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Weston-super-Mare 3
Willmott (8', 59'), Humphries (50')
1 Tonbridge Angels
Odokonyero (30')

Angels slip to West Country defeat

The Angels first visit to the Optima Stadium, home of Weston-super-Mare, for 10 years brought the same outcome with a disappointing defeat.

Two second half goals in a frustrating second period sealed the Angels fate after a first half in which they just about edged a well contested game.

Jay Saunders had Sean Shields and Jamie Fielding back at his disposal and they went straight back into the starting XI with Francis Mampolo and Mo Dabre rested to the bench from the side that won at Dover on Tuesday.

A sizeable following travelled to north Somerset on a dry, but chilly afternoon and they were in good voice as Nathan Odokonyero had the opening opportunity in the third minute with a shot that was narrowly wide.

But the Angels were on the back foot in the opening minutes and this ended with the home side taking the lead on 11 minutes when a misplaced pass from midfield was intercepted by Dayle Grubb who drove forward before releasing a pass to Robbie Willmott who buried his shot into the far corner.

Tonbridge settled down well after the goal and with Tariq Hinds getting plenty of joy down the right, the half chances began to fall but shots from Paris Lock, Jordan Higgs and Hinds were blocked or saved by the goalkeeper, Max Harris.

The visitors deservedly were level on the half-hour when Liam Vincent’s surging run to the left byeline saw him pull the ball back across the face of goal to Odokonyero who scored with a cheeky backheel.

The Angels went on to have the better of the remaining minutes with a Kodi Lyons-Foster effort that was blocked following a corner being the best of the chances.

Sadly, the first half promise faded away and the home side enjoyed much the better of the second period and were back in front in the 50th minute when the ball was laid back to Lloyd Humphries whose sublime strike from 20 yards found the top corner giving Jonny Henly no chance,

On the hour, Weston moved two goals clear when Reuben Reid found Willmott on the right, who cut in to bury his shot into the far corner.

Despite mounting a decent effort to retrieve the game, the Weston defence largely were in control of the game with only a shot from substitute Jordan Greenidge bringing a save from Harris at his near post.

A disappointed Jay Saunders bemoaned his side start to the second half: “First twenty minutes of the second half we’ve not turned up again. They’ve killed us off in 15 minutes and it’s poor.”

Tonbridge slip one place in National League South and return to the Halcyon Wealth Longmead Stadium next Saturday when Chippenham Town are the visitors.

Published Saturday 27th January 2024