Thursday, 31 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels 2 Ebbsfleet United 0

Match 88/18/1681 - Tuesday, 29th January 2019 - Kent Senior Cup QF

Tonbridge Angels (0) 2 McKenzie 61 Beere 83
Ebbsfleet United (0) 0
Attendance: 148

Admission: £6 Senior
Programme: £1.00
Mileage: 38/5,126

No matter that Ebbsfleet United brought a weakened team to Longmead for this Kent Senior Cup Quarter-Final, progress to the semi-final is not to be sniffed at. Given Tonbridge's record in recent finals, we will gloss over what might happen should they make it any further.

On a cold night that turned to snow before the final whistle, a sparse 148 attendance sought the covered enclosures and almost saw the visitors take the lead before they had settled into their seats with James Magri shooting narrowly wide with less than a minute on the clock.

Tonbridge settled into their task following the early scare and employed goalkeeper Jon Miles with a header following a corner and an Alex Read effort.

A first half ensued with Tonbridge dominant, reducing Ebbsfleet, who were managed on the night by Danny Kedwell, to very spasmodic attacks on the Angels’ goal. D’Sean Theobalds, once again catching the eye with his busy work in midfield, set up Jared Small to cut in from the right but shoot wide.

A Read shot that was blocked with Adem Ramadan’s follow-up clearing the bar; a Sonny Miles header drifting wide and Joe Turner’s final minute effort cleared from the line saw the game go into the break scoreless with the home support wondering whether the misses would return to haunt them.

The traffic became ever more one-way into the second period with the home side’s list of missed opportunities going past double figures. Eventually, just past the hour, the Angels’ finally broke the deadlock when Chinedu McKenzie, a 52nd minute substitute for Small, bundled the ball over the line (with the hint of a possible own goal) following a corner.

Ebbsfleet briefly rallied and Myles Weston was thwarted by an advancing Jonny Henly. Weston, Cody McDonald and Corey Whiteley brought the experience to the visitors front line but were offered very little service throughout.

Tonbridge finally put the tie to bed with seven minutes remaining when McKenzie laid the ball back for Tom Beere to cleanly strike the ball into the bottom corner.

A dismal night weather-wise was not exactly brightened by a great game, largely because Ebbsfleet were not competitive, and I daresay that the Ebbsfleet contingent were just as happy as the home support that it was Tonbridge that had progressed to host Bromley in the semi-final.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels 1 Haringey Borough 0

Match 87/18/1680 - Saturday, 26th January 2019 - Bostik Premier

Tonbridge Angels (0) 1 Ramadan 90+2
Haringey Borough (0) 0
Attendance: 520

Admission: Season Ticket
Programme: £2.50
Mileage: 38/5,088

I’ve used the phrase many times myself “We owed them that”, but to be honest it doesn’t always make a lot of sense. Back in November at Haringey’s Coles Park, Tonbridge Angels fell off their perch at the top of the Bostik Premier with a 4-0 pasting, a scoreline that only tells half the story. This was the night that the visitors 28 shots on goal amounted to nothing, whilst the hosts five shots on target produced their four goals, hence the rather misguided feeling following this return fixture that “we owed them that”. That was also the night that launched Haringey Borough on a run of 10 successive victories that swept them from the middle of the table to the summit and, at one stage, a five point lead.

Successive victories of their own had managed to lift the gloom around Longmead and the scene was set for an interesting tussle and going into time-added the game had earned the description of an entertaining goalless draw before a moment of magic brought payback.

The early stages showed the north London side to be every inch potential champions with Joel Nouble, an Angel in the summer for all of five minutes, Karl Akinwande and Ralston Gabriel causing all sorts of problems. Gabriel shot over a three minutes and a mazy run from Nouble ending with a shot deflected for a corner as the home side struggled to get a foothold in the game.

But, having survived those first 15 minutes, Tonbridge came into the game and when Valery Pajetet parried a shot into the path of Joe Turner to shoot wide it signalled the start of a period of home ascendancy. A through ball from ex-Haringey man Chinedu McKenzie sent Alex Read clear to fire in a shot that clipped the outside of a post and, two minutes later, Pajetat made a fine save at his near post to deny Turner.

By the time the half-time whistle arrived, further chances had fallen to the Angels with Jared Small flashing a pass across the face of goal that begged a touch; shots fired over from Read and McKenzie and Pajetat excelling again at his near post to thwart Small.

Haringey began the second half as they had the first and had their noisy, good natured following showing their appreciation as Nouble and Akinwande combined with the latter shooting wide.

