Boxing Day is traditionally a day for local derbies, and the nearest the Bostik Premier Division could offer Kent was Tonbridge Angels v Folkestone Invicta.
606 turned out for the game between an Angels side on the slide and an Invicta team acquiring a taste for victory. The post-Christmas fare which was served up faithfully followed the recipe.
From the first whistle, while the Angels fans were wondering up front if they would be served one spud or two, Invicta went straight for the roast.
Henly in the Angels’ goal put his body on the line, and while it was not enough to prevent Invicta from taking a deserved 1-0 lead, he stopped the score from being as embarrassing as your Gran’s efforts at charades.
On the stroke of half time Invicta came over all charitable for Christmas, like a big brother allowing Tonbridge to join in the game for a few minutes, with a well taken equaliser. Would this be the spark to ignite the flame for the Christmas puddings?
The second half did indeed see the Angels with a better appetite, as more possession gave the opposition food for thought.
While the Invicta keeper could have done with a hot toddy to keep his hands warm for most of the game, during one Tonbridge spell of possession he did face a couple of shots which should have cooked his goose, but instead they were just a pair of Christmas turkeys.
As Tonbridge looked for a way to press home their territorial advantage, Invicta were gifted a penalty which they also charitably handed back, but they were not to be so generous again.
The Angels’ midfield allowed Heard a 60m sprint to burn off a few mince pies, before he left Henly grasping at thin air with a Christmas cracker, and Paxman slotted one home at the death to finish off the stuffing.
At the end the Angels’ fans were left with indigestion from another stodgy home performance which was hard to swallow, while the trip back to Folkestone had the zip of a champagne cocktail to round off the festive occasion.
The next visit to Longmead will be a right royal rumble, as Brightlingsea Regent come to town. Can the Angels rediscover their wings, or will the Regent crown their New Year celebrations with an away win?