Tonbridge Angels 5 Needham Market 4

NET GAINS Alex Akrofi scored Angels' third after half-time PHOTO: David Couldridge

THE ANGELS and the Marketmen served up a nine-goal thriller in the Bostik League premier with the result in doubt until the very end.

The home side opened the scoring in the ninth minute. After strong run down the left, Alex Akrofi cut in and was brought down in the penalty area.

Joe Turner converted the spot-kick giving Needham Market keeper Daniel Gay no chance.

In a game of ebb and flow the lead only lasted eight minutes, however, with Diaz Wright scoring following a free kick for the Suffolk side.

Despite chances falling to Akrofi and Nathan Elder, it was Needham Market who took the lead on 31 minutes when Callum Harrison poked the ball past Jonny Henly.

Parity was restored in the 41st minute when a through ball caught the visitors’ defence napping and Elder ran through with a clever shot past Gay that crept in at the far past.

Three minutes into the second half Angels were once again in the lead when Akrofi got his head to a Turner cross. And the game appeared to be won for the home side when 12 minutes later Elder headed in at the near post from a corner.

Needham Market had other ideas and their pressure brought rewards through another penalty on 69 minutes, converted by Daniel Morphew.

When Jamie Griffiths made it 4-4 in the 84th minute they looked perhaps the favourites to take all the points.

But in the 90th minute it was the home side that won the game through an angled shot by young Tashi-Jay Kwayie.

Angels manager Steve McKimm said: “This evening myself and the players will enjoy the win.

“Allowing for the fact that some players were in non-preferred positions, I thought that they all worked their socks off. There were some tired legs out there.”

The Angels, now in 10th place, host Merstham on Saturday [November 25, kick-off 3pm].