But, once again a repeat of the first half, Tonbridge found their feet and the game took on an exciting ebb and flow with both goalkeepers being tested but Pajetet making the serious saves from Small and McKenzie.

After 71 minutes, a thunderous effort from the industrious D’Sean Theobalds smacked against the crossbar with, for once, Pajetat well beaten.

Steve McKimm made substitutions after 73 minutes replacing Read with Tom Murphy and, after 77 minutes, Adem Ramadan came on for Small.

Tonbridge had a big let-off with seven minutes remaining when, following a corner, a ball dropped at the feet of Haringey substitute Charly Barker who shot hopelessly wide.

And so the game drifted towards its inevitable stalemate with fellow Tonbridge supporters accepting the reward as a well-earned point but the noise level of hope rose as a throw-in, expected to be a long one into the box from Arthur Lee, was won. But it was dropped short to Ramadan who touched it back to Lee to lift a cross into the box that was headed clear but only to Ramadan whose first time shot from the right hand angle of the 18 yard box fairly rocketed into the top corner.

It was three points that were earned rather than owed and just as Tonbridge had been displaced from the top of the table in November, in this topsy-turvy division, Haringey were replaced at the top by Dorking Wanderers.

Pictures: David Couldridge

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels Academy 0 Dover Athletic Academy 2

Match 86/18/1679 - Wednesday, 23rd January 2019 - National Academies League

Tonbridge Angels (0) 0
Dover Athletic (1) 2 Kingsford 23 Bepe 80 (pen)
Headcount: 6

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 32/5,050

Tonbridge Angels Academy surrendered their unbeaten league record but their performance against the reigning champions, and champions-elect, Dover Athletic was one of which they can be rightly proud.

Dover have swept all before them this season with the only blot on their copybook being the point that the Angels took away from the Crabble on the opening day of the season.

We are at that point in the winter when a good game of football needs to unfold before you to distract from the fact that your extremities are about to drop off due to the bitter cold. Fortunately, a highly competitive match commanded full attention.

Tonbridge had an early opportunity when Harry Hudson headed over following a corner but it was the visitors who went closest in the opening minutes with the Dover left winger pulling a shot narrowly wide and Hudson managing a goal line clearance to deny Ryan Kingsford.

A great left wing cross from Ned Snowden-Lewis narrowly evaded the head of Saul Musengeyi before Dover went ahead after 23 minutes. A through ball exposed a gaping hole in the Tonbridge defence which was clinically exploited by Kingsford who buried his shot into the bottom corner.

After a foul on the edge of the box that should have brought a booking for the perpetrator, Rhys Bartlett’s free kick was met by central defender Harrison Mayhew, who stabbed the ball agonisingly wide.

After seeking the warmth of the King’s Hill sports bar during the break, the second half resumed competitively but devoid of chances.

Tonbridge made a double substitution just past the hour mark with Jacob Lambert and Leo Deere replacing Musengeyi and Nick Ithier.

Angels’ goalkeeper, Tommy Taylor, made a good stop to deny Kingsford whilst good combination work between Snowden-Lewis and Deere almost brought reward.

However the game was put beyond the Angels reach after 80 minutes when Josh Stirman brought down a Dover player on virtually the same square of 3G as Bartlett had been brought down in the first half. Then it was judged to have been millimetres outside, this time after consultation with the linesman, the referee pointed to the spot.

Paldon Bepe’s spot kick into the roof of the net wasn’t going to be saved by any goalkeeper in the world and Dover’s march to another title was not going to be stopped in its tracks at King’s Hill.

A consolation goal would have been a justifiable reward for the home side’s efforts but Hudson’s header over, a fine save denying Snowden-Lewis and a final shot over from Stirman meant that the Angels drew a blank for only the second time this season.

Manager Tom Parkinson commented after the game that he “thought the boys tried really hard and made it very difficult for Dover today. Two lapses in concentration resulted in the two goals but there wasn’t a lot between the sides today. We had two or three good chances which unfortunately we didn’t take, but the boys did themselves proud today against a very strong Dover side who have a lot of 2nd/3rd year students in their team. There were lots of positives to be taken from the game, we just lacked a little bit of quality at times but we cannot fault anyone’s work rate or effort today.”

