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Tonbridge Angels 0
0 Braintree Town

Angels and Iron end in stalemate

Tonbridge Angels and Braintree Town, two sides that scored nine goals between them on Saturday failed to find the net in this, nonetheless, absorbing encounter. Perhaps, we should not have been surprised as this fixture ended goalless for the third successive season.

A very hot day in Tonbridge had only subsided a few degrees by kick off time with the fine weather helping to attract a healthy Tuesday attendance of 853.

Jay Saunders was forced to make one change from Saturday’s starting XI with Jernade Meade away on international duty with Monserrat, Nathan Wood came into the side.

Braintree, fresh from an eye-catching 4-0 win over erstwhile league leaders Worthing, found themselves under early pressure from the hosts as three corners were forced in the opening five minutes that ultimately came to nothing before Jonny Henly made his first save of the game after 10 minutes when he pushed aside a shot-cum-cross from George Quantrell.

The first half had a good ebb and flow with neither side establishing a control of the game with the best chance of the half falling to Braintree full back Matt Carson whose shot was narrowly wide.

Tonbridge’s best chance similarly fell to a full back with Tariq Hinds going close at the far post following a Joe Turner cross.

The visitors opened the second half on the front foot with an early effort from Will Davies going wide and, after 57 minutes, Aaron Blair broke clear but was denied by Henly as the forward attempted to round the goalkeeper.

Just past the hour mark, Ruben Soares-Junior replaced Wood and sparked a final half-hour in which the Angels largely dominated.

A Turner free kick sent to the far post saw a header from Kodi Lyons-Foster just clear the bar and, with 10 minutes remaining, following a corner, Ibby Akanbi’s effort was denied by a combination of goalkeeper and a post.

Three minutes later, the woodwork was struck again as a long range effort from Jordan Higgs found its way through a crowded box only to come back off the post.

The final few minutes saw further efforts from Soares-Junior and Higgs that failed to find the target before the referee called time on another Angels-Braintree stalemate.

Jay Saunders commented following the game: "I thought it was a game that lacked quality in the final third from both sides. It flowed back and forward with no team gaining control for large periods of the game ... Defensively we were outstanding, we've improved in that area and I'm pleased with that ... If I'm honest a draw was a fair result."

Published Tuesday 5th September 2023 (last updated Wednesday 6th September 2023)