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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Tonbridge Angels 0 Ebbsfleet United 2

11 March 2014
by Steve Tervet

Alex Osborn

Alex Osborn

Ebbsfleet crept closer to the top of Skrill South with a workmanlike derby win at struggling Tonbridge on Tuesday.

Alex Osborn (pictured) opened the scoring just before half-time and Dean Rance doubled the Fleet's lead to see off the Angels challenge.

Fleet winger Anthony Cook was the best player on the pitch, so it was fitting that he had a hand in both goals.

Steve Brown's side continue to pile the pressure on leaders Bromley, who lost again, while Angels remained entrenched in the relegation zone.

There were three changes to the Tonbridge team which started against Bishop's Stortford at the weekend. David Ijaha, new signing Luis Cumbers and Hyde loanee Tom Collins came in for Mark Lovell, Nathan Pinney and Michael Bakare.

Ebbsfleet were unchanged from Saturday's 1-0 win over Hayes & Yeading.

And it was they who made the early running. Michael West volleyed a pass out to Osborn and his low cross from the right ran to Cook, whose goalbound shot was well blocked.

Cook was looking lively and Angels then contrived to hand him possession when two defenders got in each other's way trying to clear a high ball. Cook cut in from the left and whipped a terrific shot over goalkeeper Lewis Carey, with the ball striking the top of the crossbar.

Tonbridge couldn't handle Cook. A piece of outrageous skill got him to the byline and his teasing cross fell right on the head of Billy Bricknell, six yards out. But the Fleet's leading scorer held his head in disbelief when Carey changed direction in mid-air to pull off an outstanding one-handed save. Angels scrambled the rebound to safety.

The home side moved the ball around nicely but their play invariably broke down as soon as the ball came within 30 yards of Preston Edwards' goal.

And all quality drained out of the game until two minutes before the interval, when Ebbsfleet took the lead.

Inevitably, Cook was at the centre of things, cutting in from the left once again and drilling a shot at Carey. The goalkeeper pushed the ball out but not away and Osborn gleefully rifled it into the net.

Ebbsfleet tried to stay on the front foot at the start of the second half, with Daryl McMahon cutting inside and curling a left-footed shot over the bar.

Ijaha tried his luck at the other end but the ball went nowhere near the goal. In fact, it sailed right out of the ground.

And then, on 62 minutes, it was 2-0. Cook claimed another assist, swinging in a left-wing corner, although it was Gary Elphick's inexplicable header back into the danger zone which really laid on the goal. The ball fell for Rance, who was almost standing on the goal line when he knocked it home.

Tonbridge heads dropped at this point, although they did have muted penalty appeals waved away by referee Ian Cooper at the other end.

The men in blue shirts were being over-run by those in white. McMahon curled a free-kick just over from 20 yards and Osborn saw his powerful shot from a similar position fly narrowly wide.

Rance glanced McMahon's corner wide at the near post.

And substitute Michael Thalassitis got himself on the end of a left-wing cross as the visitors ended the game completely in control.

Tommy Warrilow's Angels didn't force a save from Edwards until the 88th minute - when he dealt easily with a Henry Muggeridge strike - and on this showing, they're deep in relegation trouble.

Tonbridge: Carey, Piper, Heath, Ijaha, Elphick, Miles, Muggeridge, Browning, Cumbers (Bakare 60mins), Collins (Pinney 67mins), Watts (Green 46mins). Subs not used: Lovell, Appiah.

Ebbsfleet: Edwards, Howe, Acheampong (Mambo 63mins), Sankofa, Palmer, Osborn (Sessegnon 90mins), McMahon, Rance, Cook, West, Bricknell (Thalassitis 75mins). Subs not used: Corcoran, Hall.

Attendance: 467.

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