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Tonbridge Angels 2
Odokonyero (19'), Lyons-Foster (89')
4 Yeovil Town
Young (10'), Wannell (17', 65'), Worthington (90')

Tonbridge fight hard against vicious visitors Yeovil

Jay Saunders welcomed back Ethan Sutcliffe straight into his eleven as the loanee centre-back returned from a short spell back with his parent club. Consequently, Jamie Fielding was available to step into Hinds’ spot at right back whilst he served a suspension. Jernade Meade returned as the left full-back and Lewis Gard missed out on a start to Mo Dabre who occupied the attacking midfield role. 

The XI: Henly, Fielding, Sutcliffe, Lyons-Foster, Meade, Higgs, Dabre, Wagstaff, Lock, Odokonyero, Shields. Subs: Gard (On - 60’) Greenidge (On - 72’) Mampolo (On - 84’) Vincent, Velvick.

An exciting start to the game saw three goals in the first twenty minutes, the first scored by Jordan Young after a break-away that was worked well by his teammate Dylan Morgan set him free to slot past Tonbridge’s Jonny Henly.

Just eight minutes later the visitors doubled their lead, this time through Jake Wannell, who escaped his man at a corner and headed home for Yeovil’s second.

A quick response was required from Tonbridge and Nathan Odokonyero provided just that when capitalising on a rare error from Yeovil at the back. The loanee brought down an awkward ball and finished it excellently past an exposed Joe Day to bring Tonbridge straight back into the game.

The hosts went on to enjoy numerous chances throughout the first half including promising shots from Paris Lock (who was lively on the right) and the ever-reliable Sean Shields who forced a strong save just after the half hour mark.

Despite an improved performance from the blues as the game approached half time, it remained the visitors who led - Tonbridge Angels 1, Yeovil Town 2.

The most notable moments after the game resumed for the second half were an injury to Lyons-Foster (which was soon walked off) and high flying free-kick from Yeovil which didn’t threaten the Angels stopper even though it was from an almost ideal position.

As Tonbridge replaced Paris Lock with Lewis Gard after an hour was played, they were looking for fresh inspiration going forward, but it was their net which bulged next for the visitors third and a second goal for Wannell who again capitalised on space at a corner to extend Yeovil’s lead.

The Angels wouldn’t give in and with 25 minutes still on the clock, and the introduction of Greenidge and Mampolo, they certainly committed to ‘going for it’. A teasing cross from Meade was just beyond Odokonyero’s reach and a neat run from Gard came to nothing as he was met by multiple retreating bodies before getting off a misplaced shot 

Yeovil nearly finished it off when Jordan Young broke away and attempted to lob Henly who captured the attempt. Up the other end just seconds later, Lyons-Foster gave Angels hope late on with a well taken strike bringing Tonbridge back within touching distance and just one goal from an equaliser.

A cross into the box from wide left looked like it may bring exactly what was needed with Jordan Greenidge looming and Lewis Gard lining up alongside him but even though both of the substitutes got touches on it, neither could turn it home in what was a chaotic scramble in the Yeovil goalmouth.

Unfortunately for Tonbridge, when pushing again for an equaliser, Yeovil snatched the ball and Worthington finished it off on the counter in injury time, crushing the hopes of the Angels fans who were impeccably voiced all afternoon.

Tonbridge Angels 2, Yeovil Town 4.

Published Saturday 10th February 2024