Thursday 17th February 2005

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We are not a dirty side - just enthusiastic

TUNBRIDGE WELLS boss Kevin Metcalf insists his side aren't dirty despite Bradley Mortimer being the 10th player to be sent off this season, writes Stephen McCartney.

In fact they are the complete opposite but their enthusiasm gets them into trouble, according to the Tenterden based chief.

He said: "We are not a dirty side.  We play football but our record is not good enough to be honest.  Some times the referee's are a little bit picky.

"When you talk to people they say they are in a game of football when they play us, not a tough, dirty game."

Several injuries to key players - especially at the back - has curtailed the club's promotion bid and former Ashford Town midfielder Aaron O'Leary was added to the injury list during last Saturday's 3-1 defeat at - another talented side - Beckenham Town.

Wells were leading 1-0 at the break through Daniel Barham's seventh goal of the season after only five minutes but two goals from the prolific Paul Vines and a strike from Mario Celaire - back in the side after missing the last four games -sealed the points for the Eden Park Avenue outfit.

Reflecting on the game, Metcalf added: "A game of two halves really.  We were the better side in the first half, playing some good football.

"However, we lost Aaron O'Leary with a knee injury at half time.  Beckenham then made it 1-1 and then Bradley Mortimer got involved and got a booking and a few minutes later got sent off.

"We were playing the better football but down to ten men and losing O'Leary - one of our most influential players - Beckenham then made it 2-1.

"It was always going to be tough.  It's very disappointing.  Two situations were pivotal and cost us the game really, losing Bradley Mortimer and Aaron O'Leary."

Metcalf, however, will be treating Saturday's game at Culverden Stadium against basement boys Lordswood like any other.

He predicted: "They are tough games.  I think it shows losing against Erith Town and gaining a point against Deal Town there's no bad sides in the league.

"Obviously we will treat Lordswood with all the respect they deserve but we shall be going for all three points."

The Medway club have picked up recently, picking up four points in the two games before their mini-run came to an end of Wednesday night.

Herne Bay stormed back to the top of the table with a 4-1 win at North Dane Way with former Kent cricketer Dave Masters scoring a brace.

With Tonbridge Angels travelling to Salisbury City in a must-win Ryman Premier League relegation scrap, Metcalf asks local football fans to come to Culverden Stadium on Saturday.

He admitted it's hard both in support numbers and financially to compete with a Ryman Premier League club just five miles up the road.

"Most Saturday's Tonbridge and ourselves are playing at home.  I spoke to the club to see if they can sort the fixtures out because I believe there is a nucleus of people who always want to watch a game of football."

O'Leary, Simon Joynes, Jay Westwood, Martin Anderson and Paul Hallett are all on the sidelines at present.

Whilst his side are in seventh place, Metcalf still predicts a top six finish.

He added: "We set our stall out for a top six finish and we are still there or there abouts.

"Because we are such a young side it's still going to be a roller coaster ride until the end of the season."

Anyone want to jump aboard?

Tunbridge Wells v Lordswood
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
Saturday 19th February 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Culverden Stadium, Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells