Tonbridge Angels 1 Lowestoft 0
TONBRIDGE ANGELS came out deserved winners despite having to rely on just the one goal to claim all the points and a double over their Suffolk visitors.
Lowestoft offered very little up front and rode their luck at the back to keep the scoreline respectable.
Angels Manager Steve McKimm opted for a more familiar 4-4-2 formation after using a diamond for several games. There was no starting place for new signing Dan Thompson from Burgess Hill, although the striker had a 25 minute run-out in the closing stages.
The goal came in the eighth minute following good work by Nick Wheeler on the left flank. His cross was converted by Nathan Eder with an accurate header past Jake Jessup, the Trawler Boys keeper. It has been a familiar goalscoring partnership this season.
There was a palpable sense of relief around the ground when Elder’s header hit the back of the net. The Angels’ leading scorer had by his own high standards been in something of a goal drought.
It was a formula that worked as the ball was shifted skilfully to both wings and then the Lowestoft defence was put under pressure with accurate crossing. Chances came for Luke Blewden, Elder and Tom Phipp but they couldn’t add to the goal tally.
The second half was much the same story. Elder’s spectacular bicycle kick in the 54th minute was just wide, while a Phipp volley on 77 minutes and Tom Parkinson’s header eight minutes later were typical of the home side’s dominance.
With minutes remaining, Lowestoft’s Rory McAuley had a chance to steal the equaliser but he headed straight at Anthony di Bernardo in the Tonbridge goal.
And in stoppage time Di Bernardo was favourite to claim a through ball but misjudged his block. However, the Tonbridge defence were quick to back up their missing keeper and the chance was gone.
The home side held on for three valuable points to take them up to fifth place. Angels Assistant Manager, Barry Moore, said his team should have won by a greater margin but had played some good football and created plenty of chances.
“It was great to see Nathan end his goal drought and you could see how delighted the other players were for him,” he said.
“There were some other good performances and I thought our back line was superb, never giving Lowestoft any genuine chances.”