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Hampton & Richmond Borough 0
0 Tonbridge Angels

Easter spoils shared on Good Friday

The first of two Easter fixtures saw Tonbridge travel to Middlesex on Good Friday to face Hampton and Richmond Borough.

Emission of Scott Wagstaff meant Jordan Higgs wore the captain’s armband. Nathan Odokonyero and Sean Shields returned to the side after missing last weekend’s comeback win and Jernade Meade was re-introduced after international duty with Montserrat. Lewis Gard and Matt Macarthur dropped to the bench.

Early danger was in the offing with the home side occupying advanced areas inside the Angels box during the first ten minutes. Tariq Hinds got himself and the rest of the defence out of trouble on the 7th minute when Hampton carved a chance in the box that was stopped smartly by the fullback.

Hinds was centre of attention again around ten minutes later when he forced a good save from Adam Desbois in the Hampton net. A lofted cross from Shields on the left unlocked the opportunity and Hinds was unfortunate not to beat Desbois after a good connection.

A flurry of opportunities for the Beavers came on the half hour mark. Joshua Anifowose found space on two occasions to release shots that were high and wide respectively. Ryan Hanson was let off after a loose touch presented an opportunity for the hosts to launch a dangerous attack, but Donaldson’s shot deflected wide.

Two good efforts closer to half time came from Sean Shields and Nathan Odokonyero. The first from Shields was struck on the swivel and compelled Desbois to a full stretch save to tap it over the bar following a fast move down the left flank orchestrated by Jernade Meade. Loanee Odokonyero’s chance rifled against the crossbar in the first minute of injury time.

On his 300th appearance for the club, Jonny Henly had little to do, but when called upon, he was equal to anything that came his way. Hampton and Richmond tested the keeper from short range ahead of the break, but a razor-sharp reaction save down to his left post preserved the deadlock.

At half time it remained Hampton and Richmond Borough 0, Tonbridge Angels 0.

Fresh out of the break, the Beavers made a couple of substitutions to try and energise their side in front of the 2031 spectators in attendance including a strong travelling away support. 

Tonbridge had to make a substitution of their own on the hour mark with Ryan Hanson feeling the effects of a collision with an opposition player. A large cut down his shin evident after the game makes one question whether the offender should’ve been punished at the time. Lewis Gard was introduced to take the midfielder’s place.

Returning duo Shields and Meade caused trouble for Hampton’s defenders as the second half went on. Linking up on the left side, two of Tonbridge’s most experienced players threatened the opposition defence with every move they created.

With around ten minutes to play, the game shifted a gear as both sides hoped to grab a win. Jordan Higgs attempted to head goalwards but directed the ball wide of the post. A flash across the face of goal could’ve been the winner for the Beavers had anyone made contact with the ball but it wasn’t pounced on by anyone in red.

Ultimately, despite an end-to-end finish, neither side could create a clear-cut chance to score a winner and the game finished Hampton and Richmond Borough 0, Tonbridge Angels 0.

Jay Saunders commented afterwards "Before the game you'd probably take a point here [against] a team in the play-offs, they're having a good season. At the end of the game I'm probably disappointed. I thought we had the best chances of the game, hit the crossbar, had a one-v-one saved. We've had some really good chances but all in all I thought it was a really good away performance against, like I say, a good side."

Published Friday 29th March 2024