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Tonbridge Angels 0
1 Welling United
Azeez (54')
Angels free kick ! Angels 0 vs Welling Utd 1.   26.12.22.

Wings take the points in close encounter

A substantial Boxing Day  crowd of 1270 gathered at a sunlit Longmead Stadium for the National South encounter with Welling United.  A one minute’s silence was immaculately observed in memory of former Angels Manager and World Cup hero George Cohen who died last week aged 83.

Angels Boss, Jay Saunders brought in Jamie Fielding and Louis Collins to the starting line up with Tariq Hinds and Davonte Golding dropping to the bench.  Cheering news for Angels supporters was the sight of Tommie Fagg and Joe Turner taking their places on the bench following injury layoffs.  

It was Welling who started the brighter with some dangerous crosses to keep the Angels defence on their toes, but gradually the home side came more into the game with on 12 minutes Jack Wood forcing an excellent save from former Angels keeper Myles Roberts.  

Seven minutes later the same Angels player nearly profited from a mix up between Roberts and a defender but somehow the Wings got the ball to safety.

Angels were producing the dangerous runs down both flanks but too often the execution of the crosses lacked the quality to provide the genuine chances.

As half time approached there was a long delay at a Welling corner with pushing and shoving which the referee sorted out by showing a yellow card to two players.  The balll was eventually cleared and the break was on through Greenidge who as he rounded Roberts appeared to be tripped but the referee disagreed booking Greenidge instead for simulation!  It was big half time talking point over a cup of tea.

The decisive strike came on 55 minutes.  For once the Angels defence switched off and with a break down the left Ade Azeez was left with just enough space to fire past Henly; a striker of his quality feeds of those kinds of chances.  

There was almost an immediate response when Collins was set up by Greenidge but somehow he contrived to miss the target when well placed despite the attention of a couple of Wings defenders. Greenidge himself forced a great save from Roberts and at that point hopes were high amongst the Angels supporters.   Former Wings midfielder Aransabia then saw his effort from just outside the area crash against the crossbar.  It was arguably the high water mark for Angels until the final stages of stoppage time.  

For Welling there was a Maloney shot from distance that was just wide and then the moment that should have made the game safe for Welling when the scorer Azeez was through with an empty goal in front of him but his shot hit the post.

Angels who were having most of the play continued to huff and puff, but their problem was the the cross and the final pass failed to put the Welling defence in any kind of real trouble. 

However, as the game entered stoppage time there was a foul on substitute Tommie Fagg 25 yards out on the right side. There then followed a succession of corners and a frantic period of play in front of the Welling goal.   By now Jonny Henly had joined the Angels attack and was able to get a shot in that was blocked followed by a header that his counterpart Roberts just about managed to tip over the bar for what looked like another Angels corner.  By now however the referee had seen enough and blew for time signalling celebrations between players and supporters of a Welling persuasion. 

Afterwards Saunders said:  “It was fine margins, we’ve switched off for their goal and despite having some very good periods of play our final pass at times lack the quality required.”

Picture : Kathryn Bell.  As the sun sets at Longmead  Angels earn a free kick 25 yards out.

Published Monday 26th December 2022