Football: McKimm seeks striking options for Tonbridge Angels
20th December 2018
Tonbridge Angels 0 Dartford 2
WITH a gap in competitive fixtures, Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm took the opportunity to arrange a friendly with National South side Dartford, who were also without a game because of FA Trophy ties.
With the Angels having lost seven of their last eight fixtures after topping the Bostik League Premier Table at the start of November, McKimm tweaked his formation while largely keeping faith with the same personnel.
But with only three goals to show for those eight games, the Angels management are looking for a way to bolster their striking options going into the second half of the campaign.
McKimm’s plans were not helped when the squad’s only recognised striker, Alex Read, had to pull out just before kick-off with hamstring issues sustained during the warm-up.
As has so often been the case in recent matches there was plenty of hard work being done in defence and through the midfield areas but any half-chances that were created went to waste.
A penalty was awarded to the visitors in the 27th minute which was saved by Jonny Henly, who also managed to push Dan Darbyshire’s effort round the post.
On the stroke of half-time Tommy Whitnell’s fierce shot was only held at the second attempt by Darts keeper Bradley Vose.
Tonbridge’s best moment came on the hour-mark when Jared Small’s goalbound shot from the edge of the area was blocked inadvertently by Tom Parkinson.
On 68 minutes Angels substitute Tom Beere saw his shot scrape the wrong side of the post.
With a quarter of an hour remaining McKimm brought on some younger players and Dartford finally made the breakthrough following defensive errors.
The experienced Lee Noble broke the deadlock in the 81st minute, and then Dartford made the game safe in the 90th minute with a late strike to make it 2-0.
The contest proved a useful learning exercise and afterwards McKimm said: “I thought the young players did well but they will also have learnt from their mistakes.”
The Angels return to Bostik League Premier action at home to Folkestone Invicta on Boxing Day [kick-off 3pm].