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Tonbridge Angels boss Steve McKimm delighted to have extended midfielder Adam Lovatt's stay at Longmead until the end of the season


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Manager Steve McKimm is thrilled to have extended Adam Lovatt’s stay at Tonbridge.

The midfielder had been on loan from League 2 high-fliers Sutton but he has now signed a short-term contract which will keep him at Longmead for the remainder of the season.

Substitute Adam Coombes celebrates his stoppage-time equaliser with Tonbridge's fans at Havant. Picture: Dave Couldridge
Substitute Adam Coombes celebrates his stoppage-time equaliser with Tonbridge's fans at Havant. Picture: Dave Couldridge

“We were working on that during the week and we are thankful to Sutton for sorting it out,” said McKimm.

“He has been a huge player for us since he has been with us. We weren’t sure if we could extend it (Lovatt’s stay at Tonbridge).

“We are just waiting for the paperwork to be finalised but we shouldn’t have any problems and he will be with us until the end of the season, which is a massive acquisition.”

McKimm conceded some tired legs struggled to get through their 1-1 National League South home draw with Hemel Hempstead last weekend, having won 1-0 at Chippenham last Tuesday.

He admitted: “I’m very happy with a point because I had a few players out there that were heavy-legged and maybe, in hindsight, I should have changed a few bodies because the journey on Tuesday took a lot out of them.

Adam Coombes scores at the death on Wednesday night. Picture: Dave Couldridge
Adam Coombes scores at the death on Wednesday night. Picture: Dave Couldridge

“I thought Hemel did very well in the first half but, second half, we stepped up our levels.

“They created more chances and we were thankful to Jonny (Henly, Tonbridge’s goalkeeper) for making the saves to keep us in it.”

Having saved two penalties in their shoot-out win over King’s Lynn in the FA Trophy the previous weekend, Henly once again impressed for the Angels against Hemel.

Angels, unbeaten in five matches in all competitions, are now moving clear of the relegation zone after Joe Turner’s seventh goal of the season earned them a share of the spoils at Longmead as they came from behind. They are 18th in the table, six points clear of basement boys Billericay.

“Joe popped up with another goal, although Woody (Tommy Wood) has scored a few in recent weeks,” noted McKimm, speaking before Wednesday's trip to Havant which saw substitute Adam Coombes pop up with a stoppage-time leveller in a 1-1 draw.

Action from Tonbridge's midweek match at Havant. Picture: Dave Couldridge
Action from Tonbridge's midweek match at Havant. Picture: Dave Couldridge

“We do seem to be scoring more goals and we need to score more goals because, if I look at the defensive statistics in terms of goals conceded, we are the fifth best in the league.

“It’s just the other end we haven’t been converting but, now, we are starting to convert. If we continue to do that, we will start to climb the league because defensively we are sound.”

Ahead of their match at home to fifth-placed Dartford this weekend, McKimm may be left with a welcome selection headache.

“We are hopeful of having 18 to choose from for the first time ever in my time at Tonbridge which means two, unfortunately, may be missing out,” revealed McKimm, who hopes to have experienced midfielder Doug Loft back in contention.

"But that's part of football and part of having a squad - we are all singing off the same hymn sheet."

The club are looking to recruit a commercial manager. Anyone interested in the role should send their CV, along with a cover letter, to Sophie Purves at sophie.purves@tonbridgeangels.co.uk.

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