MATCH REPORT: Chippenham Town 1-2 Tonbridge Angels | National League South | Saturday 19th August 2023

Published: at 12:55pm

The Bluebirds again failed to beat Tonbridge Angels, they last beat the Kent side in 2019.

On this occasion they were undone by a harsh refereeing decision seven minutes from time when a fruitless Tonbridge corner saw referee Neil Pratt point to the penalty spot – the only person in the ground that saw an apparent shirt tug in the area – an offence that happens more than once in a game.

Chippenham were also without five regulars through injury or suspension with eighteen year old pair George Abbott and Dan Ellison at the heart of the defence; the former having only made two substitute appearances and the latter making his debut.

Not surprisingly the Bluebirds were slow to settle as Ruben Soares-Junior dragged a third minute shot wide.

On fourteen minutes a deep cross found Stefan Payne who headed straight at Will Henry. A minute later a further cross from the left saw the lanky Payne rise highest to head home.

As the Angels continued to press Chippenham back Lewis Gard shot over.

Midway through the half the Bluebirds began to find some rhythm as Luke Spokes’ corner was headed wide by Freddie Grant.

Spokes then saw a rising drive just clear the bar. Tonbridge responded with Ibrahim Akanbi firing high.

Before the break successive Caine Bradbury corners saw the second one find Matt McClure whose shot was blocked whilst in stoppage time McClure’s shot on the turn was just wide.

HALF TIME: Chippenham Town 0-1 Tonbridge Angels

After the break Alex Bray’s effort hit a defender and looped up into the arms of Jonathan Henly.

A Jake Evans shot then hit the side netting.

Chippenham deservedly levelled on seventy four minutes when a corner was flicked on and turned in by McClure.

Then on eighty three minutes came the penalty award that no Tonbridge player really appealed for whilst the home players stood in bemusement at the decision.

Gard made no mistake to fire home the winning goal. Henry then saved well from Tariq Hinds whilst in the ninetieth minute Angels substitute Tommy Fagg was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

Despite there being ten minutes of stoppage time the Bluebirds could not fashion a second equalizer, the closest they came saw an Ellison volley fly over.

FULL TIME: Chippenham Town 1-2 Tonbridge Angels

Chippenham: Will Henry, George Abbott, Dan Ellison, Freddie Grant, Alex Bray, Tyreke Johnson, Luke Spokes (Mal Nicholls 75), Jake Evans, Caine Bradbury, Craig Fasanmade, Matt McClure (Owen Windsor 75) subs not used: Luke Haines, Leighton Tuodolo, Will King

Tonbridge: Jonathan Henly, Tariq Hinds, Jamie Fielding, Kodi Lyons-Foster, Jordan Higgs, Ibrahim Akanbi (Nathan Wood 81), Ruben Soares-Junior (Joe Turner 55), Scott Wagstaffe, Jernade Meade, Lewis Gard, Stefan Payne (Tommy Fagg 77) subs not used: Thomas Parkinson, Johl Powell

Ref: Neil Pratt

Ass Refs: Thomas Green, Craig Devonport

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