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Tonbridge Angels 3
Fielding (8'), Gard (69' pen, 90' pen)
2 Bath City
Cooke (27'), Wilson (31')

Bath drained by Angels

Tonbridge Angels welcomed Bath City to Kent, the visitors on their eighth away trip in ten games and the home side struggling for defensive numbers missing Kodi Lyons-Foster who could be out for up to twelve weeks and Ben Swift who’s serving one of the three games he’s been banned for after his red card at Weymouth.

Tonbridge started confidently, shifting possession well and creating early chances through Charlie Pegrum, Joe Turner and Sean Shields. It was however, a Jamie Fielding header that opened the scoring. The cross re-directed powerfully by the defender beyond the opposition keeper and into the far corner.

Just five minutes later, Tonbridge were let off from nearly conceding an equaliser. An unlucky touch off Fielding saw Parkinson come out of position to help out, but Bath’s Dan Hayfield who benefitted initially, couldn’t convert instead thumping the post. 

Bath did equalise a few minutes later. Cody Cooke similarly to Fielding, beating his marker and heading past Henly. Seven more played, Bath went ahead. Tonbridge's Tom Parkinson tried to head clear, but Scott Wilson stole it, shrugged him off and scored from distance. The finish, simply superb, put perfectly over Henly who was slightly off his line.

Closer to half time, Sean Shields showed his quality on the left hand side, working hard to deliver to the likes of Greenidge and Fish as well as taking on shots himself.

On half time, it appeared Angels had equalised. A chaotic scene in the box must’ve obscured the referee’s view of the ball which, by all accounts was well over the line and, to add to that, was cleared away by a defender's hand. Adamant they’d scored, half the Angels players were celebrating all the while; the away goalkeeper had gone down with a suspected dislocated shoulder. The referee decided not to award the goal but it wasn’t made clear why, causing outrage and confusion among the players on the pitch and the fans around the ground. At half time, Bath led. 

Half time saw outfield player Joe Raynes put the gloves on to step into the net for the second half. His warm ups were closely critiqued by the Angels fans behind the goal.

Angels would've been looking to test the make-shift keeper early doors, Hinds attempted to do this just one minute into the second period but he shot high and wide. 

Five minutes later, Pegrum’s shot (which was set up by Shields) narrowly lifted beyond the top right hand corner. Greenidge also blazed an effort over the bar. 

Despite an extended number of naturally cultivated chances, both the equaliser (69’) and subsequent winner (90’) for Tonbridge came from the penalty spot. The first, a blatant hand ball blocking a cross on the right-hand side of the box leaving the referee with no choice. The second, an obvious pull back by a recovering Bath defender. 

Lewis Gard calmly converted both spot kicks, the second penalty securing all three points on offer for the hosts.The tumultuous efforts in the second half were rewarded and a well deserved victory, having fought back from being behind at the break, goes down on Tonbridge’s league tally.

Tonbridge Angels 3, Bath City 2.

Published Saturday 21st October 2023