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Tonbridge Angels 0
0 Braintree Town
Jay Saunders looks on as his team fail to find a way through the Braintree defence

Angels and Iron play put a goalless draw

With both these teams level on points perhaps a draw was the predictable  outcome and so it proved and whilst no goals were scored there was plenty of decent football played by both sides as they attempted to battle their way towards the play offs.  Traditionally, Angels have often found the Iron a difficult nut to crack and it was considered that possibly one goal either way might well settle the encounter.  In the event, neither defence was breached although to be fair to both sides it wasn’t for the want of trying.  

For the Angels starting line up Ben Swift came in for Tommy Parkinson and Tommie Fagg was the replacement for the injured Scott Wagstaff.  New signing Bivesh Gurung on loan for one month from Maidstone United saw the match out from the Bench but will have gained a good appreciation of how Tonbridge set up and play.  

Supporters arriving just after kick off may have been confused to see Braintree playing in the Tonbridge change strip.  A clash of colours forced the referee to insist on the dress code change. 

The home side definitely had the better of the first half giving the Braintree defence plenty to think about with Greenidge having a chance in the 4th minute and from the resulting corner the ball had to be cleared off the line. 

On 18 minutes a lovely Hinds cross for the home side was headed onto the bar by Turner when it seemed easier to score and there were further chances for Tonbridge through Hinds, Aransibia and Fagg but perhaps the closest Angels came to opening the score was on 38 minutes when Greenidge hit the woodwork  with a header followed by Turner again through but his final effort drifted just wide of the left hand post. With Braintree offering little in that first period there was concern that Angels hadn’t been able to get their noses in front while they were on top.  Surely the visitors would up their game and so it proved.

For the first 10 minutes of the second period Tonbridge continued their dominance with chances for Braham-Barrett with s 30 yarder which brought a good save from Sims, and Greenidge from close in who claimed vociferously that he had been held.  But gradually events started to turn in favour of the visitors who began to get a foothold on the game with substitute Boachie in particular asking questions of the Tonbridge defence.  Former Angel, Matt Rush had an effort from distance and at the other end Fagg should have done better on 78 minutes but delayed the shot and the chance was gone.  

As the game began to reach its conclusion, Braintree continued to look the likelier to break the deadlock but a combination of poor shooting and the hard work of the Tonbridge defence saw the two teams having to settle for a point apiece which over the 90 minutes was probably a fair result. 

Afterwards, Angels Boss Jay Saunders said: “In the end I have to be happy with the point.  Earlier in the season it was a game we might well have lost.”

Published Saturday 28th January 2023 (last updated Sunday 29th January 2023)