Friday 16th September 2005

Wells relish tough week


Tunbridge Wells manager Kevin Metcalf admits their trip to Maidstone United on Wednesday night "could be a six pointer this early in the season," but before they make the trip to Bourne Park in Sittingbourne, they host Moneyfields in the first qualifying round of the FA Vase at Culverden Stadium tomorrow, writes Stephen McCartney.

Following their epic, record breaking 40 penalty shoot-out in their FA Cup preliminary round win over Littlehampton Town, which was won 16-15, after the tie finished 2-2 after extra time, their run in the competition was ended last Saturday at Metropolitan Police in the next round.

The Ryman League Division One side won the game 2-0, but Metcalf remains upbeat.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, he reflects on their only defeat of the season to date.

"It was disappointing to lose but as I've said this week more positives come out of the game than negatives," he said.

"Obviously Met. Police will be a strong side in the Ryman League, and to be honest they scored two goals in important phases during the game.

(With them) "Scoring after five minutes meant we were always chasing the game, but as the game went on we started to play a bit of football and we were happy to go into half time only one goal down."

Striker Dave Hassett had a glorious chance from a header to equalise and more chances came in the second half through Buster Beaney, Aaron O'Leary and Lee Porter had a goal disallowed for offside.

"We changed our formation and to be honest we looked a better side and more comfortable," was his second half analysis.

"But the boys done well in the last twenty minutes where our goalkeeper (John Whitehouse) didn't have a save to make."

Metcalf, however, feels last week's display will put his team in good stead - but promotion remains they aim this season.

They dropped to fourth place in the Kentish Observer League table on Wednesday night, following Thamesmead Town's 7-0 win at Sporting Bengal United in East London.

"To be honest if we were going to Met. Police tomorrow I wouldn't worry," added Metcalf.

"They were very complimentary on the way we played football and I personally feel it puts us in good stead to play these types of teams.

"To be honest, we have nothing but praise for the squad."

The side they do play tomorrow is Wessex League outfit Moneyfields and if results go the way of our Kent sides could make it a second qualifying round derby at Reachfields Stadium against Hythe Town on 1st October.

But Paul Fisk's side must win at Pagham tomorrow to make it happen.

Looking ahead to tomorrow's tie, Metcalf said: "It will be a tough game, but we've had them watched last Saturday, and went through our game plan with the lads last night.

"They are strong and physical, we've been told their place is like ours - a fortress- so we'll respect them and do a professional job."

And on their trip to Sittingbourne to lock horns with west Kent rivals Maidstone United on Wednesday night, Metcalf added: "Tough game and I'm looking forward to playing them - it could be, this early in the season, a six-pointer."

Tunbridge Wells v Moneyfields
FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 17th September 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Culverden Stadium, Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells