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Tonbridge Angels 0 Maidstone United 1 match report


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Michael Phillips’ early strike gave Maidstone victory in the Boxing Day derby at Tonbridge.

The Stones midfielder scored the only goal in the 17th minute to give the visitors a fourth National South win on the spin.

Joe Ellul pays close attention to ex-Stones team-mate Ibrahim Olutade Picture: Dave Couldridge
Joe Ellul pays close attention to ex-Stones team-mate Ibrahim Olutade Picture: Dave Couldridge

Tonbridge had the best of the second half but Hakan Hayrettin’s side defended well in a professional performance against their local rivals.

Angels handed a first start in attack to Adam Coombes and it was his pass that put Joe Turner through on goal inside two minutes.

Turner bent his shot past the far post and that was the hosts’ only real opportunity of the first half.

Set-pieces offered Tonbridge chances to put balls in the box but Tom Beere’s delivery didn’t hit the heights of his free-kick for Turner’s opener in the FA Trophy win over Torquay and the Maidstone defence, with Raphe Brown stopping Ibrahim Olutade in his tracks a couple of times, were looking comfortable.

Regan Booty, twice, and Sam Corne missed the target from distance for a Stones side who took the lead with Phillips' second goal in successive games.

Tempers spill over as Maidstone goalscorer Michael Phillips gives Tonbridge skipper Sonny Miles a shove Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tempers spill over as Maidstone goalscorer Michael Phillips gives Tonbridge skipper Sonny Miles a shove Picture: Dave Couldridge

Jack Barham’s cross was met by Joan Luque before Phillips, from just inside the area, picked out the top corner with a classy strike.

Joe Ellul’s challenge on Angels’ Tom Parkinson, shortly after the goal, led to some pushing and shoving and a yellow card for the Stones defender.

But instead of firing up Tonbridge, they were possibly a bit too nice to play against in the first half, much to their local rivals’ liking.

There was a big improvement at the start of the second half, with Tonbridge getting after the Stones and giving the home fans something to shout about.

They had a big chance in the opening seconds when Coombes went through one-on-one but fired straight at Tom Hadler, who was quickly off his line.

Tonbridge substitute Jake Embery, right, and Maidstone midfielder Sam Corne battle for the ball Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tonbridge substitute Jake Embery, right, and Maidstone midfielder Sam Corne battle for the ball Picture: Dave Couldridge

Maidstone, with Ellul enjoying the battle and George Fowler composed alongside him, rode it out and Tonbridge didn’t threaten again until substitute Tommy Wood flashed a header wide from Beere’s corner in the 76th minute.

Another substitute, Stones old boy Jake Embery, saw his deflected strike kept out by Hadler in the last five minutes as Tonbridge continued to huff and puff.

Tonbridge: Henly, O’Sullivan, Parkinson, Beere, Miles, Hudson, Jenkins, Lovatt, Olutade (Embery 65mins), Coombes (Wood 67mins), Turner. Subs not used: Fielding, Loft, Smith-Joseph.

Maidstone: Hadler, Hoyte, Fowler, Brown, Booty, Corne, Phillips (Odusanya 88mins), Pattisson (Deacon 80mins), Barham (Grant 90+2mins), Luque. Subs not used: Mersin, McGlashan.

Referee: Oliver Mackey.

Attendance: 1,669.

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