Football: Akrofi wastes no time making a mark on return

Pam Mills

IT WASN’T a classic but Angels and their supporters won’t be too worried as they took three points against a hard-working but predictable Canvey Island team in the Ryman Premier on Saturday.
Recent visits to the Essex club have not always been the happiest for Tonbridge but today they earned their win by playing what football was on offer and keeping their concentration at the back when Canvey did manage to apply some pressure.
Angels Assistant Manager Barry Moore was in charge as Steve McKimm unwell. After the drama of the midweek 4-4 draw at home to Leatherhead, Alex Akrofi was back from suspension to partner Nathan Elder up front.
Moore’s faith in Akrofi brought an almost immediate return as the pacy Angels striker scored after just four minutes, taking advantage of Luke Allen’s through ball. The visitors’ first serious attack was to prove decisive as the only goal of the game.
On 26 minutes Jack Parter’s overlap and cross flashed past the Canvey Island goalmouth with Luke Blewden’s first-time shot thudding into the post.
Captain Tom Parkinson was having a fine game. More than capable playing as a central defender, Tonbridge lose so much if he is denied a midfield place.
Canvey Island did put much more effort into their game during the second half but were unable to vary their plan of attack to surprise the visitors.
The unmarked John Mbamarah should have done better for the Gulls at the back post with a header on 50 minutes but made it too easy for Anthony Di Bernardo to collect.
A flowing move on 62 minutes involving Akrofi, Nick Wheeler and Parkinson saw the Angels skipper head narrowly wide.
Tonbridge piled on the pressure and a Wheeler corner almost converted by Akrofi, a George Beavan shot was saved on the line by Ashley Dumas and Mitchell Nelson headed just over the bar.
Elder forced a decent save out of Gulls keeper Conor Gough on 79 minutes with a strong header, and nine minutes later the big man again created a chance for himself after combining well with Luke Blewden.
Afterwards, Moore said: “We knew what they would be about and were able to deal effectively with their threat.
“Yes, 85 minutes is a long time to hold out but we created loads more chances and I can’t remember too many coming from them.”

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