Thursday 01st September 2005

A better view for Angels' fans


Tuesday 12th
July 2005
Pre-Season Friendly Stephen McCartney reports from the
Longmead Stadium
Tonbridge Angels 1 Jay May 53
Sutton United 0  


Tonbridge Angels got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start with a deserved victory over Nationwide Conference South club Sutton United at the Betterview Longmead Stadium tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.

Angels' boss Tony Dolby fielded a 19-man squad for the game and was pleased with them all.

"Considering it was so early in pre-season the boys done really well," he said after the game.

"They acquitted themselves well and we got what we wanted out of the game."

The only two players that stayed on the lush Longmead turf for the entire 90 minutes were Kieron Wilson and new acquisition, Jerome John.

The goalkeeper, signed from Fisher Athletic, made an impressive debut, making a string of fine saves to keep the Surrey side at bay.

In fact it was the Ryman League Division One hosts who enjoyed a fair share of chances, especially in the first half - despite a slow start.

Dolby was also pleased with another player he signed from his former club, Steve Aris.

"They are both very accomplished players, very experienced and they've fitted in nicely over the course of the first week of pre-season and in the game today."

And striker Leroy Huggins - who arrived at the ground only fifteen minutes before kick off - made an instant impact two minutes after coming off the substitutes bench.

He threaded a defence splitting pass to striker Jay May and with only the Sutton goalkeeper to beat, the former Dartford striker kept his composure and his shot tricked into the back of the net, via the foot of the post after 53 minutes.

Like in most pre-season friendlies, both managers made numerous changes, giving their trialists an opportunity to show what they can do.

The Kent side had a couple of chances late on to add to the scoreline with Craig Roser shooting over from distance, and 26-year-old slender trialist, Dennis Busulwa, who has been playing local Church football, shot across the face of goal when he only had the goalkeeper to beat.

Dolby, however, is continuing his search for a promotion winning team.

"I want to get a bit of continuity as soon as we can really with the squad," he admitted.

"The sooner we do that the better, but to get there you have to try different things."

And he revealed EXCLUSIVELY to tonight he is close to adding a striker to his squad.

"There are one or two new signings hopefully this week," he revealed.  "We'll have another one (striker) to add to what we've got already."

The Angels are without a game on Saturday but they will be working hard on the training field ahead of Margate's visit to Longmead next Tuesday, 19th July.

"We'll have a good workout on Thursday and hopefully we may get a practice game of sorts on Saturday with a few of the reserves and young lads, and have a look with what we've got around the club."

Dolby gave a few of the clubs talented youngsters some action on the pitch tonight, which was important.  "It's good for the boys to get a little experience and they acquitted themselves well," he said.

"We are moving forward and we need to know if we can rely on them."

Dolby is convinced the players can deliver the club's ultimate aim this season - promotion.

"That's what we are aiming for.  I'm not going to take my mind of that one second," he insisted.

"The boys know what's expected of them this year and we'll be going flat out for promotion.

"We've got a fantastic dressing room.  It's one thing we have got on our side, which is good spirit and a good bunch of lads to boot."


Tonbridge Angels: Jerome John, Keiron Wilson, Craig Roser (Darren Pearson 66), Tony Dolby (Mike Cramp 51), Steve Aris (Leroy Huggins 51), John Farley (Sim Johnson 73), Jon Heath (Ian Parkes 20), Luke Piscina (Dennis Busulwa 70), Jay May (Phil Cramp 70), Nick Barnes (Jon Sinclair 66), Tim Hambley (Craig Roser 79)

Referee: David Buck (Gravesend)
Assistants: Ian Fissenden & Steve Butler