Football: Angels fall short as play-offs slip away

    Folkestone Invicta 1 Tonbridge Angels 0

    STRAIN EVERY SINEW Tom Phipp (left) and Nathan Elder search for an equaliser PHOTO David Couldridge

    TONBRIDGE ANGELS crashed out of play-off contention for National South with a surprisingly lacklustre display at relegation-threatened Folkestone Invicta on Easter Monday.

    The visitors were left to reflect on a Ryman League Premier season which at times promised much but in the end fizzled out with a feeling of distinct underachievement.

    Folkestone had a hatful of chances early on, with former Angel Joe Taylor somehow missing from three yards out.

    Nick Wheeler made a dangerous run into the heart of the Invicta defence but Vas Karagiannis’s effort was blocked.

    An Invicta attack down the left wing in the 40th minute provided the breakthrough. A cross reached full-back Nat Blanks, whose shot was good enough to beat keeper Jonny Henly.

    Angels’ best chance came on 68 minutes when Wheeler, substitute Dan Thompson and Nathan Elder almost forced an equaliser but the -Folkestone defence scrambled the ball away.

    Angels huffed and puffed but there was no real cutting edge and they were too predictable.

    Folkestone were able to deal comfortably with whatever was thrown at them and take a -significant step towards securing their own safety.

    For Angels, performances have been patchy since the end of February, with only two league wins and both of those by just the single goal.

    They had kept their hopes alive two days before with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Sudbury, another side desperately trying to stay up.

    It took Angels until the 78th minute to find a winner, however, when a Wheeler corner was converted by Elder.

    After the Invicta match the bitterly disappointed Angels manager, Steve McKimm, said: “It was another poor performance today.

    “They wanted it more than us and only two or three players can emerge with any credit.

    “I admit I’ve made mistakes along the line but our dressing room isn’t as strong as last season.

    “Inevitably there will be changes and I’m already thinking about those changes.”