Another annoying day for the K’s
Leigh Dynan faces a difficult balancing act at the moment. On the one hand he wants to build for next season but on the other still needs, in his own words, two more wins to secure safety.
A 3-1 defeat to Tonbridge Angels represented a fifth consecutive failure to win since Nic Ciardini’s two glorious strikes saw off Dorking Wanderers. The performance was an improved one over recent efforts, Ks creating more chances than they have for a while, but disappointing finishing meant too many of those efforts were straight at Tonbridge goalkeeper Jonathan Hendy. At the other end, the defence was again leaky.
It was a promising start for Ks, who took the lead in just the fourth minute. Connor Hunte, who looked dangerous throughout the game, made himself some space on the edge of the box. His powerful shot was more central than he might have liked but it nonetheless squirmed under Hendy to give Ks the lead.
The lead last a mere five minutes though. Tashi-Jay Kwayie played a ball over the top and Alexander Akrofi got in on goal. Rob Tolfrey came out but found himself caught out of position and Akrofi levelled the scores from the edge of the box.
Despite the unusually cold conditions considering it is now mid-March, the Tonbridge pitch held up well and Dynan later praised it as one his side could play football on. And near the end of the half Ks had a fine spell.
First Andre McCollin teed up Greg Cundle, whose powerful shot was straight at Hendy. Cundle had an even better chance shortly afterwards when he picked up a Chris Arthur cross but failed to make a good contact before turning provider on the stroke of half time, setting Tom Beere up for another effort that Hendy saved.
George Beaven volleyed over for Tonbridge after half time and then on 52 minutes Tonbridge took the lead. Mark Phillips directed Liam Smith’s deep cross from the right past Tolfrey, an own goal that bore remarkable similarity to Rob Bartley’s the previous week at home to Leiston.
Ks looked to build momentum for an equaliser but Hendy again denied Cundle, bravely coming off his line to block a powerful close range shot. Freddie Yao picked up the rebound but couldn’t thread his effort through the mass of defenders who had arrived on the scene.
And just as the pressure started to build again Tonbridge made sure of the result. A Ks attack broke down and it was former player Joe Turner who led the counter, bringing the ball from the halfway line having got behind the depleted Ks back line and then sending Tolfrey the wrong way to finish.
Tolfrey made another good save from Akrofi and Ks cleared Turner’s follow-up off the line to keep the score respectable but there was little sense of a late fightback being imminent. Beaven eventually picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Cundle but it came too late to impact on the result.
Match report by Simon Grier.