Sunday 03rd October 2004
www.yourcounty.co.uk - The Kent Website - Supporting Kentish Football

Fans turn on Dolby and Dainty despite home cup draw

TONBRIDGE ANGELS may still be involved in the FA Cup - they travel to Braintree Town on Tuesday following a 1-1 draw at Longmead Stadium - but they didn't please some of the six hundred fans at Saturday's game, writes Stephen McCartney.

Luke Piscina's 72nd minute curling strike from the corner of the penalty area cancelled out the Essex visitors opener early in the second half to make sure the Angels travel to Cressing Road on Tuesday - knowing who they could face in the third qualifying round, as the next round is drawn a day prior to the match.

However, manager Tony Dolby and chairman Paul Dainty reacted angrily to criticism by certain sections of the Longmead crowd.

Dolby stated immediately after the match: "I fully appreciate that supporters are entitled to their opinions as they pay to watch matches but I felt that certain criticism went too far today especially as the club that progressed so far with the resources available.

"We are five points from the top of our division, have a small playing squad and today Tim Hambley, Brendon Cass and Craig Roser were all not fully fit but were asked to do a job for us.

"Given the circumstances I thought they did well but I was very disappointed about some of the comments directed at myself and about my team.

"The chairman and I work very closely together and are all trying to progress the club as far as we can.

"This is the first time I have felt like this but I am big enough to understand it goes with the territory, nonetheless it has affected me.

"I understand that Paul (Dainty) also came in for abuse today which I cannot understand considering he and I only have the very best intentions for the club."

Speaking on the club's website, Dainty refused to be drawn on what happened after the game but insisted that it was a club and not a footballing matter than had deeply offended him.

"When Tony discussed with me some of the comments directed at himself and the team I was deeply concerned for him as he has been an absolute pillar of strength for the club since he has become manager," said the chairman.

"I doubt that many other managers would have been so understanding of the clubs plight an prepared to work as hard as he has given the resources he has at his disposal.

"Of course I am disappointed we did not win today but in the build up to the match Tony and I were fully aware that we were struggling to provide a fully fit eleven.

"Regretfully, we cannot fully explain some of the selection decisions prior to a game.

"Tim Hambley spoke to me after the game and said he really wants to give his all to the club but is not fully fit.

"There is nothing more we can do currently but use Tim when we can until the end of his loan period.

"I am, however, pleased to still be in the cup but I am deeply hurt as was my co-director Robin Apps.

"When this is questioned I find this extremely distressing.  I want to enjoy driving the club forward but I feel upset by some of the aqusations thrown at myself and Robin."