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Tonbridge chairman blasts home shocker
WINCHESTER CITY are the visitors to Longmead Stadium for Saturday's FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie, but Tonbridge Angels chairman Paul Dainty doesn't want to see a repeat of the midweek 6-1 home defeat to Cheshunt again, writes Stephen McCartney.
The "shambolic performance" prompted the club's chairman and manager Tony Dolby to express their opinions on a very poor night for the club.
Dolby admitted: "Yet again we did not start a match. Only twice this season have we started a game with any purpose.
"Mike (Rutherford) and I prepare the team to start with a tempo of play but it has not happened again.
"In previous games when we started like this we have pulled games around usually by finishing the game strongly.
Against Cheshunt, however, we gave ourselves a mountain to climb because we started so tamely.
"Our defence was absolutely shocking - an embarrassment. No one came out of the game with any credit whatsoever. It was a completely shambolic performance."
Dolby watched the second half in the stand as he suffered from a tight calf muscle but should be fit for the game against the current FA Vase holders.
Winchester have already visited Kent this season, defeating Go Travel Kent League side Lordswood 4-1 in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, and should make a lot of noise as their fans bang the drum for their Vase heroes.
Steve Searle and Tim Hambley are close to making a return to the side. However, it is too early to assess the chances of Patrick Blackman and Brendon Cass.
Club chairman Paul Dainty was more direct in his criticism in the team's surrender against the Hertfordshire side.
He said: "I feel certain players are letting the manager down.
"I will not single them out but they are experienced players who, quite frankly are turning in sub standard performances.
"In my opinion they appear not to be hungry enough to pull on an Angels shirt, lack passion and perhaps belief and are not fighting for the cause - one of which the supporters, management and directors have worked so hard recently to keep the club going.
"The game against Cheshunt was a totally unacceptable performance as we were completely outplayed in all areas of the pitch.
"Tony (Dolby) and I talked at length on the morning after the game. He is a highly motivated and driven individual who has the long term success of the club as the main footballing priority.
"We are doing everything we can to provide him with the means to improve the squad - he needs support and a few of his players should look at themselves and question their own individual performances as they have not performed recently for the club - Folkestone being another example."
The chairman concluded that there was absolutely no criticism of the younger players in the squad whom he felt were progressing well given their lack of experience.
Tonbridge Angels vs Winchester City
FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 18 September 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge