Sunday, 15 March 2020

Concord Rangers 3 Tonbridge Angels 3

Match 81/19/1803 - Saturday, 14th March 2020 - National South

Concord Rangers (3) 3 Babalola 17 Sheriff 21 Blanchfield 45+1
Tonbridge Angels (2) 3 Greenhalgh 14 Wood 44 Bray 90+4
Attendance: 702

Admission: Free
Programme: £3
Mileage: 108/6,303

If this is to be the season's end, then it's a good way to go out. The Coronavirus outbreak had already suspended the Premier League season and it was a frankly baffling decision from the National League to continue for, perhaps, one last Saturday.

A goal with virtually the last touch of the match ensured Tonbridge took a point home from Canvey Island and on whatever method the National League decide to formulate the table to end the season, outside of playing again, it is enough to ensure their safety.

Tonbridge took the lead after 14 minutes when the Concord Rangers defence failed to clear a cross to safety. The ball fell to Ben Greenhalgh who from the left hand angle of the box drove into the bottom corner.

Celebration was short-lived, however, as the visitors found themselves 2-1 down within seven minutes. First, a cross from the left found the unchallenged head of Temi Babalola to equalise. On 21 minutes, a mistake in the middle of the pitch by James Folkes allowed Decarrey Sheriff a run on goal. After rounding Jonny Henly, he appeared to have closed down his angle but finished well into the open goal.

The Angels pressed on, and after half-an-hour, Alex Bentley struck the woodwork.

Tommy Wood equalised for the Angels with a minute left on the clock when Khale Da Costa's effort rebounded off a defender into the path of the on-loan striker who cooly finished despite the strong protests of the home defenders for an offside decision.

But the visitors were not to enter the dressing room on level terms as a cross into the box led to scrambled attempts to clear the ball to safety but ended with back heel from close range by James Blanchfield.

Tonbridge started the second half on the front foot but chances for both sides were now at a premium rather than the profligate first period with the best effort from Da Costa going narrowly wide.

But the game drifted towards its conclusion with neither side particularly holding the momentum going into the closing minutes.

As we entered the last of four minutes added time, Tonbridge won a free kick which ended with the ball at substitute Jared Small's feet. His cross to the far post was headed back across the face of goal by Sonny Miles to the towering head of fellow central defender Rian Bray whose header was greeted with delirium by the Tonbridge support behind the goal.

Rather unsavoury incidents followed as neither side covered themselves with much glory in the aftermath of the goal and the final whistle but the game which had been largely exciting and well fought and shouldn't be remembered for those moments of lost heads.

The afternoon had a surreal feel and until we meet again, don't know where, don't know when, stay healthy.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Glebe 2 Tunbridge Wells 3

Match 80/19/1802 - Thursday, 12th March 2020 - SCEFL Premier

Glebe (2) 2 Lake 20 Philpot 30
Tunbridge Wells (1) 3 Day 7 Lawal 56,78
Attendance: 131

Admission: £4
Programme: £1
Mileage: 64/6,195

As the postponements continue to rack-up for Tunbridge Wells, this hastily re-arranged game offered mid-week semi-professional football, a pleasure barely enjoyed since Christmas. And the game at least served as a reminder to what was missing. A cold night needed a decent game and both sides contributed to forgetting the cold biting at the extremities. The Wells recovered from going 2-1 down after taking an early lead to win the game with an extraordinary goal from Chris Lawal, whose 50 yard free kick from the left hand touchline sailed over the goalkeeper's head and into the net.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Corinthian 4 Leighton Town 3

Match 79/19/1801 - Saturday, 7th March 2020 - FA Vase Quarter Final

Corinthian (0) 4 Billings 7 Tanner 11 Bath 75 Oloyede 90
Leighton Town (0) 3 Webb 9 Campbell 47,65
Attendance: 351

Admission: £3
Programme: Sold out
Mileage: 50/6,131

Match Report

Dover Athletic 0 Tonbridge Angels 2

Match 78/19/1800 - Wednesday, 4th March 2020 - National Academies Alliance

Dover Athletic (0) 0
Tonbridge Angels (0) 2
Headcount: 16

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 46/6,081

Dulwich Hamlet 0 Tonbridge Angels 1

Match 77/19/1799 - Saturday, 29th February 2020 - National League South

Dulwich Hamlet (0) 0
Tonbridge Angels (0) 1 Turner 86
Attendance: 2,663

Admission: Free
Programme: £3
Mileage: 90/6,035

Football has the marvellous ability to rise above the shit that surrounds it and after a week of heartache there was a glimpse of light at the end of a very black tunnel.

Tonbridge’s pitch problems have been widely reported and there would not have been a single person among their supporters that had not put two and two together and realised that a club that had virtually no income from home matches would be struggling to make ends meet.

A frank statement from the chairman, Dave Netherstreet had spelt out the perilous position the club faced and a plea for help to its owners as a community club and supporters had been made, and thankfully had brought some instant results in terms of cash both received and pledged.

It was almost ironic that the following game would be a trip to Dulwich Hamlet, a club that has had to pass around the bucket themselves on previous occasions.

The elements also served up their own reminder as Storm Jorge produced a howling gale, squally showers, a bit of hale topped off with a glimpse of sunshine.

In National League South terms an absolutely massive crowd had assembled with the Dulwich hipsters a vision of perpetual motion as they wandered to and fro the bars, their hands full of craft beer and expensive, a la carte burgers.

Nobody could dress the game up as a classic, the elements did not allow that, but Tonbridge supporters were sent home with an 86th minute winner when Joe Turner buried a shot into the bottom corner. Tonbridge fans greeted the goal and final whistle with delirium whilst the Dulwich hipsters barely shrugged a shoulder and went back to the bar for another round, so everybody went home happy!

It was a brief moment of happiness, no doubt a pitch inspection on Tuesday will signal yet another postponement and reality will kick in once more. But, on the pitch, with virtually every game being played away from home, Steve McKimm has moulded a side that is resilient and is putting enough points on the table to put National League safety not too far away.

Coopers School 5 Hugh Christie 1

Match 76/19/1798 - Wednesday, 26th February 2020 - Kent Schools Premiership

Coopers School (1) 5
Hugh Christie (0) 1
Headcount: 6

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 82/5,945

Oxford City 0 Tonbridge Angels 3

Match 75/19/1797 - Saturday, 22nd February 2020 - National League South

Oxford City (0) 0
Tonbridge Angels (1) 3 Wood 15,84 Turner (pen) 90
Attendance: 729
New Ground: 342

Admission: Pass
Programme: £3
Mileage: 224/5,863

Match Report