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Tonbridge Angels 3 Dartford 2 match report: Joe Turner scores twice

ByMatthew Panting

Joe Turner scored twice as Tonbridge took the derby honours against Dartford on Tuesday night.

The result lifted Angels above the Darts in National League South - although they were twice pegged back in an exciting contest.

Angels should have had the game sewn up by the break but were nearly made to pay for failing to take their chances.

Dartford joint-managers Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan. Picture: Sean Aidan FM16084797
Dartford joint-managers Jamie Coyle and Adam Flanagan. Picture: Sean Aidan FM16084797

Tonbridge dominated possession in the early stages and only a stunning one-handed save by Darts keeper Mark Smith kept out Ade Yusuff's downward header.

Angels looked inventive, given too much space admittedly by the visitors, but the hosts took full advantage.

Darts were furious with the award of a 27th-minute spot-kick after Ronnie Vint fouled Yusuff. But Joe Turner kept his cool to drill his spot-kick low and hard down the middle.

Alex Flisher almost produced a spectacular equaliser four minutes later with a long-range left-foot special but keeper Jon Henly was at full stretch to keep it out.

Tommy Brewer headed inches wide from a corner - Angels looked particularly dangerous from set pieces - so it was against the run of play when Dartford equalised on 41 minutes.

Angels failed to clear a right-wing corner and Josh Hill took full advantage to score from close range.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Angels regained the lead two minutes later. Flisher was caught out down the right-wing and Jared Small crossed for the arriving Turner to drive home from 15 yards.

It should have been 3-1 in stoppage time when Flisher sold his team-mates horribly short but Yusuff somehow sent his shot nearer to the corner flag than the goal with just Smith to beat.

Dartford made a double change at the break with Flisher and the isolated Adam Cunnington replaced. Joint-managers Adam Flanagan and Jamie Coyle sent their team out after just eight minutes in the dressing room at the interval.

They reverted to a 4-4-2 formation and immediately looked more comfortable.

Wabo should have equalised when he went clean through but a heavy touch narrowed the angle and Henly was able to save with his legs.

Tonbridge continued to play the better passing game, with right-back James Folkes particularly impressive and getting forward at every opportunity. It needed another fine save by Smith to deny D'Sean Theobalds.

Dartford equalised with 15 minutes left, Ryan Hayes' free-kick went all the way to the far post where substitute Charlie Sheringham turned the ball in.

Tonbridge appeared to be on the backfoot but Theobalds had other ideas. His surging run with five minutes left took him into the penalty area and substitute Tom Derry was in the right place at the right time to slide in the winner.

Turner was denied his hat-trick in stoppage time when Smith produced another excellent save.

Tonbridge: Henly, Folkes, Parter, Brewer, Miles, Bray, Small (McKenzie 86mins), Theobalds, Yusuff (Derry 81mins), Da'Costa, Turner. Subs not used: Bentley, Ovenden, Stirman.

Dartford: Smith, Howard, Vint, Hill, Noble, Allen, Flisher (Wynter 46mins), Hayes, Greenhalgh (McQueen 71mins), Wabo, Cunnington (Sheringham 46mins). Subs not used: Bacon, Brodie.

Attendance: 816.

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