Tonbridge Angels 3 Kingstonian 1

THE WAY FORWARD Steve McKimm will be in charge for a fifth season PHOTO: David Couldridge

TONBRIDGE ANGELS manager Steve McKimm has signed a contract that will keep him at Longmead for a fifth season.

The news came immediately after his side secured victory over Kingstonian in an entertaining encounter at Longmead.

The visitors opened the scoring after just four minutes when Connor Hunte cleverly made space for himself on the edge of the area, his low shot beating the unsighted keeper Jonny Henly.

Parity was quickly restored in the 10th minute when Alex Akrofi made good progress down the inside right channel and produced a volley into the left-hand corner of the net.

On 35 minutes George Beavan forced a decent save from the Kingstonian keeper Rob Tolfrey but it was the visitors who finished the stronger with Greg Cundle twice denied by Henly.

The home side were to stamp their authority on the second half, however, with Beavan hitting the crossbar with a volley in the 51st minute.

And just a minute later the Angels took the lead when Sean Francis put through his own goal from close in following heavy pressure.

An excellent chance went begging in the 69th minute when it appeared that Akrofi and substitute Andrew Sesay got in each other’s way.

But three minutes later the Angels increased their lead with a superb goal. Akrofi found Joe Turner with a fine pass and the midfielder produced a ferocious shot into the right-hand corner.

In the latter stages Liam Smith forced a good save out of Rob Tolfrey, and Kingstonian were handed a glimmer of hope when defender Beavan was sent off two minutes from time for a second bookable offence, but the home defence stood firm.

Manager McKimm said. “We had players out there just come back from long layoffs because of injury together with others from the reserves who have little first-team experience.

“But everything came together and the more experienced players helped the younger ones through. It was a genuine team performance.”

The former Sutton United coach, who arrived at Longmead in May 2014, said: “I am delighted that the Board have chosen to keep faith with me for next season. I enjoy working at this club, the players, and the people who run it, the volunteers and supporters.

“Of course I am already thinking about next season but would like if possible to keep the core team we already have. But to a degree that will be up to the individual players and I will be having discussions with them.”

He added: “One thing we shall be looking at is how we can lessen the amount of injuries to players that have cost us so dear this season.”

Vice-chairman Chris Drew said: “Steve is very attached to this club both professionally and emotionally, and supporters probably don’t realise the amount of hours he spends in trying to put the strongest team out there each matchday to fly the flag for the Angels against a modest budget.

“Things don’t always go according to plan but the board know that with Steve he will be trying his utmost for success for our club.”

The Angels remain in 11th place in the Bostik League Premer. They face Billericay Town at home on Thursday (March 22, kick-off 7.45pm), then go go to Wingate & Finchley on Saturday (3pm start).