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Farnborough 4
Pendlebury (31', 86'), Folivi (45'), Hall (53')
1 Tonbridge Angels
Meade (71')

Hefty defeat in Hampshire

Tonbridge’s Tuesday travels took them to Farnborough just three days after an emphatic win at home versus Bath City.

The team, particularly the defence, still very much running thin with Kodi Lyons-Foster injured and Ben Swift suspended, Tariq Hinds also unavailable due to illness. The starting XI: Henly, Higgs, Fielding, Parkinson, Meade; Wagstaff, Janneh, Gard; Turner, Fish and Shields.

Farnborough started the game looking the more comfortable of the two sides. An early effort for Michael Folivi fell wide after he pounced on a loose ball.

The first action for the away fans to engage with was a penalty shout with eleven minutes played. Sonny Fish dropped to the ground in the opposition box having gambled on a ball angled in behind the defence.

Shortly after, Lewis Gard forced a good save with his left footed shot from the edge of the box, Sean Shields also took on a long-range effort but couldn’t beat the keeper.

Jonny Henly was called to action twice in short succession. The first occasion to deny Farnborough in a 2v1 situation, the second to capture a well-aimed 40-yard shot.

Henly was left exposed by his defence a couple of minutes later as Boro’s Connor Hall crept in behind but a last-ditch interception by Jordan Higgs preserved the deadlock.

However, just three minutes later, the status quo shifted. Olly Pendlebury converted a 25-yard free kick from wide left, beating the four-man wall and Jonny Henly into the bottom left-hand corner.

A couple of minutes later, an attempt to re-level the score line from Sonny Fish was saved by the outstretching left boot of Boro keeper Jack Turner.

Being one behind didn’t seem an impossible task for the Angels to come back from in the second half but, on the strike of half time, Michael Folivi controlled a high ball into the 6-yard box stylishly, swivelled and scored, despite a nick of Jamie Fielding as he attempted to block, to establish a two-nil lead before the break.

Just eight minutes into the second half, it went from bad to worse for the Angels. Farnborough’s Connor Hall, on the end of Taylor Maloney’s through ball, clinically slotted it home to give the the hosts a healthy cushion.

Jonny Henly nearly gifted a fourth just moments later as he came under pressure at the back, his out ball was blocked by a Farnborough forward but luckily fell past the post and behind for a goal kick, instead of into his net. 

On 71 minutes, returning Jernade Meade scored from roughly 25 yards. His attempt was helped in by a handy deflection that caught the keeper off guard.

With less than 20 to play and the game being slowed down, it felt like nothing more than a consolation. Had late attempts from Greenidge and Turner found the net, we’d have had a game on our hands but the only goal in the final minutes was the cherry on top for Boro, Olly Pendlebury scoring his second of the game from a tight angle on the right-hand side of the Angels six-yard box.

Jay Saunders commented after the game "We've conceded four very poor goals tonight. It's difficult to keep having players missing and having to shuffle the defence about and I think that's caught up with us. All four goals have come from us making mistakes and Farnborough were clinical. We had two really good chances at nil-nil, but key moments change games."

Published Wednesday 25th October 2023