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Perfect away-day for Magpies
TONBRIDGE ANGELS 0 DORCHESTER TOWN 2
BOSS Phil Simkin hailed his Dorchester Town side’s display as “almost the perfect away performance” but blasted the match officials for their handling of the game.
The visitors’ 2-0 win was marred by the sending off of first goal scorer Charlie Clough in second-half injury-time for his part in a 22-man melee.
Angels defender Gary Elphick also received his marching orders following the brawl by which point the Magpies had already wrapped up the three points, courtesy of a late Ben Watson strike.
Starting without the injured Kieffer Moore up front, Simkin praised Watson on his return to the side after a calf strain and lauded the defensive efforts of Arran Pugh and Nathan Walker.
Simkin was also pleased to see on-loan keeper Benjamin Büchel keep a clean sheet on his debut following his arrival from Bourne-mouth.
But although delighted with the performance, it was tainted by that red card for Clough, who is now likely to face a three-game ban.
“It was almost the perfect away performance quite frankly,” said Simkin. “But it was an inept performance from the officials.
“Charlie Clough was sent off right at the death, which was totally ridiculous but it’s something we’re stuck with.
“Their player came in two-footed on Mark Jermyn and it ended up in a big melee with Charlie on his back at the bottom of it all and the referee decided he was going to send him off.
“It was very disappointing but it completed a poor afternoon for the officials.
“When players play poorly they get told but when officials are poor they don’t, which is disappointing.
“No doubt Charlie will get a three-match ban for something he never did.
“Apart from that it was a really terrific performance from us without Kieffer Moore who didn’t make the starting line-up after being injured at Truro.
“Ben Watson was back and he was terrific and really played exceptionally well and showed what a quality player he is.
“I was delighted to have him back though disappointed Kieffer didn’t play.
“He wasn’t quite ready and rather than rushing him back and doing more damage I took the decision to leave him out and hopefully he will be okay for tomorrow night.”
He went on: “The first half was pretty even but we passed the ball really well and Arran and Nathan were different class at the back.
“Benjamin Büchel played in goal for the first time and kept a clean sheet. He was very tidy and made a couple of saves in the first half including a one-on-one, which was very important.
“Charlie got the first goal following an immaculate pass from Jake Smeeton and knowing their manager as well as I do I knew we’d be facing a different side in the second half and they put us under pressure.
“But Watto got the second goal with a touch at the front post after Charlie had gone down the right channel and pulled it back.”
The win gave the Magpies their fourth success in five and saw them climb to the dizzying heights of eighth place in Blue Square Bet South with Billericay Town, one off the bottom of the table, at the Avenue tomorrow night (7.45pm).
Tonbridge: Worgan, Miles, Green, Browning, Elphick, Schulz, Ijaha, Piper (Collin), Suarez (Gayle), Lovell, Muggeridge. Subs not used: Davis, Harden, Chalmers-Stevens.
Magpies: Büchel, Jermyn, Smeeton, Pugh, N Walker, Gleeson, Malsom, Nicholls, Watson, Clough, Martin. Subs not used: Morgan, Way, Brooks, S Walker, Matthews.