Sunday 11th September 2005

We must take our chances in replay, admits Dolby

Tonbridge Angels' player-manager Tony Dolby has issued a rallying cry to the club's fans to cheer the team into the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Tuesday night - instead of staying at home and watching Chelsea on the box, writes Stephen McCartney.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, he said: "Our support is fantastic, we've got good vocal support, they get behind the team and they are making a big difference to us.

"Financially the FA Cup is really important, we really have to get through and get a good draw and take each game as it comes and go as far as we can."

A crowd of 555 at the Pilot Field witnessed a thrilling 3-3 draw yesterday - and the Angels are expecting a crowd of over 400 for the replay, and Dolby insists his side can finish off the job in front of their own fans.

Reflecting on the game, he said: "We started quite slowly, it wasn't like a blood and thunder FA Cup game as they usually are.  Then we got our noses in front, with a goal (35) from Danny Lye, after some good work by Warren Haughton."

The East Sussex side, however, equalised within two minutes thanks to Ben White's volley, and Dolby admitted it was "a wrong time to concede really."

Speaking about the second half, Dolby reflected: "We came out and really took the game to Hastings, scored a goal through Leroy Huggins (64) and could have had three or four more quite easily."

Dolby himself hit the inside of the post and was denied by the goalkeeper who made a fine save, and Huggins and Lye could have added to their tally's.

But two goals in the final six minutes through a cool finish by former Worthing player Wes Lopez (84) and four minutes later, Angels' goalkeeper Czanner allowed Sam Adams' 20-yard shot go under his body, the Kent side were minutes away from being dumped out of the FA Cup - against the run of play.

"We didn't do too much wrong going forward, we persevered going forward, we took Warren (Haughton) off early in the second half and brought Ray Powell and he and Leroy (Huggins) worked really well together."

But deep into injury time, Powell latched onto a long clearance from his goalkeeper and flicked the ball past the Hastings' stopper.  "A lovely good finish to get a thoroughly deserved replay," said Dolby.

"We should have wrapped the game up early in the second half - we should have been three or four up easily," admitted Dolby.

"But you have to put these chances away.  Give credit to Hastings, they almost nicked it in the end and that would have been an injustice but these things happen in the FA Cup."

Looking ahead to Tuesday night's replay, which will be covered by www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Dolby said: "I would say being at home we would look to get at them.  We have to approach the game right, start brightly and take our chances."

The Longmead Stadium outfit are unbeaten in their opening four Ryman League division one games with 10 points and are only two points behind Cray Wanderers and Dover Athletic - with Jim Ward's Ramsgate sitting in fourth with nine points.

However, their next league game is the Kent derby next Saturday when bottom of the table, Ashford Town visit.

"We've played some fantastic football over the last few games," admitted Dolby.  "We deserved to beat Dulwich, were convincing winners at Banstead and beat Ramsgate who have won every (league) game this season apart from against us."

Former Dartford striker Jay May is available for selection following his 35-day suspension he picked up having been sent off in a Suburban League fixture against Havant & Waterlooville in March, but Dolby will still be without Jerome John, Jon Heath, Tim Hambley and Nick Barnes.

Let's make it a momentous night of FA Cup football!

Admission prices: £8 (adults), £4 (concessions) and £2 (children).

Tonbridge Angels v Hastings United
FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay
Tuesday 13th September 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Betterview Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge