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Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm gives his verdict on Boxing Day defeat against Maidstone United


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Steve McKimm felt Tonbridge didn’t do enough to get anything against neighbours Maidstone.

Angels lost 1-0 in front of more than 1,600 fans at Longmead on Boxing Day and are nine games without a win in National League South.

Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tonbridge Angels manager Steve McKimm Picture: Dave Couldridge

They pushed hard after a first half described by manager McKimm as “flat as anything” but couldn’t break down the visitors, who took the points with a Michael Phillips goal.

“I don’t think we did enough to get anything out of the game,” said McKimm.

“As I said to the boys afterwards, whether it’s a derby or not, you have to exert yourself, you should be coming in that changing room not being able to breathe.

“The crowd were trying to gee both sides up and when things weren’t happening it went very quiet, you could hear a pin drop - with 1,600 people in, that shouldn’t happen - but they need something to cheer about.

“First half was as flat as anything.

“They had the goal, was it a foul, wasn’t it a foul, I don’t know, the ref’s made a decision and he hasn’t given it so we’ve then got to defend better from that.

“He’s put it right in the top corner so Jonny (Henly) I don’t think has got a chance with it.

“After that they’ve flashed a couple across the face of goal but it was a flat first half and we had to try and rally them.

Tonbridge midfielder Joe Turner looks to shake off Gavin Hoyte Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tonbridge midfielder Joe Turner looks to shake off Gavin Hoyte Picture: Dave Couldridge

“You shouldn’t have to rally players in a derby but, regardless of a derby, any game.

“You’ve got to come off that pitch absolutely breathing out of your backside where you can’t think of anything else apart from getting in that shower and recovering because you’ve worked so hard.

“I thought we did well second half but we didn’t do enough and in any game of football, you’ve got to do more than just enough.

“We had a couple of people below par today and I don’t often say that.

“We spoke in the changing room, they’ve got to have a good look at themselves.

“In big games you need big players and we had a couple missing today, which was a shame."

New signing Adam Coombes had Tonbridge’s best chance of the match, firing straight at Tom Hadler, early in the second half.

Tom Parkinson tussles with Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty in the Boxing Day derby at Longmead Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tom Parkinson tussles with Maidstone midfielder Regan Booty in the Boxing Day derby at Longmead Picture: Dave Couldridge

It was their one clear-cut opportunity in 90 minutes but, despite that, McKimm was pleased with the striker on his first start since joining from Cray.

“I thought he was really good,” said the Angels boss.

“He won his first balls, he held off the defenders, brought people into play, something we haven’t properly had for a while.

"Now it’s just getting that balance to go with him, to feed off him and have runners going in beyond him because I thought he did well.

“He’s disappointed he didn’t score, and he knows he should have scored. It was a massive chance 30 seconds into the second half but it is what it is.”

Tomorrow’s game at Eastbourne Borough has been postponed due to Covid cases in the home camp, meaning Angels’ next match is the return fixture against Maidstone on January 2.

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