Tonbridge secure stadium sponsorship deal
TONBRIDGE Angels host Oxford City today in the second round of the FA Trophy boosted by the news they have secured sponsorship of their Longmead Stadium, writes Jez Durrant.
In what has been a difficult season so far, due mainly to injuries, and a limited playing budget, Tonbridge will pick up a cheque for £3,000 if they can see of their Southern League Division One West opponents.
Ahead of today's game, the club announced this week they have agreed a major new sponsorship arrangement with Tonbridge based vehicle hire specialists AVAVAN.
They will be sponsoring the stadium and the club's travel arrangements.
The club's ground will now be known as the AVAVAN Longmead Stadium, and will be suitable branded.
In addition, AVAVAN will be providing free coach travel for supporters from the town centre for home games as well as transport at a nominal cost of the longer away games.
AVAVAN managing director, Chris Roffey said: "We are delighted to be sponsoring Tonbridge Angels and getting behind the area's senior team.
"Like the Angels we are an ambitious organisation and we believe that this arrangement will be mutually beneficial."
Angels chairman Paul Dainty added: "The club are thrilled that Tonbridge's leading vehicle rental company is providing this sponsorship.
"The arrangements benefit the club, the team and our supporters and I urge all fans to take advantage of the free coach service that is on offer."
Tonbridge go into the Oxford City game heartened by their performance against Ryman League Premier Division high-flyers Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Tonbridge led early on through a goal from new striker Steve Sodje, 29, but had to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw.
Player-manager Tony Dolby, who sat the game out through injury, said he was pleased with a point but said it could have been more.
He told the Kent and Sussex Courier Newspaper: "Before the game we would have been very pleased with a point against a team with their record but in the end we probably did enough to win all three.
"Steve Sodje, made an excellent debut and caused the opposition untold problems.
"He liked up really well with Brendon Cass, who had a great game and deserved a goal."
Tonbridge will be without their boss and Nick Humphrey for today's game as the pair are suspended.
Sodje, a recent signing from league rivals Braintree Town, also misses out as he is cup-tied.
However, with home advantage, Angels will go into the game as clear favourites.
Dolby said: "It's a massive game and we really want to do well.
"It is good for the club financially and a win will further enhance our confidence.
"I am sure everyone will make us favourties, but we know all about cup competitions.
"They have a good record away from home, although we know that if we can perform like we did against a side at the top of the Ryman Premier League then we will have more than enough for them.
Meanwhile, promising youngster Jon Heath looks set to miss the next six weeks of action while he rests a knee and ankle problem.
Since the injury to Craig Roser, Heath has been very impressive in the left-wing back role.
His absence will be a blow with Roser still some weeks away from a full return to action.
Following today's FA Trophy game, the Angels will return to Ryman League Premier Division action on Saturday 4th December, when they entertain Harrow Borough - who drew 2-2 at Dover Athletic last Tuesday.
Tonbridge Angels v Oxford City
FA Trophy Second Round
Saturday 27th November 2004
Kick Off 3:00pm
at AVAVAN Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge