Tonbridge Angels come out second best in eventful seven-goal thriller


Submitted for publication in the Kent & Sussex Courier

Tonbridge Angels came back to tie three times but were unable to claim a point in their 4-3 defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town.

After they came from behind three times to tie at 3-3, Tonbridge conceded a stoppage time goal as Hemel Hempstead took all three points in a game full of incidents.

Two red cards for the hosts, a saved penalty by Jonathan Henly and a large melee on the pitch all occurred outside of the seven goals on the day.

Within four minutes the Angels fell behind when they failed to deal with a dangerous Hemel Hempstead attack and Pierre Fonkeu applied the finishing touch.

There was more pressure from the hosts in the ensuing ten minutes, but gradually Angels grew into the game and nearly forced an own goal from a Tudors defender.

Hemel were then awarded a penalty for handball by Craig Braham-Barrett, which Henly saved.

During a frantic three-minute period, a Tom Beere free-kick saw Hemel fail to clear their lines with Teddy Perkins allowed to score his first goal for Tonbridge.

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Unfortunately for Tonbridge they fell behind for the second time when a well-worked attack saw Hemel hit the woodwork and Fonkeu claimed his second goal from the rebound.

On 54 minutes James Taylor produced an extraordinary 30-yard effort that deceived Hemel goalkeeper Craig King and ended up in the back of the net to draw the Angels level once more.

A minute later with the visitors’ tails up, Joe Turner saw his effort crash against the post with the ball rebounding to King.

Hemel got their noses in front again for the third time through a simple header.

With five minutes remaining Craig Fasanmade saw red for a second bookable offence, and Angels took full advantage with Taylor getting his second a minute later, sweeping in Beere’s corner.

Angels looked to keep hold of the point at the third time of asking, but it wasn’t to be as Chris Paul took advantage of some sloppy defending by the visitors to win the game.

Just before the crucial strike there had been an incident in front of the Hemel goal, with a yellow card shown, and after the final goal following an Angels free-kick another red card was shown to the hosts before the final whistle was blown.

Angels manager Steve McKimm said: “I’m devastated at the manner in which we have lost today. We’ve scored three away from home and we shouldn’t be losing the game.

“All the goals conceded by us were avoidable in my opinion but obviously I’ll be having a look at them.

“We need to put this result behind us and prepare for Welling United next Saturday.”


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