Football: Champions Dorking leave Tonbridge Angels hanging on
17th April 2019
Tonbridge Angels 0 Dorking Wanderers 2
THE runaway champions of the Bostik League Premier, Dorking Wanderers, laid on a masterclass in inflicting a defeat which leaves Tonbridge Angels’ play-off ambitions in the balance.
The Surrey side showed why they have been so successful with good possession and patience, while a taking their chances when they came.
They timed their moment perfectly, performing in front of a crowd of more than 800 spectators at Longmead.
Tonbridge will need to put this defeat behind them as they prepare to face play-off rivals Worthing and Carshalton Athletic in their next two fixtures.
The first half saw Dorking content to move the ball around in midfield, choosing their moments to go on the offensive – and when they did they always looked capable of scoring.
In the 17th minute Matthew Briggs accelerated into Tonbridge’s final third from the right and whilst his effort was parried by Angels keeper Jonny Henly, the ball fell kindly for Jason Prior and the experienced striker scored.
Just when the Angels thought they might get to half-time just the one goal adrift, Dorking struck again. James McShane whipped in a cross, Reece Hall had a free run to the back post and shot firmly past Henly.
During the first half Tom Derry, Jack Parter and Arthur Lee all went close for Angels. In the 36th minute Joe Turner forced a good save from Dorking keeper Slavomir Huk.
The second half saw a distinct improvement from the Angels but a two-goal deficit was always going to be a mountain to climb against a side with the calm control of Dorking.
There were half-chances for Sonny Miles, Joe Turner, Adem Ramadan and Tom Derry, while Jared Small put in some teasing crosses but no one in a blue shirt could take advantage.
Angels manager Steve McKimm said: “The players have to realise the opportunity they have. We are still very much in the mix and they need to get themselves over the line.
“We shall work hard, and sort a few things out at training ready to face Worthing on Good Friday, which will be a huge game.”
The Angels are in third place with 66 points while Carshalton Athletic are one point behind and Worthing two further back on 63.
There are a number of other teams technically still in the mix with three games to go – Leatherhead, who beat Angels in their previous match – -Bishop’s Stortford, Merstham and Folkestone Invicta down in ninth place.
Second-placed Haringey Borough are likely to secure a home tie in the end-of-season knockout on April 29 but Tonbridge will hope to secure the other home spot for third place.
So the Angels travel to Worthing on Good Friday [April 19, kick-off 3pm] before taking on Carshalton on Monday [April 22, kick-off 3pm].