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Wingate & Finchley P Tonbridge Angels P

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019 - Bostik Premier

Wingate & Finchley P
Tonbridge Angels P

Wasted Mileage: 118/5,136

Game called off at 18:20

Wingate & Finchley Twitter

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Bishop's Stortford 3 Tonbridge Angels 4

Match 85/18/1678 - Saturday, 19th January 2019 - Bostik Premier

Bishop's Stortford (2) 3 Worman 17 Cureton 30 Renee 88
Tonbridge Angels (1) 4 Turner 8,50 McKenzie 47,69
Attendance: 280
New Ground: 333

Admission: £7 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 140/5,018

In a week of controversy surrounding Leeds United’s manager Marcelo Bielsa’s spying tactics, good old-fashioned scouting identified a weakness in the Bishop’s Stortford’s defence that paid rich dividends for Tonbridge Angels.

An eighth minute goal from a Joe Turner free kick that was flighted deep into the penalty area and with the aid of a slight deflection carried through into the net signalled the Bishop’s vulnerability in the air that was to be exploited with long throws from Arthur Lee that caused mayhem time and again.

That it became an afternoon when the best form of defence was attack with seven goals that would have thrilled any neutrals but brought a certain amount of despair on both benches.

The Stortford goalkeeper, debutant Arthur Janata saved well to his left before the home side responded with a leveller after 17 minutes when a speculative shot from Ben Worman crept past Angels’ goalkeeper Jonny Henly.

Successive long throws from Lee were barely dealt with and the second, after 22 minutes, ended with an effort from Turner being cleared from the line by Isaac Nkosi.

But it was far from one-way traffic with Henly saving and on the half-hour the home side were in front when a misplaced pass allowed Ryan Charles to get behind the Angels’ defence and cross for Jamie Cureton to score his 350th senior goal.

Lee’s long throws and anything swung with height continued to cause much concern to the home side but they managed to get to the break with their lead intact.

Any self-congratulation on this feat had disappeared within five minutes of the restart. After 47 minutes, a Turner cross was headed on by Tom Parkinson for Chinedu McKenzie to convert at the far post.

Three minutes later, Parkinson and McKenzie combined before Turner burst through the plant a shot past Janata.

The visitors were now in complete control with Alex Read going close twice in a minute, Turner forcing Janata into another save before the Angels gave themselves breathing space from the Arthur Lee long throw routine that was headed on by Parkinson for McKenzie to nod home at the far post.

Had Lee’s 76th minute header not been cleared from the line, the nervous final minutes would not have mattered but when Johnville Rennee shot through a crowd of bodies after a corner had only been partially cleared.

Five minutes added time gave Bishop’s Stortford the encouragement to press for an equaliser and when the ball fell at the feet of Cureton in the last of those minutes it seemed a banker that the marksman would retrieve a point but his effort cleared the bar by some distance.

This was my first visit to the ProKit Stadium that is conveniently positioned just off the M11. The stadium is well appointed even if the pitch itself is a bit of a cabbage patch. The main grandstand is an impressive, brick built structure that houses the dressing rooms, bar and function facilities. Behind each goal there is covered terracing whilst opposite the main stand another smaller, Atcost-style stand offers another 200-plus seats. Along the length of this side is a small terrace that was the envy of all of us that stand on the clubhouse side at Longmead.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels U21 0 Tunbridge Wells U21 1

Match 84/18/1677 - Wednesday, 16th January 2019 - Suburban Challenge Shield

Tonbridge Angels U21 (0) 0
Tunbridge Wells U21 (0) 1 Haylett 76
Attendance: 24

Admission: £3 Senior
Team Sheet: Free
Mileage: 38/4,878

With both sides struggling to make an impression in the final third, this Suburban League Shield game was destined to be settled by a mistake rather than a moment of brilliance and so it was the case as a scuffed clearance found the feet of Tunbridge Wells’ Sam Haylett who clinically drove the ball past Tommy Taylor.

The Challenge Shield operates within a group stage in the opening round and with the Angels having drawn their opening game at Lingfield, this defeat by their neighbours denies them any further progress in the competition leaving Tunbridge Wells needing to avoid defeat at Culverden against Lingfield to move into the quarter finals.

Angels’ Under-21 manager Chris Wye was disappointed that his side lost their way in the second half, failing to take on board the instructions that had been given to his team during the break.

Whilst not making excuses, Chris commented that having only one defender available meant that they were somewhat forced into a 3-5-2 formation that they were not used to.

Chances were at a premium, for both sides, throughout the game with Taylor saving from Tunbridge Wells’ Frankie Pooley after 18 minutes and Cameron Hall turning away a shot from Charlie Dumas at his near post the only efforts worthy of mention in the opening 45 minutes.

Into the second half and two early chances fell to Jorge Diez, but the first was fired over and after some good work by Connor Watson, who has returned to the club from Corinthian, the second was pulled wide.

That is not to say that the Wells were not offering their own threat as Matt Coleman’s effort after 65 minutes was saved by Taylor and a minute later a free kick from Terry Ede came back off the upright.

A good move between Diez and Esteban Salgado ended with the latter’s shot having the sting taken out of it by a deflection on its way through to Hall, but the visitors were to go ahead after 74 minutes when Haylett scored.

Tonbridge pressed on for an equaliser that would have, at least temporarily, kept them in the competition but the cutting edge was not there as Dominic Toussaint and Steve Panayi only asked Hall to make comfortable saves.

There was almost a final twist when goalkeeper Taylor went forward for successive corners and from the second got his head to the ball, only for it to drift agonisingly wide.

Chris Wye summed up: “We were lacklustre in the second half, we should have shown more patience and togetherness and we didn’t work hard enough as a team resulting in getting what we deserved, nothing. But we now need to move on to the next game (in the Suburban Challenge Plate, if you are managing to keep up with the Suburban’s Challenge competitions against now familiar foes in Lingfield) and for the players to show a reaction.”

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels U18 3 K Sports Colts 1

Match 83/18/1676 - Sunday, 13th January 2019 - Kent Youth League

Tonbridge Angels U18 (0) 3 Austin 54,81 Snowden-Lewis 89
K Sports Colts (0) 1 Bates 63
Headcount: 37

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 34/4,840

Tonbridge Angels U18s battled not only a big, well organised K Sports side but also a pitch that negated the efforts of both sides to play decent football. After an indifferent opening three months of the season in which player availability proved a problem, results of late have picked up and this win takes their unbeaten run to five games.

A more powerfully built K Sports side initially adapted better to the heavy conditions and a Tonbridge defender needed to clear from the goal line in the early minutes. Slowly the home side literally found their feet and a cross to the head of Ned Snowden-Lewis brought a save, low to his right, from the K Sports goalkeeper.

The Angels’ goalkeeper, 16-year-old Josh Leese made a good save after 20 minutes and throughout the game his handling was excellent.

Both sides created one good chance during the first half. After 23 minutes, Angels’ Nick Ithier sent Elliott Smith clear but he steered his shot wide of the post and Leese made a fine stop at the feet of a K Sports attacker on the half hour.

Into the second half and Tonbridge opened the scoring after 54 minutes when a clearance fell at the feet of Bradley Austin whose shot from 20 yards found the top corner.

K Sports responded well and it came as no surprise when they equalised after 63 minutes. A through ball sent the goalscorer clear to finish confidently.

The game was very even through the second half with the pitch looking like it would be the ultimate winner, but with nine minutes remaining a strong run down the left from Snowden-Lewis ended with a cross to the far post and the waiting Austin to convert.

Tonbridge wrapped up the game in the last minute when a run from Austin down the right saw the ball crossed into Charlie Bowles who touched it on for Snowden-Lewis to finish.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels 3 Kingstonian 2

Match 82/18/1675 - Saturday, 12th January 2019 - Bostik Premier

Tonbridge Angels (2) 3 Read 10 Turner 27 McKenzie 71
Kingstonian (2) 2 Inman 45 McAuley 45
Attendance: 369

Admission: Season Ticket
Programme: £2.50
Mileage: 38/4,816

The final whistle blew and the cheers would have been heard in Hildenborough. Cheers or was that the sound of relief?

It is typical that a god awful run was brought to an end by beating one of the form teams in the division and a team with money to burn in their quest for promotion.

It is fair to say that the sight of Elliott Buchanan named on the bench, but with no chance of taking to the field, cut the attacking threat of Kingstonian as Louie Theophanous ploughed a lone furrow without his partner.

Kingstonian, borne of a confidence that had only seen them beaten by league leaders Haringey since early November, were first to offer a shot on goal with Tyler Brown shooting wide, but it was the hosts that took the lead on 10 minutes. A cross from Joe Turner was only flapped to partial safety by Rob Tolfrey to the right hand corner of the six yard box to Chinedu McKenzie who directed a pass towards the near post that was smartly turned in by Alex Read.

Tonbridge had a huge let off after 20 minutes when a free kick was headed on from the edge of the box to the waiting Theophanous who with time and space inexplicably directed his shot wide of the left hand post.

