Friday 25th February 2005

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Time is running out for Tonbridge

TONBRIDGE ANGELS striker Brendon Cass and midfielder Steve Searle have left the club after being frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities, writes Jez Durrant.

The news comes in a bad week for the Angels, who suffered two away league defeats at Salisbury City and Worthing.

The results are a further blow to the team's chances of escaping the drop from the Ryman Premier League.  After securing three points in their Kent derby with Folkestone Invicta, Tonbridge needed to turn up the pressure on their relegation rivals but 1-0 and 4-0 defeats to Salisbury and Worthing have left them deeper in the relegation mire.

Player-boss Tony Dolby told the Kent and Sussex Courier this week that poor starts to both games had cost his side dearly.

He said: "In the Salisbury game their goal should not have stood as it was a clear hand-ball but we did not create enough chances and we did not take the game to them enough.

"In the last three games we have not started very well.  It has been the same against Folkestone, Salisbury and Worthing and they have all scored in the first twenty minutes.

"In the Worthing game we gave away two early goals and with another coming just before half time we were killed off."

The recent results have left Tonbridge six points behind Salisbury and seven points away from safety.  Dolby said he did not have a points target in mind but was going to concentrate on each individual game.

He added: "At the moment because the way we are starting I am just looking to the next game and am not going to worry myself about points and wins.  If we can get the performance right hopefully the points and wins will follow."

Speaking about the loss of Cass and Searle, Dolby said: "They both felt they needed to be playing first team football at this stage of the season.  We struck a lot of confidence in Cass at the start of the season when he wasn't performing to his best but we have had to gamble recently by bringing in Richard Brady and that has meant Brendon was sitting on the bench.

"I fully understand that they need to be playing and are looking towards next season."

Tonbridge host Leyton tomorrow (Saturday) and Dolby said he was looking for the players to transfer their training ground instructions onto the pitch, adding: "Leyton is a must-win game and we need to apply ourselves and play with a little more confidence.

"Players are not carrying out instructions at the moment and it is causing us problems.  If we can improve on that we will still be in with a chance in games around the 70 minute mark and could go on to pick up a few more wins."

John Farley and Jay May missed Tuesday's trip to Woodside Road but are expected to be fit for tomorrow's game.

Tonbridge Angels v Leyton
Ryman League Premier Division
Saturday 26th February 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Avavan Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge