right from the off there was an acrobatic effort from Nico Muir. On 56 minutes Henly was forced into an excellent save and on 74 minutes perhaps Hungerford’s best chance when a pull back came to the unmarked Jake Evans whose shot was just wide of the left hand post with Henly motionless.
Angels could have made the game safe on 79 minutes when after fine work by Hinds on the right wing, Golding fluffed his lines when it seemed easier to at least to hit the target. It was rare foray by the visitors into their hosts final third.
As Hungerford piled on the pressure, Henly was forced into two more fine saves while their back line blocked, headed or intercepted everything that was thrown at them. Frustration boiled over in the Crusaders ranks in stoppage time when the referee was forced to stop the game due to a suspected head injury to Sonny Miles.
There were two more Hungerford corners for the Tonbridge defence to deal with and then the final whistle was blown to announce an important three points for Angels to take back to Kent.
Angels Boss, Jay Saunders said afterwards : “I’m delighted with those three points, three or four weeks ago we’d have lost that. We said it doesn’t matter how we get the points, let’s just make sure we’re solid and keep a clean sheet.”
Picture by Ian Clear : Devonte Aransibia rises highest to score the only goal of the game at Hungerford