Rhys Willson was on target for Toby FC as they picked up their second win in 7-days with a victory over Herongate Athletic.
It was a dominate performance from the hosts, from start to finish, but they struggled to break down a resilient Herongate defence until late in the game.
The victory moved Toby up to 6th in the table and only 3-points off second, with other results going in their favour, while Herongate dropped down to 11th and remaining 4-points ahead of bottom-side Shoebury Town.
Right from the off, it looked to be Toby’s day as they were on the front foot from the start. Although they didn’t have many clear cut opportunities, they looked most like scoring. Herongate battled hard in midfield during the first 15-minutes but didn’t look like creating many chances themselves.
A shot from the hosts was the first real chance on goal but the effort from distance was fired over the bar.
Rhys Willson did well to win a free-kick just outside the box and stepped up to take the kick himself, but his effort was far from glamorous as he fired it high and wide. The host got closer to scoring as the game reached the 30-minute mark but they were left frustrated with a number of questionable offside calls. Minutes later, Herongate threatened with a rare opportunity but a free-kick was fired just over the bar.
Just before half-time, Herongate had their best chance to break the deadlock as goalkeeper Charlie Perry was almost caught out. The keeper headed the ball clear as far as an opponent, leaving his goal wide open, but the shot was fired wide.
Toby looked strongest going into the second-half as they looked to break the deadlock after their scare before the break. Willson fired a cross from the left-hand side but the header from Jack Beal was inches wide of the far post. The visitors looked to punish the hosts immediately after their chance but couldn’t convert from close range.
Herongate threated for their largest spell of the game as the second-half grew older with two-chances; They tried to bring the ball forward but the cross was straight into the hands of Perry before a shot from just outside the box was just over. Despite those chances, Toby got back on the front-foot with just over 15-minutes to play. Beal touched the ball around the defender but overhit his cross before the deadlock was broken in the 75th-minute. Rhys Willson was played through and calmly lifted the ball over the on-rushing keeper to give Toby a deserved lead.
Herongate looked for an instant response to going behind but a header from Taylor Rowland was just over the bar before a shot from Marc Holland was dragged wide of the target. As the game reached the final 10-minutes, there were chances for both sides; Goalscorer Willson broke through the Herongate defence and looked to have put the game out of sight, but Joshua Woodrow made a great save before down the other end, another shot was dragged wide.
A huge save in the 90th-minute denied the visitors a point as Perry parried a shot away from goal before Jake Jones looked set to confirm the points for the hosts in injury-time but Woodrow pulled off a huge one-handed save as the ball was tipped over the bar.