Friday 04th March 2005


Angels have a score to settle

TONBRIDGE Angels' player-boss Tony Dolby believes six wins out of his side's remaining ten games will be enough to secure their place in the Ryman Premier League for next season, writes Jez Durrant.

Tonbridge's hopes of beating the drop received a shot in the arm following another dramatic afternoon at the Avavan Longmead Stadium last Saturday.  

Leroy Huggins' injury time winner secured a 3-2 victory over visiting Leyton - who host fellow Kent strugglers Dover Athletic on Saturday - and was the second successive home game where the Angels have left it until time added on before wrapping up all three points.

The result was a good end to a difficult week for the club, which had seen them beaten twice on their travels and lose the services of assistant-manager Mike Rutherford, who resigned following the 4-0 defeat at Worthing.

Chairman Paul Dainty also announced that he and fellow director Robin Apps would be standing down at the end of the season.  Dainty has for some time stated that  with a growing business, he would be willing to move aside after three years in charge.

Discussions are currently on-going with an investor, who could take over the reigns and Dainty has not ruled out staying on the club's board.

Dolby told the Kent and Sussex Courier, he had used the off-field uncertainty to fire up his players: "With all the speculation going on there was a bit of uncertainty in the camp.

"However, I told them what was expected of them and that I was going to be around and that we needed to restore our professionalism.

"We wanted to prove a few people wrong and show some personal pride."

Tonbridge are still four points from safety but there is a growing belief at the club, echoed by supporters, that they can still survive.

Dolby said: "If we win half of our remaining ten games that could be enough to beat the drop.

"However, it is hard to tell and it might be that we need six wins."

Next up for Tonbridge is a trip to Windsor & Eton tomorrow (Saturday).  The Angels were beaten 1-0 in the corresponding home fixture with the Royalists but with the Berkshire side only a few points above them in the table, the game is important for both clubs.

Dolby said: "We battered them when we played them at our place but somehow got beaten 1-0.

"We have a score to settle and while we have done well at home recently, we will have to try to reproduce this on the road."

Richard Brady, John Farley and Nick Humphrey have slight injuries but are expected to be fit for selection.

The Angel's next home game is on Saturday 12th March, against Heybridge Swifts, where Brian Statham is their boss and former Erith & Belvedere manager Barry Lakin as assistant.

Windsor & Eton v Tonbridge Angels
Ryman League Premier Division
Saturday 5th March 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Stag Meadow, St Leonards Road, Windsor, Berkshire
Telephone 01753 860 656 before travelling