It means the world to us to have our fans cheering us on and hopefully being our 12th man at Bridgwater, says Tunbridge Wells boss Richard Styles

Friday 14th January 2022

TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Richard Styles says he has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Somerset to tackle Bridgwater United in the last 32 of The FA Vase.

The Wells are presently in ninth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 30 points from 19 games but haven’t played since a 3-2 defeat at Crowborough Athletic on 27 December.

Dave Pearse’s side are in second-place in the Western League Premier Division table, having picked up 39 points from 22 games and are 13 points behind leaders Tavistock.

Bridgwater United have lost four home league games in 12 at Fairfax Park, despite their high position in the table.

This will be their third FA Vase tie of the campaign having beaten Mousehole and Bashley 2-1 at home.

Tunbridge Wells – who lost 2-1 to now National League North side Spennymoor in the 2013 FA Vase Wembley Final – have beaten Roffey (4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw), Hilltop (3-2), Walton & Hersham (1-0) and Wallingford Town (4-2) to reach this stage of the competition this term.

The last time the Culverden Stadium outfit reached the last 16 was the year that Martin Larkin lead the club to a big day out at Wembley Stadium, which saw them take the lead courtesy of THAT strike from Josh Stanford.

“We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s game. We’re expecting a tough game as anyone would at this stage of the competition, there are no easy games,” said Styles.

“The last couple of weeks without games has allowed the players with knocks to return as well as preparing in detail as we do with every fixture, but being able to fully focus on this game and have players training instead of playing matches has allowed us not to get any injuries etc.

“There are no staff or playing staff with Covid currently which is great news.”

Tunbridge Wells will be making the three and a half hours journey to Somerset and staying overnight - and Styles appreciates the support from their fans making the trip on the morning of the game.

He said: “It will be so great to see and hear our travelling fans. This support shows what a great club we are all apart of and it means the world to each and every one of us to have our fans there cheering us on and hopefully being our 12th man as they have before.  We wish them safe travels, of course.”

Tunbridge Wells will make a swift return to league action when they travel to Gravesend to play relegation-threatened side Punjab United.

Chipie Sian’s side are currently in the bottom three, only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Styles added: “League wise we will return to that on Wednesday. We know we have games in hand and will work to get points in them and finish as high as possible.”

Bridgwater United  v  Tunbridge Wells
The Buildbase FA Vase Fourth Round
Saturday 15 January 2022
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Fairfax Park, College Way, Bath Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4TZ