Football: Tonbridge Angels rising high after Bognor Regis comeback

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WINNING SMILES: (L-R) Chinedu McKenzie, Sonny Miles and D’Sean Theobalds celebrate the victory PHOTO: David Couldridge

TONBRIDGE ANGELS moved into contention for the playoffs in the Bostik League Premier after a hard-fought win in Sussex.

Once again they showed their new-found confidence in being able to recover after going behind, and from front to back they never allowed their opponents time on the ball.

After just 24 seconds Jack Parter seized on a loose ball on the left for the Angels and swung in a cross that took a wicked deflection and ended up in the back of the net.

Brad Lethbridge was the potential dangerman for the Rocks and after 16 minutes he cut in from the left and scored with aplomb.

A minute later Bognor were in front. Leading scorer Jimmy Muett ran down the right channel and beat keeper Jonny Henly with a low shot.

The Angels gradually worked their way back into the game and started to stifle their hosts’ attempts to play a passing game.

On 29 minutes Joe Turner’s cross reached Alex Read, who had cleverly got between his two markers, and with Rocks keeper Dan Lincoln rooted to his line he directed his header with pinpoint accuracy to level the scores.

For the remainder of the first half the Angels looked the stronger side with chances falling to Adem Ramadan, Sonny Miles and Turner.

The second period began in much the same vein with Bognor unable to play their normal fluent football and the Angels looking dangerous going forward.

On 55 minutes Tonbridge were awarded a free kick on the right and as the ball floated in there was a push on Miles inside the area.

The referee pointed immediately to the spot and Turner dispatched the penalty ruthlessly to put the Angels ahead for the second time.

Tonbridge had chances to make the game safe with Read, Chinedu McKenzie and Turner causing problems.

Bognor staged a late rally, forcing saves from Henly, but the Angels kept their concentration to see out the game.

Angels’ assistant manager Barry Moore said: “We know how Bognor like to play by creating from the back and working the ball out wide so our plan was to nullify this threat as far as possible and I thought it largely worked.

“We brought Tom Beere on for the last 10 minutes or so to help us get over the line, to replace Adem [Ramadan] who worked his socks off. It was a terrific performance by everyone.”

The Angels will look to continue their 2019 revival at home to Margate on Saturday [February 9, kick-off 3pm].

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