Tonbridge Angels 2-2 Eastbourne Borough
Tonbridge Angels 2-2 Eastbourne Borough

It was certainly a game that deserved a crowd in attendance at The Halcyon Wealth Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Angels emerging for their first home match since the 7-0 demolition by League 2 Bradford City 10 days earlier, while Eastbourne made the trip to West Kent on the back of a 4-0 home win against Braintree on Saturday.

The Angels made the perfect start, with Eastbourne losing possession from the kick off. The ball finding its way to Alex Akrofi and the flying forward burst towards goal his initial shot blocked before falling to Tom Beere who made no mistake in firing the home side into the lead with just 22 seconds on the clock, the first time Eastbourne had trailed a match since the FA Cup tie against Sheppey United.

Borough were visably rocked by the goal and were struggling to contain Akrofi and strike partner Tommy Wood as time and time again The angels laid siege to the visitors goal with a low save denying Turner from doubling the lead within the first few minutes.

With Akrofi looking dangerous on the right and skipper Joe Turner influential on the left it looked as if it would be just a matter of time before the hosts scored again, and that could easily have been the case but Ben Greenhalgh saw his shot blocked from The Angels first corner of the night.

The visitors reminded their hosts of the threat they possess when a through ball found its way through to Dean Cox who appeared surprised the ball made it through as he mistimed his effort which rolled harmlessly out for a goal kick.

The visitors can feel somewhat unfortunate as in the 26th minute as Dean Cox picked up the first yellow card for a challenge on James Folkes.

Continued misplaced passes from the visitors lead to further attacks as the home side continued their search for a second goal with Theobalds, Wood and Turner all coming close before Charley Kendall fired just over the bar.

As half time approached the influential Turner crashed his shot against the upright with Ravizzoli beaten with Tommy Wood colliding with the recovering keeper leaving both requiring treatment,Wood picking up a booking to level up the card count as the first half drew to a close.

Eastbourne came out in search of an early equaliser but it was Akrofi who came close after great work down the left but his header went wide of the target.

Eastbourne were once again questioning their luck in the 50th minute as they picked up another questionable booking, this time James Vaughan finding his way into the referees book.  

Eastbourne’s best opportunity fell to James Hammond, after a corner punched clear by Jonny Henly found its way to The Sports number 8 who rifled his shot from  20 yards against the top of the crossbar.

This was followed shortly after by a tame effort by Greg Luer which was saved by the feet of Henly afters somehow evading the home defence.

As the hour approached a well placed pass found its way to Tommy Wood and the big number 9 made no mistake firing past Ravizzoli for his first goal since returning and finally doubling the hosts lead.

This somehow seemed to spark the visitors into life as anerror from Beere was pounced on by Kendall who charged into an attacking position and unleashed a shot which was saved low by Henly.

Then came a defining five minutes for the visitors, first the tiring Beere being replaced by Khale Da Costa for the hosts, Eastbourne won a corner which was well punched clear by Henly only to be met by Dean Cox who unleashed an inch perfect volley from 25 yards which flew past everyone including a diving Henly to cut the lead to one goal as his shot hit the back of the net.

With words exchanged by Angels Da Costa and Sports Woolar-Innocent as the teams looked to restart it was clear tensions were building, the referee telling both to calm down as the match restarted.

Kristian Campbell received a yellow card in the70h minute for a late challenge, but only a minute later a rush of blood from Angels Jack Parter saw the hosts number 5 shown a straight red card for a high challenge just inside his own half.

Eastbourne clearly smelt blood as they went in search of an equaliser as they laucnhed wave after wave of attack. With the earlier situation between Da Costa and Woolard-Innocent still simmering it was Woolard-Innocent who found his way into the referees notebook after saying a little too much to the man in the middle.

This was followed by two quick corners to the visitors before The Angels Tommy Wood was replaced by Javaun Splatt as the hosts tried to weather the ongoing storm.

In the 81st minute Eastbourne were sure they’d finally found an equaliser as Dean Cox fired against the inside of the left post only to see his effort bounce back along the goal line and into a the arms of a grateful Henly.

The visitors weren’t to be denied though is with only 4 minutes to go Charley Kendall found himself in just enough space to fire an equaliser much to the joy of the visiting bench.

The drama was far from as Tonbridge lauched a last throw of the dice winning a corner but Splatts header flew harmlessly wide.

As the clock entered the closing 60 seconds Tonbridge laughed an attack down the right side but a rather deliberate block by Woolard-Innocent stopped it in its track, earning a second yellow for the defender who in slowly leaving the playing area lauched a ball into the darkness of the car park in frustration as the game closed out meaning a point a piece.

The result leaves The Angels 15th in the National League South Table and Eastbourne in 5th.


Tonbridge – Henly, Folkes, Campbell, Theobalds, Parter, Bray, Greenhalgh, Beere ( da Costa 68) Wood (splatt 76) Akrofi, Turner

Eastbourne – Ravizzoli, Vaughan, Woolard-Innocent, Ferry, Dickinson, James, Cox, Hammond, Luer, Kendall, Rollinson (Lambert 55)


Tonbridge – Wood,  Folkes, Campbell 

Eastbourne – Cox, Vaughan, Dickinson Woolard-Innocent 

Sent Off

Tonbridge – Parter

Eastbourne – Woolard-Innocent