Tonbridge Angels 3
Chippenham Town 2
The first period was dominated by injuries, which resulted in the home side using all their substitutes by the 37th minute.
Tonbridge went ahead as early as the second minute when Roberto Ratti laid the ball off intelligently for Jason Williams, who made no mistake with a fine curling shot.
Chippenham worked hard to get back into the game and deservedly equalised in the 32nd minute when Tom Owen-Evans took advantage of some hesitation in the defence with a tap-in at the far post.
With the first half entering stoppage time Ben Greenhalgh forced a good save from the Chippenham keeper Will Puddy.
The resultant corner was cleared but only as far as D’Sean Theobalds, whose thunderbolt from the edge of the area gave Puddy no chance, and the hosts went in 2-1 up at the break.
On 53 minutes Owen-Evans turned provider for Chippenham, putting through Karnell Chambers who rounded Jonny Henly for the equaliser.
The visitors weren’t on level terms for long, however, with Angels’ James Folkes crossing for Joe Turner to head neatly past Puddy at the back post.
Both sides had further chances until late drama saw straight red cards shown first to Angels’ Harry Donovan for a reckless challenge and then Chippenham’s Ryan Case for a second bookable offence after striking out at Ratti.
Angels manager Steve McKimm said: “We’ve finished with eight fit players and we’ll have to see over the next few days how serious those injuries are.
“Nevertheless, the players were superb today and ran themselves into the ground to get that win.”
The much-needed win sees Angels move up to 18th place in the table, though only one point separates them from 21st place.
On New Year’s Day Tonbridge came away from the Gallagher Stadium with a point after a 2-2 draw with local rivals Maidstone United.
The game saw a Tonbridge debut for striker Ratti, who arrives from Dover Athletic, while two other Angels players opened their account, Williams and Donovan.
Former Arsenal player Gavin Hoyte gave Stones the lead after three minutes. Williams equalised on 19 minutes but the hosts restored their lead eight minutes later through Iffy Allen.
The Angels deservedly levelled with 13 minutes remaining when Maidstone failed to clear their lines and Donovan fired a hard, low shot into the net.