Wells confident of nicking
manager of FA Cup record breakers Tunbridge Wells is still in a daze over
the events at Culverden Stadium last Wednesday that re-wrote the FA Cup
record books, writes Stephen McCartney.
Metcalf, the manager of the Kentish Observer League club, is a very proud
man, following his side’s epic preliminary round replay victory over
Sussex League side Littlehampton Town.
Wells played poorly in the first game at Worthing’s Woodside Road ground
in the first match with Scott McRobert’s goal earning them a replay and
Metcalf insisted his side wouldn't repeat their poor showing on home soil.
what the Tenterden resident didn’t envisage was that the replay would
last three hours and fifteen minutes and 40 penalties would be taken in a
thrilling penalty shoot out, after the game finished 2-2 after extra time.
Town were awarded two penalties by Hampshire referee, Mr Ian Thomson in
both halves, with Wells’ former Ashford Town stopper, John Whitehouse
saving Gary Young’s 28th minute spot kick.
the 28-year-old goalkeeper pulled off four saves in the shoot-out, and was
the hero when he saved Grant Vanson’s spot kick for the Kent side to
prevail 16-15 on penalties.
were delighted to witness our home-town club make FA Cup history.
another EXCLUSIVE interview, Metcalf reflected: “As you know I don’t
think we realised what was going on.
back on the night there were so many things happening during the game, and
outside of the game, and when the penalty shoot out came it was just nerve
racking, and to get this much publicity is just great for the club and the
brought you the news – with interviews from Metcalf and Whitehouse
EXCLUSIVELY after the game, and Metcalf and chairman Norman Wells took
telephone calls from the national media the following day.
am really proud to have been involved in such a game and I think I speak
for everyone – including Littlehampton Town – to be involved in such a
momentous occasion. These type of
games don’t come every game.” he added.
sees them travel to Ryman League division one side Metropolitan Police in
the first qualifying round on Saturday, and Metcalf insists his side are
more than capable of knocking them out.
don’t fear Met Police at all, but we respect them the same as any other
team.” he said.
got players that have played against them before and they’ve given us
some of their inside knowledge. We
will prepare the same as any other game.”
Wells came back down to earth last Saturday – going a goal down early on
– before going on to beat Sporting Bengal United 5-1 at Culverden
Stadium in a Kentish Observer League fixture to cement third place behind
Beckenham Town and Maidstone United.
arrived at the ground late due to work commitments earlier in the day and
when he did arrive, he saw the East Londoners take an early lead.
had to work and I walked into the ground and behind the goal and the ball
was in the back of the net," he fumed.
watching the game for 15-20 minutes after the goal, it was just like after
the Lord Mayor’s Show, the game after the hype.
(coaches) Martin (Telford), Dave (Rice) and myself told the players not to
panic, just get the ball down and play their football.
scored an important goal through Danny Barham just before half-time.
again, left Martin and the rest of the boys to work their magic during
half-time. We came out a
totally different side in the second half.”
main aim – apart from breaking FA Cup records – is to get the club
into the Ryman League next season.
predicted the league table is now settling down a bit, and we must keep
Maidstone and Beckenham in our sights,” said Metcalf.
was an important win from a potential banana skin and I think what’s
come out of the Sporting Bengal game is how many of these young lads have
however, is relishing the chance for his side to play on a magnificent
playing surface at Imber Court.
a tough game, but Cray and Ramsgate have gone into that division from the
Kent League and have done well, and I cannot see any reason why we can’t
hold our own or do better," he expressed
we can get the ball down on a magnificent playing surface and play our
football it will be a close game,” he predicted.
manager is pleased there is a “close unit” within the club, and added:
“I talk about these young lads but I’d like to think we are now a
family and that what makes the emotions run high.
a close unit and we are all pulling for each other. We’re getting an understanding now and as far as I’m
concerned we are a family and we’re building on this family unit.”