The FA Vase is a special one, so we’re just hoping to try to keep our momentum going, says Tunbridge Wells boss Steve Ives

Friday 10th November 2023

TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Steve Ives says he is pleased that their defensive work on the training ground is coming to fruition on match day.

Since coming away from Little Common with a 3-2 away win in The FA Vase, Tunbridge Wells have beaten Stansfeld 2-0, lost by a single goal away to Lordswood before knocking out leaders Glebe out of the Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win at Culverden Stadium on Tuesday night.

“I think both sides made a few changes but even so, I think the teams that were put out gave a fair representation of both of us,” said Ives, who's side have secured a last 16 trip to Snodland Town.

“From my point of view, we’re pleased that we got the clean sheet and the win.

“It’s nice to do well in the cups, even though the league is probably number one priority but it extends the season and gives you a chance to play the players that are hungry for minutes.

“From our point of view, at the moment, it’s just good to keep on playing and get some momentum going and the clean sheet, which is something that we’ve been working on at the training ground was really pleasing.”

Attention now turns to Sunday’s FA Vase Second Round trip to play Lingfield.  The game is being played at Horley Town’s ground.

Tunbridge Wells go into the tie sitting in 12th place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 18 points (five wins, three draws) from their 14 games.

Daniel Burnett’s side are in eleventh-place in the Southern Combination League Premier Division table with 17 points (four wins, five draws) from their 13 league outings.

It will be Lingfied’s second game at this stage of the competition, while Martin Larkin’s class of 2012-13, reached The FA Vase Final, losing 2-1 to Spennymoor Town (now National League North) at Wembley Stadium.

“It’s an unusual one to play on a Sunday, although we fully understand the reasons behind it.  We just hope the weather is kind and the pitch is being played on Saturday by the landlords Horley Town. We’re just hoping the pitch holds up and our game goes ahead,” said Ives.

“The FA Vase is a special one so we’re just hoping to try to keep our momentum going, it’s as simple as that.

“We’ve really been working on being a little bit better out of possession, having a better shape and working a little bit harder off the ball.

“We know we’ve got a goal threat in us, we score.  Last Saturday against Lordswood was the only time this season we’ve failed to score, so scoring isn’t normally our problem, but we have let in far too many cheap  goals, so we’re quite hopeful now that in our recent performances we’ve had a couple of clean sheets in our last two games.

“We’re hoping that we can continue that on Sunday because we know if we can do our job defending our goal, we can always cause a threat.

“Lingfield are very similar to us at the moment, they’re midtable, fairly inconsistent in regards to their record and they score quite a few goals (23) and concede quite a few (25).”

Lingfield  v  Tunbridge Wells
The Isuzu FA Vase Second Round
Sunday 12 November 2023
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The New Defence, Anderson Way, Horley, Surrey RH6 8SP