On Tuesday night, I was at the Halycon Wealth Longmead stadium where Tonbridge Angels and Havant & Waterlooville went head to head in a rearranged fixture in National League South. Both sides went into the match in no sort of form at all.
The Angels had lost two in a row, including a 1-0 defeat against Braintree Town on Saturday. In their last five games, however, they have picked up two wins.
The Hawks held League One Charlton Athletic on Saturday for 70 mins before succumbing to four late goals and head into this with their last league game being away against Chelmsford City, a game in which they triumphed 3-2. They, too, have only two wins in five league games but they are unbeaten in three league games. The Angels sit in 17th and The Hawks, who were fancied to be at the top end of the division come the end of the season, are 11th.
DID YOU KNOW?
Unbelievably, although their season was halted due to the pandemic in 2020, this is the first time the two teams have played each other since August 24 2019 – it was a 3-1 triumph for Havant & Waterlooville on the day with Jonah Ayunga, now at Morecambe, getting on the scoresheet.
The home side have made two changes from the defeat to Braintree Town on Saturday and they are in the full-back positions with Jerry O’Sullivan and Craig Braham-Barrett coming in for Tom Parkinson and Jamie Fielding, who drops to the bench.
The away side have made three changes from their defeat to Charlton on Saturday with Abdulai Baggie, Scott Rendell and Billy Clifford coming in for Oxford loanee Leon Chambers-Parillon, Joe Newton and Sam Magri, who picked up an injury in the defeat.
1′ After a minutes’ silence, we are underway here at Longmead.
3’ Ricky Modeste runs from his own half and tries to play through Smith-Joseph and Mannion has to rush out of his box to clear.
6’ Angels have an early corner after a great ball in the box causes confusion and Collins has to clear.
10’ Modeste has been a menace so far and his fantastic low cross is just missed by Olutade and, despairingly for him, it goes for a goal kick.
16’ CHANCE! Abdulai Baggie was played through by McCarthy brilliantly, and the first real chance falls to the Hawks as Baggie’s effort is well saved by Henly.
17’ CHANCE! Scott Rendell is denied by Henly brilliantly as he stooped to head the ball towards goal. Havant & Waterlooville are piling on a bit of pressure here. As a result of his bravery, Rendell is receiving treatment as he collided with the Angels goalkeeper.
26’ CHANCE! First real chance for Tonbridge Angels as Jerry O Sullivan looks to delicately lob the ball over Mannion, but he does excellently to tip the ball over. The resulting corner results in pinball in the area and Smith-Joseph turns and shoots before Mannion denies the Angels again.
28’ Olutade runs down the right for Angels and sees the options in the penalty area. He has to have an attempt himself and it goes wide.
30’ YELLOW CARD for Tonbridge Angels. A challenge on Joe Newton by Jerry O Sullivan results in a yellow card. There was a bit of afters and a small on pitch disagreement with James Roberts.
31’ YELLOW CARD for Havant & Waterlooville. Jake McCarthy receives a caution for jumping into Henly deliberately after a Baggie cross was easily claimed by the Angels goalkeeper.
34’ HAVANT & WATERLOOVILLE GOAL. James Roberts with the goal. He was played through brilliantly after a heavy touch from Angels’ Harry Hudson and he was one on one with Jonny Henly and he dinks it into the empty net. 0-1.
37’ O’Sullivan launches the ball forward and Modeste is easily marshalled off the ball by left-back Mike Green. Green is doing very well to mark Modeste out of the game after a promising start by the former Dover winger.
40’ YELLOW CARD for Tonbridge Angels. Tom Beere challenges Newton, but looks to go over the top of the ball. It looks like he gets a slight touch of the ball in the process. However, the Hawks substitute is caught after the winning of the ball and receives a yellow card.
45’ The fourth official has indicated a minimum of three additional minutes.
45+3 YELLOW CARD for Tonbridge Angels. There is a huge melee around the half-way line after an apparent slap in the face from O’Sullivan on Newton. A bit of confusion within the press box, as it looks like Braham-Barrett picks up a yellow card for dissent.
45+3 RED CARD. But it isn’t for one of the 22 as Hawks manager Paul Doswell is sent off after continually arguing with the referee and fourth official.
50’ The Hawks win three corners in succession after having none the entire game – all of which were dreadful as Clifford’s third corner doesn’t even get past the first man. The away side are having the better of things at the start of the second interval.
56’ CHANCE! The home side are continually being frustrated as they struggle to break down Havant & Waterlooville here. The ball falls to Smith-Joseph after good work down the left from Braham-Barrett. He feeds the number 10. He turns Rooney, but can only fire wide.
60’ CHANCE! The away side win the ball after a poor pass from Fielding hits James Roberts, he controls the ball, creates space for himself and Jonathan Henly tips the ball past the post brilliantly. The defence avoid a corner and it is cleared.
70’ YELLOW CARD for Havant & Waterlooville. Billy Clifford is booked for a challenge on Braham-Barrett as he attempted to clear the ball.
73’ A Braham-Barrett free kick is launched deep and headed down by Miles and Grenada international Modeste’s shot is blocked. And, after some head tennis, the home side win a corner which ends up being claimed easily by Will Mannion. The home side continue to pile on the pressure.
77’ YELLOW CARD for Havant & Waterlooville. Another for the Hawks with Will Mannion receiving a booking for time wasting. The ball went for a goal kick and the former Hull ‘keeper casually kicked the ball away and grabbed his water bottle. A time wasting tactic which further suggests the away side are hanging on for a second away league win in succession.
81’ Havant look to break following a Tonbridge corner and Clifford breaks with the ball, but his pass towards Roberts is intercepted brilliantly by captain Sonny Miles.
82’ CHANCE! There is great build-up play between Modeste and Beere as the former wins a corner. The resulting set piece is put in brilliantly by Fielding and a Lovatt header is cleared off the goal line.
83’ The Hawks break, and Roberts is adamant about going alone despite having Baggie screaming for the ball on his right. He goes alone but is eventually crowded out by Lovatt and the ball is cleared.
87’ YELLOW CARD! The away side are racking up the bookings as the Angels break through Modeste, but he is cleaned out by Mike Green.
89’ YELLOW CARD! This time for Tonbridge as Newton breaks and is taken down cynically by Joe Turner.
90’ An end to end game looks to reach its conclusion and Tonbridge are running out of time to grab an equaliser as the fourth official indicates four additional minutes.
90+2 To the surprise of everybody, Theo Widdrington launches a free-kick from his own half, hoping to catch out Henly, who is off his line, luckily the free kick is off target.
90+3 CHANCE! Hutchinson is denied brilliantly by Mannion after good work in the Hawks penalty area. A shot from Modeste followed but his chance goes agonisingly wide.