Friday 25th March 2005

It's make or break time for falling Angels

ANY FAINT hopes of beating the drop from the Ryman Premier League may be extinguished this weekend as Tonbridge Angels face two tough games over the bank holiday period, writes Jez Durrant.

However, player-boss Tony Dolby still feels his side are in with a chance of a miraculous escape despite a run of form which has seen them win only one of their past six games including last weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Billericay Town.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Tonbridge travel to Slough Town (at Windsor & Eton FC) before hosting Worthing at home on Bank Holiday Monday.  With only seven league games left and the club now six points from safety - relegation rivals Folkestone Invicta beat Leyton 2-1 on Good Friday - Dolby's side must start putting an immediate run of results together.

Dolby told the Kent and Sussex Courier Newspaper: "We have two tough games over the Easter period against good sides and we really need maximum points.

"We have still got Dover and Harrow to play which will be absolutely massive games.  If we can pick up some wins before then we will be in a much better position."

The under pressure boss added: "Other teams are losing as well and we still have a chance.  Out of Dover, Cheshunt, Folkestone, Harrow and ourselves, three will go down."

Tonbridge began last Saturday's game welcoming Paul Emblem back to the starting line-up after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.  The 28-year-old showed glimpses of his class but is clearly short of match fitness.

Dolby said: "Paul is still short of match fitness.  He has trained well this week and should be back into the swing of things before the end of the season."

Michael Cramp also came into the starting line-up in place of Nick Humphrey, who has since left the club to re-join Dover Athletic.

Humphrey, a product of the club's youth set-up, re-joined the Angels from Dover earlier this season but failed to recapture his top form.

Teenager Cramp - registered with Kent League neighbours Sevenoaks Town - gave an assured display in last weekend's defeat to Billericay, which saw the visitors take the lead through a fortuitous strike shortly before half time.

The Essex side, however, looked the better of the sides and sealed their win as Tonbridge pushed forward late in the second half.

Dolby said: "We had a game plan to keep it tight as we have not done this in recent games from the start.  We felt if we could keep it 0-0 at half time we would be in with a great chance but they scored a lucky goal, which killed us.  That said we didn't create that much."


Slough Town v Tonbridge Angels
Ryman League Premier Division
Saturday 26th March 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Windsor & Eton FC, Stag Meadow, St Leonards Road, Windsor, Berkshire

Tonbridge Angels v Worthing
Ryman League Premier Division
Easter Monday, 28th March 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Avavan Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge