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Tunbridge Wells to build for next season's promotion push
WITH two points from their opening two Go Travel Kent League games, Tunbridge Wells manager Kevin Metcalf is satisfied with his team's start, but admitted they could, and should have six points on the board, writes Stephen McCartney.
Tunbridge Wells were denied an opening day victory, when Whitstable Town's Steve Marshall popped up to score his second goal of the game deep inside injury time, after Barrington Beaney gave the home side the lead moments before . Marshall, earlier gave Matt Toms' side a 54th minute lead before Stephen Ward equalised for the Wells eleven minutes from time.
At Greatness Park on Tuesday, against local rivals Sevenoaks Town, an entertaining game saw Wells cling on to a point in a 1-1 draw, despite being reduced to nine-men.
Beaney was the first to go in the 70th minute and Daniel Barham was harshly sent off for throwing the ball away in front of match referee Mr J D'Arcy with thirteen minutes remaining.
Tunbridge Wells had taken the lead three minutes before the break through Steve Smith's first goal of the campaign, before former Whitstable Town striker Andy Constable, who latter hit the post, equalised for the home side in the 67th minute.
Metcalf's impressive and much improved side are now aiming to finish the campaign in sixth place, after struggling at the wrong end of the table in recent seasons.
Metcalf said: "I think it shows just how far we've come in the pre-season.
"Before the game I was looking for three points, so we have dropped two points in the second game in succession. However, we have come away with a point, and are still unbeaten."
Eighteen-year-old goalkeeper James Coleman made his first start of the season as regular stopper Matt Bromby pulled his collarbone in Saturday's game.
After going to the doctors, he is going to be assessed by Metcalf during Thursday's training session.
Lordswood produced a shock result on the opening day of the season, beating Thamesmead Town 5-2 at Bayliss Avenue, and Tunbridge Wells make the trip to North Dane Way on Saturday, and Metcalf is anticipating another tough encounter.
He said: "I think there are no pushovers in this league - everyone is going to take points off everyone - so I think it will be an interesting season."
Although Metcalf admits it's too early to push for promotion this season, he admits his side should be challenging for a promotion place next season.
"We still have a lot of players under the age of 21, so we are looking at next season and as I've said before, if we get a top six finish, I will be happy.
"As you saw tonight at Sevenoaks, we are more than capable.
"We've worked hard through the summer. Last season was just consolidation really, and I aimed for 30 points and we got them.
"So now we've got to build on that and bring the youngsters forward."
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