Football: Hotshot Read strikes twice to keep Angels on top of the table

What the garden looked like before
BLOCK ON TOMMY Whitnell’s shot is stopped by the Urchins’ defence PHOTO: David Couldridge

IF BOSTIK LEAGUE leaders Tonbridge Angels are destined for glory this season, they may look back on matches like this as laying the foundations of success.
It was a workmanlike win rather than spectacular but an important acheivement on a pitch that was already in a poor condition.
The visitors withstood the early forays by the Urchins as former Angel George Purcell twice went close and hit the woodwork.
Tonbridge began to get their passing game into gear and a fine move involving Joe Turner, Adem Ramadan and Tommy Whitnell saw the latter’s shot blocked.
There ensued a spell of Angels dominance which saw Turner’s cross reach Alex Read with the striker able to turn in the box but his effort was just wide.
The visitors persevered and following another good spell of possession which saw the Urchins’ defence pulled this way and that, a frustrated defender tripped Read as he burst into the box.
The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. In spite of Callum Chaffer guessing the right way, Read’s shot was accurate and nestled in the corner of the goal to give the Angels a vital half-time lead.
Despite the efforts of the home side to get back into the match during the second period, their use of the long ball was predictable and a well organised Angels defence had no problem dealing with the threat.
With 20 minutes left Jack Parter’s cross flashed across the goalmouth and then a decent Tonbridge move ended with Turner’s shot hit straight at Chaffer.
Turner was involved again on 75 minutes when his free kick forced Chaffer to tip the ball over the crossbar.
An otherwise lacklustre second half was lit up by a fine Tonbridge second goal.
In the 90th minute substitute Jared Small ran 60 yards down the right flank and his pinpoint cross met the head of Read, who converted to make the game safe.
Angels manager Steve McKimm said: “We knew about the pitch and we knew how Hornchurch would play, and we dealt with their initial threat very well.
“In the second half I thought we were comfortable and I don’t think they seriously threatened our goal.”
The Angels now face Whyteleaf at home in the FA Trophy on Saturday [October 27, kick-off 3pm].

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