Saturday, 10 March 2018

Tonbridge Angels 1 Worthing 2

Match 99/17/1549 - Saturday, 10th March 2018 - Bostik Premier

Tonbridge Angels (0) 1 Turner 61
Worthing (0) 2 Newton 90+1, Pope 90+2
Attendance: 382

Entrance: £6 Senior
Programme: £2.50
Mileage: 38/6,935

There is no worse place to be than mid-table in early March. Three successive wins failed to lift Tonbridge a single place and this defeat had a similar outcome. There were a few grumbles as the Angels conceded twice in time added, but mostly there was an acceptance that, over the 90 minutes, Worthing deserved the points. I sense there was no real anger at the result because it barely mattered.

Worthing, for a period before Christmas, looked certs for relegation but a change of manager has seen a splendid run of form that has lifted the Rebels to safety. One wonders if their early season form was due to their enforced exile at Bognor Regis following problems with the 3G surface at their Woodside Road home.

Tonbridge needed to reshuffle their back line with Craig Stone’s absence and when Callum Adonis-Taylor was injured after 20 minutes another shuffle left them looking like a puzzle with three pieces missing.

Worthing started brightly with their forwards looking lively. Kieron Pamment fired over and successive corners from ex-Angel Sam Rents caused concern with a Jesse Starkey shot deflected narrowly wide and Joe Clarke’s header going over.

After 20 minutes Jonny Henly did well to save at the feet of Zack Newton with the rebound falling to Starkey whose shot sailed over the bar.

The chances continued to fall to the visitors. A lovely move set-up Jazz Rance but he fired wide before Xavier Vidal stretched Worthing’s goalkeeper, Lucas Cavagnari for the first, and only time of the half.

Henly did well to touch a Newton shot onto the post as the hosts went into the break on level terms thanks only to the profligacy of their visitors.

Steve McKimm, forced to watch from the media tower by virtue of a touchlne ban, saw his side open the second half in a more positive manner with Vidal twice bringing good saves out of Cavagnari with shots from distance.

Joe Turner’s corner found the head of Nathan Elder but the effort went over but, after 61 minutes, Tonbridge took the lead with a cleverly worked free kick that saw Sam Bantick send Turner clear into the box to fire past Cavagnari.

Cavagnari saved from Bantick that might have given the Angels some breathing space before Worthing regained their first half momentum.

Rance fired across the face of goal; Newton set-up Pamment to fire wastefully over as did Starkey moments later.

There was a sense of inevitability, as the game entered three minutes of time added, when Rance crossed for Newton to score from close range.

Not content with their point, Worthing went in search of a win and within a minute, Rance again the perpetrator drawing a save from Henly with the rebound fired in by substitute Ben Pope.

There was still time for Tonbridge to earn a share of the honours when Elder managed to get the ball stuck under his feet from six yards with the goal yawning in front of him.

Elder’s mishap seemed to foster more discontent than the actual result as the supporters filed away with nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders. There is nothing like mid-table obscurity to nurture apathy.

Picture: Dave Couldridge

No comments: