Dulwich Hamlet 1 Tonbridge Angels 2
TONBRIDGE Angels boss Steve McKimm praised his team’s ‘smash and grab raid’ at Dulwich Hamlet in the Ryman Premier.
After a tentative start, in the eighth minute former Angel Nathan Green’s back pass to Dulwich keeper Preston Edwards was underhit – but Damian Scannell couldn’t quite take advantage.
The home defence failed to clear their lines properly from an Angels corner on 25 minutes. The attack was recycled with a chance falling to skipper Tom Parkinson, who made no mistake from eight yards out to put the visitors one up.
The goal stung the hosts into action and four minutes later Anthony Di Bernardo was forced into a block save to keep the visitors’ lead intact.
In terms of possession the rest of the half belonged to Dulwich but at the break they were still a goal down. It was to be expected that Hamlet would come out full of fight and they didn’t disappoint.
Tonbridge were having difficulty keeping the ball and in the 49th minute the almost inevitable equaliser arrived. The Angels once again lost the ball in a dangerous area and Mitchell Nelson could only help the ball into his own net.
Buoyed by their goal, and with the large home crowd in good voice, Dulwich started to play the possession football that their talented squad are capable of. The Tonbridge defence had to work really hard to keep themselves in the game and with the arrival of Alex Akrofi and Tommy Whitnell from the bench, they were able to steady the ship.
On 66 minutes, Jack Parter crossed to Akrofi but he was unable to get any direction on the header. Six minutes later, Akrofi was fouled just outside the area but Luke Allen’s free-kick went wide.
It looked like it was going to be a very difficult last 15 minutes for Tonbridge when former Dulwich player Scannell was sent off for a second bookable offence.
But the Angels appeared not to have read the script. On 88 minutes Akrofi, whose pace clearly worried the defence, drew a foul five yards from the edge of the box. Wheeler’s delivery was perfect and Akrofi won the header, placing the ball past the keeper for the winning goal.
Manager McKimm said: “We defended against a very decent side who always play good football. Under the circumstances I would have been happy enough with a point, but sometimes in football events can work in your favour, and that’s what happened today.
“We’ve had two good chances and scored from them both, but we’ve suffered the same in reverse. Look at the recent Staines and Kingstonian home matches.”