Log in or Register
Bath City 1
1 Tonbridge Angels
Sutcliffe (40')

Penalty miss preserves well earned point

A collective cheer, whether that be in relief or joy, came from the gathered Angels faithful as Bath City’s leading goalscorer, Cody Cooke dragged his spot kick wide of the left hand post with five minutes remaining to preserve a point that would have been unjustly stolen from the visitors.

Tonbridge Angels had produced an energetic performance against their play-off contending hosts with a team that saw Mo Dabre playing as the central striker in place of Nathan Odokonyero, whose season has been ended by a hand injury sustained against Hampton and Richmond that, this week, has required surgery. Club captain Scott Wagstaff also remained on the sidelines through illness.

The first half was played in the tail-end of Storm Kathleen that suited the Angels football played on the ground rather than the aerial route taken by the hosts. But it was the Angels that suffered an early set back when a free kick played into the box brought about a scramble that ultimately saw Jordan Dyer go down leading to referee, Tommy Breen, pointing immediately to the spot.

Cooke stroked the ball into the net sending Jonny Henly the wrong way to give the Romans a 10th minute lead.

Rather than being disheartened by the goal, the Angels took the game to their hosts with a cross from Matty Macarthur that narrowly eluded Jernade Meade and a 20th minute effort from Meade that brought a good, low save from Will Buse.

Dabre was running on the highest quality Duracells and running the home defence ragged that brought a succession of corners the seventh of which, on 40 minutes, saw Sean Shields cross met with a powerful header from Ethan Sutciffe to level the scores. 

Tonbridge continued to dominate the possession and might have gone into the break in front when Jamie Fielding’s cross was plucked out of the air by Buse.

The second half saw Bath, having rang the changes (a luxury that the Angels could barely afford with a threadbare bench in terms of senior players), pose more of a threat but efforts from Dan Hayfield and Scott Wilson brought routine saves from Henly.

On 67 minutes a cross from Tariq Hinds narrowly eluded Dabre and Lewis Gard followed by efforts from Shields and Dabre that cleared the bar.

Five minutes remained when heartbreak stared Tonbridge in the face as Fielding was harshly judged to have handled the ball as a shot was struck goalwards. But justice was served as Cooke struck his penalty well wide.

In a message to the travelling support, Jay Saunders said: “Thank you all for your amazing support this afternoon. The players really appreciated your singing and noise which no doubt motivated them to run that extra yard.  The result was the least we felt we deserved and we’ll continue to work hard for these last 2 games.”

Published Saturday 6th April 2024