Tonbridge Angels 1 Staines Town 2
AFTER suffering a home defeat to Staines Town in the Ryman Premier, Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm warned his side against complacency.
The visitors played the more controlled football over the majority of the game, but in the end had to thank their goalkeeper, Jack Turner, for saving a late penalty that ultimately secured them the points.
It was a fairly even first half, with Tonbridge having more possession but trying one pass too many, while Staines employed a more direct style and were always dangerous on the break.
An early injury to Nathan Elder meant the Angels had to change their style with no genuine target man now available.
A misdirected header by James Folkes let in Max Worsfold for the visitors, who slipped the ball past Anthony di Bernardo for the opening goal on 22 minutes.
The home side responded with a couple of Tom Parkinson headers, one of which was cleared off the line on the stroke of half-time.
In the second period, Staines made the more positive start, with their two wide men, Sam Barratt and Worsfold, stretching the Tonbridge defence.
It was no surprise that the visitors doubled their lead in the 64th minute when Worsfold got behind Folkes and converted a pinpoint cross past Di Bernardo.
It was definitely time for Tonbridge to start taking the game to their rivals, and they went to a three-man back line. It paid dividends in the 75th minute when substitute Luke Allen, with his first touch, converted Luke Blewden’s volleyed cross.
In the 40th minute Tonbridge were awarded a penalty when Tommy Brewer tripped Tom Parkinson in the box and was then shown a red card.
Angels scorer Luke Allen stepped up for the spot kick, but was thwarted when Turner guessed the right way and saved well.
Tonbridge made a concerted effort to get back on level terms as the game reached a conclusion, but Turner was again the Staines hero when he saved brilliantly from Nick Wheeler’s dipping volley in stoppage time.
There were just moments for a Mitchell Nelson header to go over before the referee blew his whistle, and for Staines to claim all the points.
Manager McKimm said: “We only really played for 30 minutes, and you can’t win matches like that. The substitutions that were made towards the end did make a difference, and on another day we might have got a point, or all the points, but fair play to Staines – they’ve managed the game well and got the result.
“We mustn’t become a hot and cold side – very good one week, mediocre the next – and we have to find a solution to that.
“If we’d won today, the dropping of points late to Merstham and Enfield would have been acceptable perhaps. Now those results don’t look so good.”