Football: Tonbridge Angels anger over red card at Dorking
14th August 2019
Dorking Wanderers 3 Tonbridge Angels 1
TONBRIDGE ANGELS slipped to their third straight defeat in National League South after Rhyle Ovenden was sent off early in the match at Meadowbank.
The controversial dismissal after 22 minutes left the visitors still searching for their first points of the season following their promotion.
Ovenden, on his 21st birthday, had been brought into the starting 11 as Tommy Brewer was unavailable through injury.
The visitors opened brightly, D’Sean Theobalds firing wide after four minutes and Jared Small forcing a good save out of Slavomir Huk.
Tommie Hession-Harris’s corner flashed across the face of goal, and it was against the run of play that Dorking went ahead after 18 minutes.
After a challenge on the edge of the box the ball was slipped through to James McShane, who buried his shot between goalkeeper Myles Roberts and the near post.
Then Ovenden and Dorking’s Ben Dyett challenged for an aerial ball and both went down hurt in what seemed an accidental clash.
But after the referee consulted his assistant, Ovenden was shown a straight red card.
Manager Steve McKimm said of the incident: “The referee told me it was an elbow, excessive force. I’ve watched the video and he doesn’t even lead with his elbow, he is looking at the ball.
“The referee has got that completely wrong. I know it’s not an elbow – and it changed the game massively.”
In the 40th minute Dorking doubled their advantage with a clinical goal as a corner from the right was met by the head of Jason Prior.
Tonbridge mounted a brave second-half display that, while not bringing any reward, gives encouragement for the games ahead.
Small, who was a constant threat, had a snapshot four minutes into the half which was saved by the feet of Huk at his near post.
Roberts, who was standing in for the injured and suspended Jonny Henly, acrobatically turned over a shot from Giuseppe Sole.
On 61 minutes the visitors found the net when Small pulled the ball back from the right byline for Hession-Harris to fire in at the near post.
But the comeback was stopped in its tracks just two minutes later when Elliott Buchanan struck a fine shot from 20 yards past the despairing dive of Roberts.
A run from inside his own half by Small ended with a shot being parried away by Huk.
The rebound fell to Joe Turner, whose effort was saved by a combination of the goalkeeper and a clearance off the line by a defender.
In the last 20 minutes both sides had chances but Tonbridge were indebted to Roberts for two good saves to thwart Sole and Tom Richards, while the latter also hit the crossbar.
McKimm reflected: “We didn’t deserve that result. The first 25 minutes we were superb but the sending-off changed the game massively.”
The Angels now travel to Bath City on Saturday (August 17, kick-off 3pm).
A memorial service will be held in memory of Charlie Slocombe at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Borough Green on Friday August 16 at 1.30pm, followed by a gathering at Platt Memorial Hall in St Mary’s Platt. The former Angels player, 26, died while playing football last month.