Thursday 01st September 2005

Powell set to return to Longmead


Wednesday 3rd
August 2005
Pre-Season Friendly Stephen McCartney reports from Betterview Longmead Stadium
Tonbridge Angels 1 Luke Piscina 81
Eastbourne Borough 0  

Tonbridge Angels' player-manager Tony Dolby is close to signing Ray Powell, after the Fisher Athletic defender helped the Angels secure a well-deserved victory over Nationwide Conference South play-off finalists Eastbourne Borough tonight, writes Stephen McCartney.

It will be Powell's second spell with the Longmead Stadium club if he does decide to sign from the Fish, and he showed true grit in the right-back slot against physically strong opposition.

The progressive Sussex club were just one win away from playing Nationwide Conference football but lost to Altrincham in the play-off final in Stoke just three months ago.

And Dolby was pleased they secured their fifth friendly victory in eight outings.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk the Angels' boss said: "Performance was very good, it's always nice to win at home especially against a side a couple of divisions above us that done well last year, so all in all a very good night's work."

When asked if he had signed Powell, Dolby revealed: "Not as yet.  Hopefully though.  He will be a great asset if we can sign him.  Hopefully we can wrap that up and move on with Ray in the squad.  He will be a massive asset for us."

But Dolby has lost two players this week.  Defender John Farley has joined their Ryman League Division One rivals Horsham and Kieron Marsh will be jetting off soon to the USA for a 2-year scolarship.

"John Farley has gone to Horsham as I couldn't guarantee him first team football," revealed Dolby.

"I don't think I can guarantee anybody first team football at the moment, that's the nature of what we're trying to do down here.

"John wanted first team football, and again, he's a good friend of mine and wish him all the best."

And speaking about youth team product Wilson's departure, Dolby added: "Of course we are going to miss Kieron.  He's a good lad to have about, he's very versatile and has filled in and has done well for us.  Good luck to him, he'll be on his way, and we wish him all the best."

Dolby admitted he is pleased with their pre-season preparation, which has seen them beat Sutton United (1-0), Hythe Town (3-0), Aveley (1-0), Tunbridge Wells (2-1) before tonight's win.

Defeats have come against Margate (1-0), Sevenoaks Town (1-0) and Fisher Athletic (4-1), and the boss explained why he has chosen to play 12 warm up matches ahead of their league opener at home to Fleet Town on 20th August.

They still have four games to play before the curtain raises on their campaign.  They travel to Folkestone Invicta on Saturday and Bromley next Tuesday before hosting Brighton & Hove Albion two days later.

The Angels finish their pre-season campaign with a trip to East Thurrock United on the 13th August.

"We're aiming towards the 20th August and that's what we want to be ready for," Dolby said.

"These games are good as they do help alot but its going to amount to nothing if we don't perform against Fleet Town.

"We've got a couple of last minute friendlies, which weren't expected, the Brighton one, tonight's game and the Fisher game.

"We wanted to get a couple of extra ones at home for a little bit of revenue but again there's nothing like matches to see what the players are all about.

"We are testing players and testing formations, we are not unfit as you can see, we've not suffered from not training.

"We look strong towards the end of games in that respect and I don't think it makes a great deal of difference.

"It's going according to plan, we're getting some very good players in and everybody seems to be responding."

Back to the game, Eastbourne Borough, who have sailed up the leagues very quickly, created a couple of early chances through Scott Ramsey and Stafford Browne, before the Kent side took control of the first half.

Nick Barnes had a couple of chances and Jay May headed wide Darren Smith's whipped in cross from the flank to the far post.

And former Dartford striker, May had another chance on the stroke of half time.  His 22-yard shot tested former Whitstable Town goalkeeper, Lee Hook, who got down low to his right to prevent the ball finding the far corner of the net.

Eastbourne almost snatched an un-deserved lead after 56 minutes when Yemi Odubade's shot from an acute angle cannoned against the crossbar.

But impressive Tonbridge turned the screw late in the game, creating some good chances.  Luke Piscina, however, was their hero with nine minutes remaining when he finished off a good move -  scoring his first goal of the season - drilling a shot inside the near post.

Tonbridge Angels: Jerome John, Ray Powell, Craig Roser (John Heath 62), Darren Smith (Ian Parkes 76), Steve Aris, John Beales, Tim Hambley, Danny Lye, Jay May (Luke Piscina 76), Nick Barnes, Warren Haughton (Leroy Huggins 62).

Eastbourne Borough: Lee Hook, Darren Baker, Phil Warner, Matt Smart, Peter Featherstone, Ben Austin, Kevin Hemsley, Andy Atkin, Scott Ramsay, Yemi Odubade, Stafford Browne.  Subs: Anthony Storey, Danny Williams, Matt Piper, Scott McDonald, Seb Barton (GK)

Referee: Ronald Albert