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Wells' hard work pays off
TUNBRIDGE WELLS warmed up for Saturday's FA Cup Preliminary Round trip to Pagham with a 2-0 victory over second placed Sporting Bengal United at Culverden Stadium, writes Stephen McCartney.
The Wells opened the scoring on 25 minutes through a Shane Symes penalty, after Daniel Barham, who had picked the ball up in central midfield, ran towards goal and was upended inside the penalty area.
The victory was wrapped up with eight minutes to go before full-time. Tunbridge Wells were patient in their approach play and Bradley Hobbs' cross found Barham who slotted home from ten yards.
Tunbridge Wells are now in fourth place in the Go Travel Kent League table with six points from four games and are also one of four teams currently unbeaten.
Manager Kevin Metcalf, however, admitted he was pleased that work on the training ground paid dividends on the Culverden pitch.
He said: "I think a lot of credit has to go to the players and the coaching staff as they put in a lot of work this week.
"We had a game plan and that's what we worked on in training on Thursday night - and it's paid off.
"It was a good workmanlike performance."
Metcalf and his number two, former Ashford Town coach Martin Anderson, watched Pagham in Sussex County League action in midweek, and with £1,000 in FA prize money at stake for the winners of the Preliminary Round clash, the Tunbridge Wells management are doing their homework on their opposition.
The manager commented: "Pagham look a good outfit actually and we are preparing for a tough game."
The Tenterden based manager revealed he has a full strength squad to choose from and hopes his captain, defender Jay Westwood passes a fitness test before the game.
Stephen Ward, however, has returned from holiday and midfielder Steve Waite, who played his first game of the season for the reserve team last Saturday, should both be added to the squad.
Metcalf said: "If they are available we will have a nice balance.
"I am quite happy with the way things are going at the moment." as he reflected on his team's fourth placed position.
However, cup action takes priority on Kent League fixtures at present, but Metcalf admitted he will be pleased if his team will still be amongst the pacesetters by the end of the month.
"September is a hard month with cup games, so it will be nice to still be there at the end of the month." he said.
If a replay is required, it will take place at Culverden Stadium next Tuesday 7th September (7.30pm).