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Blues 3 Tonbridge Angels 4

a5Blues slipped into the bottom half of the Bostik Premier as they lost out in a seven goal thriller, on Saturday.

Two goals from the visitors in the early minutes of the second half changed the complexion of this contest after Stortford went in at the break in front. The Blues never recovered and were condemned to their third successive league defeat, and to add to their woes they lost Isaac Nkosi with a suspected broken arm.

Essex Leopards v Nottingham Hoods, 13th Oct 2018Stortford’s starting line-up saw the on-loan pair of keeper Arthur Janata and midfielder Ben Worman make their league debuts whilst Ryan Charles returned. New signing Nathan Livings was on the bench and was called into the action twenty minutes from time. Both Alfie Mason, back problem, and Mark Haines, “dead leg” were missing through injury, although the latter was named on the bench.

It was the Angels who took the lead in the ninth minute with Joe Turner’s free-kick from wide out on the left finding the far corner of Arthur Janata’s net via a deflection.

The Blues’ keeper then saved a 20 yard scorcher from D’Sean Theobalds before the hosts levelled in seven minutes when Worman beat Jonathan Henly’s dive with a low effort from the edge of the box.

Tonbridge put pressure on the Stortford defence with Nkosi clearing off the goal-line but the Blues went ahead in the 29 minute when Jamie Cureton swept the ball home from close range after Henly saved from Ryan Charles’ angled shot from the left.

Essex Leopards v Nottingham Hoods, 13th Oct 2018; Sam NewmanThe visitors equalised within two minutes of the restart as Turner crossed from the left and Chinedu McKenzie netted the loose ball and they were ahead in the 49 minute as an incisive attack cut open the Blues defence for Turner to steer wide of Janata.

At this point Nkosi left the pitch, and both Alex Read and Turner went close to adding to the goal tally before McKenzie nodded in for the Angels’ fourth from a few yards in the 67th minute following a Turner long-throw into the box.

Essex Leopards v Nottingham Hoods, 13th Oct 2018; Rory WinterTonbridge were then in full control but after Luke Callander shot over the bar following a good move with Charles and Cureton, Johnville Renee pulled a goal back with six minutes left after a corner was only half-cleared.

However, although pressing late on Stortford were unable to grab an equaliser.

STORTFORD: Arthur Janata; Ben Sampayo; Chris Gregan; Jack Thomas (Alex Warman 73); Sam Robbins; Isaac Nkosi (Hector Kyprianou 50); Ben Worman; Johnville Renee; Jamie Cureton; Luke Callander; Ryan Charles (Nathan Livings 68).

Unused substitutes: Olly Miles and Mark Haines.

TONBRIDGE ANGELS: Jonathan Henly; James Folkes; Jack Parter; D’Sean Theobalds; Sonny Miles; Arthur Lee; Jared Small (Adem Ramadan 68); Tom Parkinson; Alex Read (Tom Murphy 73); Chinedu McKenzie (Craig Stone 84); Joe Turner.

Unused substitutes: Tom Beere and Liam Smith.

Referee: Matthew Morrison

Attendance: 280