Tonbridge Angels 3 Hendon 1
TONBRIDGE ANGELS again made light of their lack of wingers to record a third straight win in the Ryman Premier with their new diamond formation.
It’s not quite Alf Ramsey’s wingless wonders but Angels manager Steve McKimm’s master stroke -coincided with him receiving an extension to his contract to remain in charge of the Angels next season.
But the home side depended on the services of keeper Anthony di Bernardo to keep them in the game as Hendon certainly had more of the play in the first half.
In the opening exchanges Kezie Ibe forced a double save from Di -Bernardo, and the visitors didn’t have to wait long to get their goal.
Despite Di Bernardo producing another fine save after nine minutes, Karl Oliyde forced the ball home to put the visitors one up.
The Angels replied in the 13th minute when Damian Scannell’s corner was powerfully headed by Mitchell Nelson past Tom Lovelock in the Hendon goal for the equaliser.
But the visitors continued to have the better of the play until Tom Phipp made a good run into the Hendon box and was brought down in the 36th minute. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Alex Akrofi converted.
Four minutes into the second half, another Damian Scannell corner was forced in by George Beavan after a scramble for Tonbridge’s third.
Hendon stayed on the front foot but the Tonbridge defence was able to deal with their opponents’ forays into the final third.
Once again, man of the match Di Bernardo was forced to make a point blank save from Hendon’s Arthur Lee on 75 minutes but it was an isolated scare for the home side.
With no recognised wide men for the third game in a row, manager McKimm again employed a diamond formation. But now he faces -something of a dilemma as winger Nick Wheeler returns to action.
McKimm accepted that it had been a workmanlike display, saying: “We are in the business of -maximising points and to be honest I’m not too bothered how we get them.
“Yes we won ugly today, but to be fair the boys stuck to the task, didn’t make too many mistakes and closed out the game effectively.
“Tony di Bernardo deserved his man of the match award but there were other good performances.”