Thursday 22nd September 2005

Both sides ready for Borough battle


VCD Athletic boss Martin Ford was pleased his side bounced back from their heavy defeat at Beckenham Town to progress into the second qualifying round of the FA Vase following their comfortable 4-1 win at Oakwood last weekend, writes Stephen McCartney.

"In all fairness if we were going to get back to winning ways this was a game that I expected to win as we made light work of an average Oakwood side," Ford told www.vcd-athletic.co.uk

However, it did not come without cost though as Ashley Probets and Mark Greatorex did not even make it to the half an hour mark with both being withdrawn due to injury.

But a Lee Coburn hat-trick and Stuart Abbott's strike sealed their passage, and another trip to Sussex, this time to Saltdean United, awaits the Kent side on 1st October.

"Once Lee (Coburn) gave us the lead we took our foot of the pedal and didn't play at all well," admitted Ford.

"Thankfully we regrouped at half-time, raced into a 4-0 lead and never looked back.

"It was a welcomed win, a few bob in the bank so all in all I'm glad to get that one out of the way and look forward to another trip to Sussex."

Ford, however, is now setting his sights for the visit of unbeaten side Tunbridge Wells at Greenwich Borough's Harrow Meadow ground on Saturday.

"It is important now that we concentrate all our efforts to this weekend's league match against Tunbridge Wells," he said.

"We are all desperate to get our league campaign up and running.

"No win in our first four league games obviously gives me some concern, but I'm not worried as it's only a matter of time before the team clicks together, but having said that I don't want to be bottom of the league come five o'clock.

"Tunbridge Wells, however, will be another tough match," he said.  "They have not been beaten in the league yet so we need to be somewhere near our best.  It should be a good game."

Tunbridge Wells boss, Kevin Metcalf, will be rallying his battered troops ahead of this game.

Following a goal-less draw against Wessex League outfit Moneyfields at Culverden Stadium on Saturday, their FA Vase hopes were dashed in the first qualifying round replay on Tuesday night - losing 5-0.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk Metcalf admitted they had the chances to win the first game.

Striker Dave Hassett squandered two one-on-ones at Culverden Stadium and Michael Ward's goal was ruled out.

"We should have won, we had three clear cut chances, a goal disallowed and basically it should have been job done," he reflected.

"But we went down to Moneyfields with three players missing so basically it was backs against the wall."

Metcalf was without Aaron O'Leary, Simon Joynes and Buster Beaney, all due to work commitments, which denied them to make the trip to Portsmouth.

"As far as I'm concerned the job should have been done.  It was a bit of a poor performance on Tuesday night and when you play these type of teams on your own patch you have to win."

And Metcalf, who should be boosted by the return of Gavin Williams and Dave Eckersall from injury, is expecting a tough test against Ford's men.

"I know their form's not any good but again, are they rebuilding or what, I don't know?

"We need to bounce back and we know Martin (Ford) will have his team well prepared.  We will, however, treat the game accordingly - VCD are always a top three side."

Metcalf admits to being "very disappointed" after going out of the two national cup competitions at an early stage, but added: "We've always said the league is our priority so we can concentrate on that."

This time last year, the Wells' players were keeping referee's busy as they ended up in their notepads and facing suspensions for childish behaviour, but Metcalf is pleased that his players have all grown up.

"I think the lads have grown up with a couple of older heads in the squad now. 

"I have faith in the lads.  Although we are out of the two cups I am pleased with everything at the club."

Moneyfields will make the trip to Reachfields Stadium to 1st October to tackle Kentish Observer League side, Hythe Town, thus putting to an end hopes of a Kent derby in the next round.

VCD Athletic v Tunbridge Wells
Kentish Observer League
Saturday 24th September 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Greenwich Borough FC, Harrow Meadow, Eltham Green Road, Eltham