Angels brought down to earth by Peacocks
Angels long trip to Somerset ended in disappointment where they suffered a 4-1 defeat to Taunton Town who played to their strengths and eventually bullied the visitors into submission.
Henly didn’t make the trip due to illness and so it was a first competitive start for Kevin Manuel in goal, while Gard was ruled out due to injury with Addy included in the eleven to take to the pitch.
Tonbridge fell behind in the second minute when a cross from the left travelled a long way to the far post from where Craig Braham-Barrett in attempting to head the ball away for a corner turned it into his own net.
During the opening 15 minutes the Angels defence were asked a lot of questions and were struggling to contain their hosts but having survived this period they started to take control of the game and after 19 minutes a tempting cross from TQ Addy was deflected over his own bar by Dan Ball. The subsequent corner was met by a towering header from Joe Tyrie that only narrowly cleared the bar.
Set piece deliveries into the box were continuing to cause problems and one such in the 26th minute required Addy to clear from his line.
But, two minutes later, the Angels were on level terms as Dylan Gavin found the net from the edge of the box with goalkeeper Jack Bycroft disappointed to be beaten from that range.
Bycroft had another scare just past the half-hour when a low cross from Ruben Soares-Junior went straight under his body before being hoofed to safety.
Certainly at this point, Tonbridge were enjoying the better of the game forcing several corners but as the half entered it’s added time a right sided corner was met with a powerful header from Nat Jarvis to give the hosts the lead at the break.
Angels started the second period in positive mood with Addy testing goalkeeper Bycroft with an effort that skimmed along the turf with the no 1 spilling the ball but nobody in a yellow shirt was able to pick up the rebound.
A clever throw in put through Gavin but the angle wasn’t quite right for him to really test Bycroft. Angels continued to huff and puff but in truth Bycroft was not to be severely tested for the rest of the game and that sums up the Angels problems.
It was a different story at the other end with Taunton always looking more threatening with their arial play and physicality and around the 65th minute they created a concerted attack on the Angels goal. Tonbridge repulsed that and replied with shots from Santos and Wagstaff but nothing to trouble Bycroft.
New signing and substitute Nathan Wood was inches away from putting through Turner but attention soon moved to the other end where a Taunton attack down the right gave them the opportunity to get behind the Angels defence and a clinical header from Smith in the 75th minute gave the hosts a two goal cushion and probably ended the game as a contest.
Worse was to follow however for the visitors when in the 86th minute Taunton added a fourth through Chamberlain in what was pretty much a carbon copy of their previous strike.
Afterwards Jay Saunders said “It was obviously the worst possible start but basically they were better than us in the respective boxes and that’s where for us the game was lost.”
Picture : Ian Clear. Joe Tyrie goes close