Angels push Hawks all the way
Angels prevented Havant & Waterlooville from taking over from at the top of National South with a hard fought draw which might have gone even better for the home side but for a late equaliser for the visitors which on the balance of play they deserved.
A pulsating game in which the visitors saw more of the ball and created the majority of chances but they were against a Tonbridge side who refused to lie down and had chances of their own.
The visitors started the brighter with as early as the 1st minute Fall producing a dangerous low cross from the left but no one could take advantage.
In what was the Angels first serious attack they scored through Greenidge in the 8th minute following his strong run that split the Hawks defence. The striker on loan from Hemel Hempstead once through had time to think about the shot, but placed his effort perfectly out of reach of House with the ball striking the inside of the right hand post and into the net.
Two minutes later an unusual sequence of events occurred which didn't alter the score line but which many in the ground had to admit, it was the first time they had witnessed such a thing. The referee was certainly not showing any sentiment when he showed Sonny Miles a yellow card on his 500th appearance for a hand ball offence inside the area and a penalty was duly awarded to Havant. Up stepped Roberts to take the kick which beat Henly but what the referee spotted was that Roberts slipped as he ran up with the result that he tok a double kick. The referee quite rightly disallowed the goal.
Havant continued to have more of the ball and in particular Faal was creating problems on the left flank. but that final pass was missing which would have opened up the hosts
On 23 minutes Collins for the Angels found himself through on goal and attempted to lob House but the attempt failed. Despite Havant protests there was no offside flag.
For the home side Hinds had a chance on 36 minutes to double the home side’s advantage but the Hawks defence blocked the shot which in truth he didn't connect with properly. .
The second half continued in much the same vein with the Hampshire side continuing to make the running but constantly coming up against a stubborn Angles defence in which Swift and Miles were outstanding and with Henly weighing in with a number of fine saves. It seemed perhaps that Tonbridge were going to record another win against one of the top sides as Havant despite having possession were becoming somewhat predictable with the home defence well organised.
Despite Havant's pressure there were good moments for Tonbridge with chances falling to Turner, Arinsibia and perhaps the best chance when Hinds put in a tremendous run beating two Havant players and with the visiting defence split most thought the net would bulge but no one could quite apply the finishing touch.
Eventually however Havant, following a misjudgement in the Angels defence and Faal chasing a lost cause the latter was to prod the ball past Henly in the 82nd minute..
In the last few minutes of the game there were chances for both sides but in the end an honourable draw was a fair result. .
Picture above by Wesley Filtness: Sonny Miles presented with a framed shirt to mark his 500th appearance for Tonbridge Angels. Extreme left; Chair, Dave Netherstreet, extreme right President, Steve Churcher.