Friday 06th January 2006

Angels on course to bounce back at first attempt

Tonbridge Angels' chairman Nick Sullivan said he was confident the club could achieve its dream of promotion - if they continue to work hard, writes Jez Durrant.

Four points from two games over the festive period was a good return for player-boss Tony Dolby's men, who lie second in the table with three games in hand over leaders Horsham, who have a four point lead.

A 1-0 home win over Cray Wanderers on Boxing Day was followed by a thrilling 3-3 draw with fellow Kent title contenders Ramsgate on Monday.

Speaking to the Kent and Sussex Courier newspaper this week, Sullivan said the result on Monday against Ramsgate away from home was indicative of the club's strong showing this season.

He added: "I am very pleased with how things have gone so far and the performance on Monday summed things up.

"Not many teams will come away with four points from their games with Ramsgate this season."

Sullivan admitted the club was probably ahead of itself in terms of pre-season expectations, adding: "Things are developing well off the field on the commercial side and on the field - you only have to look at the league table to realise that."

The club are now firmly aiming for promotion and Sullivan said everything would be geared towards achieving that goal.

He said: "We will be doing everything we can within our financial constraints to achieve promotion.

"We are looking at new players and will bring them in if they are better than what we have got.  We don't have a divine right to go up and will continue to work hard for what we want."

Dolby was named division one manager of the month for December, his second such award this season, and Sullivan was fulsome in his praise for the first team boss.

He said: "Tony would be the first to admit that Mike Rutherford also deserves a lot of praise.  I was criticised a bit for keeping them on at the start of the season.

"However, they have worked extremely hard giving up a lot of their time for the club and deserve everything they get."

Sullivan said he was confident the club could continue its progress, adding: "I will be happy to finish in the top two and the championship would be a bonus.  We have a long way to go but the set-up is ready for it."

"We won't rest on our laurels but will have faith in the squad of players we have got here.  Tony is always looking to enhance the squad and if you stand still that's when you get slapped in the face.

"We will give it our best and time will tell what happens."

Tomorrow, Tonbridge travel to Fleet, who they drew with on the opening day of the season.

Goalkeeper Jerome John will still be missing through his shoulder injury and Dolby hopes to be able to recall Mikhail Czanner, who missed the trip to Ramsgate.

Midfielder, Danny Lye, who went off injured at Southwood Stadium, looks likely to be fit.

Fleet Town v Tonbridge Angels
Ryman League Division One
Saturday 7th January 2006
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Calthorpe Park, Crookham Road, Fleet, ampshire