Sunday 05th September 2004
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Tonbridge working little miracles on the pitch

UNBEATEN in their last six games, Tonbridge Angels player-manager Tony Dolby insists it's a season of consolidation at Longmead Stadium, writes Stephen McCartney.

The 30-year-old said: "We are looking to move forward as a club and as a team.

"At the moment there is no extra money about - we're still working off the same sort of money as we started the season, so we are working little miracles if you like, on the pitch."

Saturday's visit of bottom of the table Kingstonian attracted the highest crowd of the season to Longmead, with 555 flocking through the turnstiles on a hot sunny day.

But it was the Surrey visitors that created the most chances with recent signing Elliot Onochie, who spent the summer on trial at Premiership newcomers Crystal Palace, Giles Coke, who struck the crossbar just before the break, that stole the show.

However, former Gravesend & Northfleet goalkeeper Jamie Turner kept the K's at bay until the 21st minute when he was beaten by Onochie's close range header.

Angels boss Dolby admitted his side's slow start in games are a cause for concern at present.

He added: "We've had a bit of an issue, there's only one game this season that we've started brightly and that was against Northwood, and we were leading at half time, and went onto win the game comfortably.

"It's a little barrier we've got to get over.  We start very sluggish and that gives teams a little gee up and they play and that brings their game on.

"We know we have the strength to come back.  We just have to make sure we keep it nice and tight at 0-0 or put ourselves in front for a change!"

Tonbridge, however, salvaged a point when Patrick Blackman scored his first goal of the season, 13 minutes from time, getting on the end of Dolby's whipped in free kick towards the far post.

Although disappointed drawing against the side bottom of the Ryman League Premier Division table, Dolby predicts a tough clash at Kent rivals Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday evening.

He said: "There is a lot of rivalry between the two sides and I am sure it will be a good physical, tough game, and we are looking forward to it."

After the much publicised financial difficulties suffered in the close season, Dolby is doing his utmost to bring success on the pitch.

"I've got a job to do on the pitch to keep the boys motivated to make them believe that they are good enough.

"I like to thank I prepare the boys well enough to hold our own in this league." Dolby said.

"It's very much a consolidating period for the club at the moment.

"We'll consolidate this year and hopefully be able to progress later on in the season, moving forward into next season." he said.

Dolby, however, admitted a much-needed cup run "is very much on the forefront on our minds, so lets hope we can make that happen" to bring funds into the club.

However, FA Vase holders Winchester City, who have already won in Kent this season, disposing of Go Travel Kent League side Lordswood in the Extra Preliminary Round, may have something to say about that in the clash on the 18th September.

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