Monday 17th January 2005

The Kent Website
Supporting Kentish Football

Kent sides look to finish off the job in Trophy trips

BOTH Gravesend & Northfleet and Tonbridge Angels - Kent's last two sides remaining in the FA Trophy - were held to home draws by lower league opposition on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

Nationwide Conference side Gravesend were held to a goal-less draw by Nationwide Conference South side Eastbourne Borough at Stonebridge Road and Ryman Premier Division side Tonbridge drew Ryman Division One outfit Walton & Hersham at the Avavan Longmead Stadium - both goals coming from the penalty spot.

However, all four sides know who they will face in the last 32 of the competition and will be going all out for victory to progress to the fourth round, which takes place on Saturday 5th February.

'Fleet boss Andy Ford and Angels player-manager Tony Dolby are both confident they can come through their trips to Priory Lane and Stompond Lane unscathed to face Histon (home) or Stamford (away) in the next round respectively.

Ford, however, has the bonus of adding two new players to his squad ahead of their replay at Eastbourne but Dolby will be without Steve Searle - who sits out due a one match ban and Andy Larkin who has work commitments.

Ford said: "We had a horrendous week last week and we had two players coming in, but the paperwork didn't go through in time.

"Hopefully I can get them in for the replay.

"The side we had on Saturday was a bit of a mix and match.

"Eastbourne defended very well and they compacted well at the back and didn't give us many opportunities.

"We will regroup for Tuesday and I will bring in the two who should have been there at Stonebridge Road for sure."

Dolby, however, who gave his side the lead from the penalty spot after ten minutes, is also confident the Angels can progress further in the competition.

The 30-year-old from Chislehurst said: "We had enough chances in the first half to win the game comfortably.

"Although they had a few chances as well, when we got the goal we should have built on it.

"We had a good spell after scoring - but when its one goal in a cup-tie its still that chance of the equaliser coming, and inevitably they scored."

After coming through the last round needing an extra 90 minutes to dispose of Oxford City, Dolby is hoping his side can clinch victory at Stompond Lane.

"We did the same thing at Oxford in the last round.  We'll go into tomorrow's game full of confidence."

Dolby takes his side to Cheshunt in a bid to collect three points to help climb out of the Ryman Premier Division drop zone on Saturday.

He added: "We've got a few players back that have been cup-tied.  There's competition for places again and we'll try to carry on with our good league form."

Eastbourne Borough v Gravesend & Northfleet
FA Trophy Third Round Replay
Tuesday 18th January 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Langney Sports Club, Priory Lane, Eastbourne

Walton & Hersham v Tonbridge Angels
FA Trophy Third Round Replay
Tuesday 18th January 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Stompond Lane, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey