AFTER nine defeats in their last 10 games in league and cup, Tonbridge Angels’ fightback against Brightlingsea felt like a hopeful start to the new year in the Bostik League Premier.
Steve McKimm’s side were staring into the abyss at 2-0 down with 15 minutes to go.
But the way in which the players picked themselves up off the floor was impressive.
The first half saw the Angels having a little more of the ball than their opponents but Brightlingsea always looked dangerous on the break.
The visitors could have opened their account in the first minute when a dangerous ball from the left was blocked by a Tonbridge defender.
At the other end Joe Turner should have done better when through on goal but he shot tamely at the Regent keeper James Bradbrook.
Aaron Condon created a couple of decent chances for Brightlingsea, one of which was superbly saved by Angels gloveman Jonny Henly.
The Essex side were not to be denied for much longer and in the 25th minute they took the lead when Harvey Hood was put through by a pass from the left.
Angels responded strongly and Tom Beere’s cross was almost converted by D’Sean Theobalds in the 35th minute but Bradbrook responded with a sound block.
Immediately after the restart Regent doubled their lead when Billy Hunt was allowed to waltz through the home defence to strike past Henly.
McKimm’s substitutions saw Tom Murphy make way for Alex Read while Adem Ramadan replaced Beere, and suddenly the Angels were flying.
The home side fought back with goals from Tom Parkinson in the 76th minute and Read on 83 minutes, and the Angels then pressed hard to find the winner but to no avail.
Asked about the two goals conceded, McKimm said: “I would rather concentrate on the two goals we scored and the way the team responded at the end to try and win the game.
“Hopefully we’ve got momentum now to give us a positive training session on Tuesday and can take that into Saturday’s game against Kingstonian [at Longmead].”
Reinforcing the front line
Angels manager Steve McKimm has signed striker Chinedu McKenzie (right) from Bostik League Premier leaders Haringey Borough in a bid to end a barren spell up front.
McKenzie, 24, has played for Maidenhead United, Romford, Harlow Town and Bromley.
Manager Steve McKimm said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Chinedu in action for the Angels and hope he has a long and successful spell at Longmead.”