Friday 21st October 2005

Angels focus on return to title tilt

Tonbridge Angels will return to Ryman League action tomorrow against Newport IOW following their impressive 1-0 win over Cheshunt in the FA Trophy, writes Jez Durrant.

Despite not playing a league game for close to three weeks due to cup commitments, Tonbridge remain top of the Ryman League Division One table and will be keen to extend their unbeaten streak against the visitors from the Isle of Wight.

In addition to tomorrow's league clash, a home tie against Newport on 12th November also awaits Tonbridge in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy after a first half Luke Piscina goal was enough to see of Southern Premier League side Cheshunt last Saturday.

Player-manager Tony Dolby said he was pleased to progress in the competition and told the Kent & Sussex Courier: "Cheshunt are a decent side with some decent players who have been about and they were strong on the break.

"However, we are playing some great football at the moment.  If we can keep this up and take it into the league then we have a fantastic chance of doing well this season."

Tonbridge started the stronger of the two sides on Saturday and took the game to their higher league opponents.

Dolby added: "We started well and had a good tempo.  We worked hard when we didn't have the ball and moved it around when we did.

"In the second half there were a few tired legs as some of the boys returning were a bit short of match fitness.

"In all a clean sheet and passage through to the next round was satisfying."

Luke Piscina's sixth goal of the season proved decisive and Dolby said he was happy with the draw which pits them against tomorrow's opponents.

Dolby said: "Newport beat Hampton & Richmond in the Trophy and they don't lose too often at home.

"The cup is the cup and there is not much difference if you play someone in the same division or the one above or below.

"The main thing is I am pleased to be at home."

Dolby should again have a fully fit squad to choose from for tomorrow's home game and this week he was in discussions again with Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion over players.

The relationship set-up between the clubs has already seen the Angels able to use midfielder Lee Carey and defender Steve May.

Tonbridge Angels v Newport IOW
Ryman League Division One
Saturday 22nd October 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Betterview Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge