Monday 25th April 2005

Dolby frustrated with his fallen Angels

TONBRIDGE ANGELS' player-manager Tony Dolby has issued a statement on the club's website to point out some home truths to the clubs supporters, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Angels lost their brave fight against relegation from the Ryman Premier League on Saturday as Clinton Lamb scored the only goal of the game in their 1-0 defeat at Harrow Borough.

The Avavan Longmead Stadium outfit suffered financial problems at the end of the 2003-2004 campaign and this affected the budget given to the Chislehurst based manager this season.

Dolby began praising the club's fans for their support in a season that has seen them relegated in their first season playing Ryman Premier League football but finished their campaign higher than former Nationwide Conference giants Dover Athletic and Kingstonian.

"Thought it's only right that I should write and thank all of you for your fantastic support over this tough season and give my views on a few matters that have come up since I took charge.

"After spending Saturday and Sunday pondering how we failed to score against Harrow and how we managed to grab losses out of the clutches of victory over the season I have tried to put it all into perspective and find our how myself and the club can move forward.

"I can hold my head up and say that in the face of adversity and with all the pressure of managing a team playing at the highest level it has been at with the well documented financial restraints, I have had a real go and been professional with our approach to training and matches alike.

"You guy's (supporters) do not really need to know about everything that goes on behind the scenes but I feel it is only right (like I have during the season) to give you an insight into your manager and your club.

"Frustration is the word that covered the season from my point of view, frustration that certain players have under performed (at certain times) and frustration that I have not been able to bring in players that I have wanted to boost our squad at this level.  Also that bad luck with injuries when it was going so well hampered our progress. These are frustrations not excuses by the way..."

Dolby, however, defended his decisions on his formations during the course of the season.

He added: "I think it is unfair to say that my tactical awareness has contributed to our relegation (in my opinion anyway!).    Tactically I had to change things for a number of reasons. 

"We were having a lot of success early on playing 5-3-2 and have had success of late using 4-3-3, in between we had loss of form/confidence, injuries and suspensions to deal with and with the opposition in mind we had to take each game as it came.

"That's not to say that there were not bad performances all round (Wealdstone and Heybridge at home, Worthing and Folkestone away), also sloppy defence performances at time and lucklustre firepower have contributed as well.

"But there have been lots of positive matches where we have or should have won that should not be overlooked (Billericay, Braintree good early away draws, Hendon at home and also the fighting spirit that won three games at home 3-2 late on).

"The number of times we lost by the odd goal and deserved something from the game are so many it's untrue.  Also lets not forget that we done better than ever in the cups as well. 

"I suppose it's hard to say whether my experience has contributed but I will say that I don't think any other manager would of found it easier to work at Tonbridge this season.

"But through it all the support has been fantastic so I take my hat off to all of you (even the constant pessimists!!!) and say thank you for making us feel supported all year long."