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Tonbridge Angels 4
Wood (15', 22'), Turner (33'), Greenidge (45')
3 Hungerford Town
Gyebi (9'), Evans (77', 78')
Jack Wood scores to level against Hungerford Town

Jack Wood brace puts Angels on course for three points

It is often argued that as the season runs down, the gaining of points is more important than the actual level of performance.  In the end Angels were hanging on somewhat but they did get those three points which continues to put them still very much in contention for a play off place. There are just two points separating 9th place that Angels are now occupying and 5th placed Braintree Town and with six or seven games to go for those sides involved it’s going to be a very tight battle. 

With Craig Braham-Barrett on international duty for Montserrat it meant a first Angels start for Bailey Akehurst recently signed on loan from Gillingham.  On the bench was Jeremy Santos who has returned on loan from Charlton Athletic much to the delight of the home crowd.  The supporters were also able to applaud skipper Sonny Miles who now holds the record for the most 1st team appearances in the entire history of Tonbridge Angels FC - a fantastic achievement.

It was action from the off. Two goals in the opening 15 minutes. The first for the away side, Jerry Gyebi rising higher than everyone else in the box to head the ball into the Angels net. 

The hosts didn’t wait long to respond courtesy of in-form Jack Wood who slotted the ball home with expert composure to go past two Hungerford defenders. Seven minutes later, Wood doubled his tally with a tap in at the back post to put the Angels ahead. 

The home side, now playing with confidence, settled the game and continued to create chances down the channels. Angels reaped the rewards for this in the 33rd minute, Greenidge shielding the ball and playing through Joe Turner who finished stylishly without hesitation. 

As the first half beget to reach its conclusion, three goals seemed good value but Greenidge (already with an assist) had other ideas utilising his strength wrestling the opposition left-back and taking it past the goalkeeper to put it home and Angels had their fourth goal.

With a 4-1 home advantage at the break and playing, with respect,  a team in the drop zone, Angels supporters would be forgiven for thinking what could possibly go wrong?  Well it is often said there are no easy games in this league and this is particularly true when playing against a side literally fighting for their survival in National South.  To their great credit, as we shall see the Crusaders made a real fight of it. 

The second half was quiet for large periods. However, on the 77th minute, substitute Great Evans scored a second for Hungerford and on 78th…a third! 

Trailing by one now, Hungerford turned up the heat but couldn’t score. Tonbridge were ultimately victorious despite the frantic ending and frantic it was with the very last action of the match seeing a Hungerford header just drift past the outside of the post.  It was all that close that would have seen Angels drop two precious points.

Afterwards, Angels Boss, Jay Saunders bemoaned his side’s lack of application.  “It was a great first period and with a 4-1 half time advantage the game should have been over, but we’ve had a mad 10 minutes and they’re right back in it.  Of course I’m delighted with the three points and the fact we are still very much in the mix.”

Pic by Wesley Filtness www.wezpix.com. Jack Wood scores the first of his brace.

Published Saturday 25th March 2023