Steve McKimm employed a more direct style with his two strikers and, after 27 minutes this bore fruit. A long kick from goalkeeper Jonny Henly found Read picking up a loose ball, passing left to Joe Turner, whose shot across the face of Tolfrey nestled into the far corner. It was a sweet moment for Turner, who had taken merciless stick from his erstwhile supporters. No doubt it brought a wry grin from McKimm who had taken similar abuse.

To get through to the break with the two goal lead intact was all-important but, unfortunately focus was lost from a 45 minute corner that was played short and the cross from the right hand angle of the 18 yard box found the unmarked Dean Inman who headed home.

Unbelievably worse was to follow, as within the couple of minutes of time added, Kingstonian levelled the score. Alfie Doughty chased a ball down, his cross from the by-line was headed clear by Sonny Miles but only to the edge of the box from where Shaun McAuley buried a shot into the top corner. To go into the dressing rooms after controlling the game only level was a crushing blow to the Angels, now it was all about getting a positive reaction to the setback.

And the hosts certainly started the second period positively with McKenzie testing Tolfrey and Read firing wide before, after 50 minutes, a ball well won in midfield by a combination of Tom Parkinson and D’Sean Theobalds ended with the former putting McKenzie clear with a ball over the top. McKenzie failed to lift the ball over the advancing Tolfrey and when the ball was retrieved and crossed by Jack Parter, Read headed wide, in what proved his last action as he was substituted due to illness.

Theophanous, whose shooting boots had clearly been left back at Kingston, managed to find the target forcing Henly into a good, low save but it was largely the home side that were forcing the pace with Tolfrey saving from Jared Small and Turner heading over.

On 71 minutes a foul on McKenzie led to a booking for Kingstonian’s experienced Jay Gasson. Turner floated the free kick towards the six yard box from where Miles directed a downward header that was parried by Tolfrey into the path of McKenzie to touch home to cue a celebratory dance the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while.

Five minutes later, was it a clever lob or a misplaced cross, whatever, Tom Murphy’s effort came back off the inside of a post.

Needing to press on, Kingstonian created chances that were fired over by Theophanous and Doughty but largely Tonbridge managed the game well into its closing moments. McKenzie raced clear only to be stopped in his tracks by a superb saving tackle by Gasson and as the clocked clicked past the added time, Murphy had the ball in the net only to be chalked off for offside.

Gillingham Youth 1 Ipswich Town 2

Match 81/18/1674 - Friday, 11th January 2019 - FA Youth Cup 4R

Gillingham (0) 1 Campbell
Ipswich Town (0) 2 Dobka 45 Brown 87
Attendance: 369

Admission: £2
Programme: £1
Mileage: 56/4,778

Match Report

Tonbridge Angels Ladies 0 Enfield Town 9

Match 80/18/1673 - Wednesday, 9th January 2019 - Isthmian Women's Cup QF

Tonbridge Angels (0) 0
Enfield Town (6) 9
Attendance: 93

Admission: £2
Programme: Free with entry
Mileage: 38/4,722

">Match Report

Friday, 11 January 2019

Ravens Wood 1 Hugh Christie 1

Match 79/18/1672 - Wednesday, 9th January 2019 - Kent SFA Academies League

Ravens Wood (0) 1
Hugh Christie (0) 1 Snowden-Lewis 71
Attendance: Me!

Admission: Free
Programme: None
Mileage: 70/4,684

The Wednesday stop on the minibus tour of Kent Schools took in Ravens Wood School which is situated a goal kick away from Holmesdale FC.

Six Academy lads were sitting their A level Law examination, which meant a later kick-off but also brought the benefit of the Development squad being strengthened by four of the Elite squad players.

At this level there is a huge variance in the quality of refereeing with sometimes, as in this occasion, the home team’s PE teacher taking on the whistle. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a FA qualified referee is going to be better but when you throw in a substitute from each side running the line, the potential for chaos is obvious. And so it was.

The referee took exception to any bad language that was heard on the field and certainly did not take kindly to any appealing from the sidelines. That Hugh Christie were the only side with a coach on the line inevitably meant that only one side took the admonishment.

Ravens Wood put seven past Hugh Christie early in the season and clearly felt that a repeat performance was within their scope with an early opportunity touched over the bar by Joe Roberts but the Tonbridge side had an immediate reposte with the Ravens’ goalkeeper, who went on to have a very good game, saving at his near post from Saul Masungeyi.

