Concord Rangers vs Tonbridge Angels

Saturday 14th March 2020

On Saturday Concord Rangers took on Tonbridge Angels at the Aspect Arena in another National League South fixture. The last time these two sides met was back in August when it was Tonbridge who secured all 3 points after defeating the beachboys 1-0. This was an important fixture for both sides, with each team eager to take all the points, however in the end, a 3-3 draw meant that the points were shared.

The beachboys starting XI included; Chris Haigh, David Olufemi, Aron Pollock, Billy Roast, Ryan Scott, Jack Cawley, Lamar Reynolds, Taylor Maloney, Decarrey Sheriff, James Blanchfield and Temi Babalola. The substitutes were; Danny Green, Acea Laurent, Michael O’Donoghue, Lee Minshull and Ben Search.

Concord found themselves on the front foot early on in the game after Pollock created a chance for Reynolds by making a driven cross in from the left, but the ball was miscontrolled and fell straight into the arms of the goalkeeper. Babalola also came close after his half volley on the turn flew narrowly over the crossbar.

However, it was Tonbridge who broke the deadlock first as Greenhalgh sent the ball into the bottom right corner with the Angels’ first proper opportunity of the game.

The beachboys were quick to equalise after Reynolds carried the ball down the left side of the pitch before crossing the ball into the penalty area where Babalola headed the ball into the bottom corner.

Only 4 minutes later, Concord turned the game on its head after the ball was sent through to Sheriff, who did well to stay on his feet following a challenge from the Tonbridge defender. He then managed to carry the ball around the goalkeeper and slot it in from a tight angle.

In the 44th minute Tonbridge equalised the score as the ball was driven past Haigh and into the bottom right corner by Wood. Concord’s claims for offside were dismissed by the referee as the goal was allowed to stand.

Once again, Concord were very quick to respond and regain the lead. Reynolds drove the ball into the penalty area before turning his defender and crossing it into Babalola, who made contact with the ball before it fell to the feet of Blanchfield who tapped it in with ease just before the half time whistle.

Half Time: Concord Rangers 3-2 Tonbridge Angels

It would be fair to say that the second half was significantly quieter in terms of the action on the pitch, with both goalkeepers facing few challenges.

Tonbridge had a penalty claim that was dismissed by the referee in their pursuit of equalising, and shortly after they came close once again after a low driven shot was sent just wide of the left post.

One of Concord’s best chances of the half came as Babalola dribbled the ball deep into Tonbridge’s penalty area before passing it across the face of the goal, however, no yellow shirts were on the end of the pass and so the ball was cleared away from the defender.

There was then heartbreak for the beachboys as Tonbridge equalised the game in additional time. A looping cross was sent into the box and met by the head of Bray, who tapped it past Haigh and into the back of the net.

Unfortunately for Concord, the goals from Babalola, Sheriff and Blanchfield were not enough to secure the 3 points. Tonbridge’s late goal in the 90th minute meant that the points were shared between the two sides, leaving the beachboys in 17th and the angels in 20th position in the league. Concord still have some games in hand over the majority of other teams in the league following some fixture rearrangements, and so will look to future games to hopefully win some much needed points and climb the table, starting with an away fixture against Hungerford Town which is due to be played on Tuesday.

Millie Hawkins