Tonbridge Angels 2-0 Whitehawk
Bostik Premier League – Game 14
Bostik Premier League leaders Tonbridge Angels scored twice in the last eleven minutes at Longmead to inflict a third successive defeat on the Hawks.
Boss Jude Macdonald rang the changes in an attempt to turn around the current poor run of form. Only four players who began the previous league game against Lewes were in the starting eleven. There were league debuts for Regan Mendes and Tommy Cooney and a return for ex-Hawk Nathaniel Pinney. Connor Tighe made his first league appearance since re-signing and there was a place on the bench for James Waters. Ever present Harry Shooman was missing with a knee injury.
The Angels had almost all of the possession in the first half, but were kept at bay by some solid defending aided by agile goalkeeping from Melvin Minter. Angels got a lot of balls into the box, with right winger Jared Small a constant menace, but Mendes in particular was often on hand to deal with the danger. The injured Lucas Rodrigues was replaced midway through the half by Lewis Broughton.
The Hawks grew in confidence as the interval approached and in the final five minutes Pinney sent a header just wide of Henly’s far post, Tighe had a shot saved and James Fraser just failed to connect on the far post with a Henry Muggeridge cross.
In the second half, Angels struggled to move the ball with as much confidence as they had shown at the start of the game but there was always the threat of Small down the right to contend with and the Hawks were unable to pose any danger to the home goal.
In the 73rd minute the breakthrough almost arrived from a left wing corner but a combination of the underside of the crossbar, a goal line clearance and a save by Minter kept the game scoreless. The let off lasted only six more minutes, when overlapping right back James Folkes was found by Small and his hard low cross was put into his own net by Matt Drage, under pressure from Tommy Whitnell.
Having to come out and play, the Hawks had some decent possession, with Tighe producing a couple of long range efforts but it was Angels who added a second through Joe Turner in the 90th minute.
All in all, this was a much more solid display at the back than in previous away matches, without much threat going forward. Mendes can be pleased with his debut in the centre of defence and Pinney showed some deft touches in linking up the play.
Angels: Henly, Folkes, Parter, Stone, Adonis-Taylor (Whitnell 67′), Lee, Small (Ramaden 88′), Parkinson, Read (King 82′), Beere, Turner
Subs not used: Smith
Hawks: Minter, Walsh, Cooney, Emberson, Mendes, Drage, Rodrigues (Broughton 23′, Hallard 90′), Muggeridge (c), Pinney, Fraser, Tighe (Waters 90′)
Subs not used: Sanders, Sisimayi
Goals: Drage OG 79′, Turner 90′ (Angels)