Ravens Wood dominated the first period forcing several corners and asking Roberts to make a couple of decent saves with Tyler Richardson also clearing from the line.

For good measure the Ravens' goalkeeper saved from Adam and Ned Snowden-Lewis.

Hugh Christie improved as an attacking force in the second period with Musengeyi twice testing the goalkeeper.

But it was the home side that opened the scoring after 67 minutes when a right-sided corner was headed home without much of a challenge.

But the Tonbridge response was positive with Brad Needham bringing a very good save out the goalkeeper before Musengeyi broke down the right hand side and laying on the perfect cross for Snowden-Lewis to fire into the bottom corner.

The game had the makings of a really good finish with both sides having very good chances before the referee called a halt to the game eight minutes early despite appeals from the sidelines. The referee gave his reasons for the early finish that in normal circumstances could only be considered an abandonment but these were as confusing as a good many of his decisions.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Tonbridge Angels 2 Brightlingsea Regent 2

Match 78/18/1671 - Saturday, 5th January 2019 - Bostik Premier

Tonbridge Angels (0) 2 Parkinson 76 Read 84
Brightlingsea Regent (1) 2 Hood 25 Hunt 47
Attendance: 358

Admission: Season Ticket
Programme: £2.50
Mileage: 38/4,614

It may only have registered a point in the D column but it felt like a W and the spirit shown was fully appreciated by Tonbridge supporters who got behind their team as the fight back took shape.

It’s been a funny old week. The Christmas/New Year period was staggering to its close but there was still that confused state of not really knowing what day of the week it was, I needed the bin men to turn up on the right day to put me back on the straight and narrow. And so it was with the football. Tonbridge's defeat at Carshalton had left everyone quite devastated and really not knowing where we might be as a club in the coming days. The forum literally went pop for a couple of days, Steve McKimm went quiet on Twitter and uncertainty hung in the air like a black cloud. But the storm subsided, the forum bounced back to life and posters were largely supportive and on Friday a new signing, Chinedu McKenzie from Haringey, was announced lifting the mood prior to the game against Brightlingsea Regent.

McKenzie went straight into a starting eleven that also saw the return of Jack Parter and James Folkes to the back line.

A bitingly cold afternoon probably restricted the attendance to a below average attendance of 358 with a hardy, vocal bunch of visiting supporters from the Essex east coast.

Brightlingsea, on a good run of form with three straight wins, started the game with a confidence borne of that run. After just two minutes, Morisi Gelashvili opened up an opportunity for Harry Morgan and, although McKenzie had a shot cleared from the line at the far post, Brightlingsea forced Jonny Henly into saves from Billy Hunt and Aaron Condon. After 20 minutes, Henly advanced beyond his area to head clear with the ball falling to Ricky Griggs whose lob from 40 yards towards the unguarded goal smacked against a post.

It therefore came as no surprise that Brightlingsea took the lead after 25 minutes when a heavy touch from Folkes allowed Harvey Hood to race clear and clinically finish past Henly.

The goal at least awoke Tonbridge from their slumbers with Regent’s goalkeeper James Bradbrook collecting a Tom Parkinson header and saving from McKenzie after some good work by Tom Beere.

But no momentum was created and it needed another Henly save to deny Hunt before the break.

If the first period had been a little deflating, a second goal within two minutes for the visitors was a crashing blow as Hunt was allowed to cut in from the left and power a shot past Henly. The only optimism that could be taken was that there was plenty of time to retrieve the situation if the Tonbridge players could find the necessary spirit.

Adem Ramadan entered the fray as a 57th minute substitute for Beere and his direct running immediately lifted the atmosphere. Parkinson once more tested Bradbrook with a header and the impressive D’Sean Theobalds also employed the goalkeeper.

McKimm swapped one of his strikers, Tom Murphy, for Alex Read after 66 minutes.

Parkinson directed a third header at the goalkeeper before, after 76 minutes, a Ramadan corner was successfully converted courtesy of the skipper’s head.

A minute later exasperation rang round Longmead as Sonny Miles’ header was saved by Bradbrook with the follow-up from Read being blocked and scrambled to safety.

Seven minutes remained when Theobalds sent Read clear to powerfully shoot past Bradbrook for the equalising goal.

There was still time for a winner to be found and half chances were made for Joe Turner and Miles but a share of the points had to be settled for.

Certainly, the reception the Tonbridge side received at the end suggested that the spirit shown had resonated with the supporters and a hope that this mere register in the D column signalled that a turning point had possibly been reached.