The FA Cup is great, it’s exciting, at the end of the year people will remember where we finish in the league, says Tunbridge Wells boss Jason Bourne

Wednesday 06th September 2017

TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Jason Bourne says his players have earnt their keep with their longest FA Cup run in 38 years.

The Wells will travel to second-from-bottom Vanarama National League South side Concord Rangers in the second qualifying round on 16 September after beating Haywards Heath Town 3-0 after extra-time at Culverden Stadium last night.

Haywards Heath, who needed a last minute equaliser to grab a 2-2 draw at the weekend, missed several glorious chances to win the game inside 90 minutes but Bourne’s men held firm on a wet night.

However, Bailey Colbran, who came on with 12 minutes before the end of normal time, proved to be the difference against Shaun Saunders’ tired and deflated players as Tunbridge Wells claimed a flattering 3-0 win in extra-time.

Colbran latched onto Daniel Moore’s ball over the top to be denied by sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Marcus Newnham before substitute Keelan Mooney smashed the ball into the back of the net inside the opening four minutes.

Tunbridge Wells wrapped up the victory with two goals inside the final eight minutes of extra-time with Colbran powering home a header and Steve Ikpeme’s solo run.

Tunbridge Wells have scooped £6,425 in prize money and Bourne said: “It’s all about earning our keep. It’s our turn to give back to the club and if we can do that by winning games and enjoying ourselves, getting good crowds in creating excitement, it will only build momentum for the season.

“I know we’ll fall behind in the league programme but this season is all about getting steady, exciting the fans, having players enjoy themselves and that’s what it’s all about this year and then it will take us where it takes us.”

Tunbridge Wells have only played three league games and they have collected a couple of points and find themselves in the bottom four in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table.

Bourne takes his side to Cray Valley on Saturday, before welcoming Croydon to Culverden Stadium next Tuesday night.

“It’s our bread and butter.  The FA Cup is great, it’s exciting, at the end of the year people will remember where we finish in the league,” said Bourne.

“Ideally we want to finish in the top 10.  I think we’ve got a squad to be able to finish in the top 10.  We’ve just got to go and get points from Cray Valley now.

“We’ll forget about (the win over Haywards Heath), move on and there’s some tired legs, but there’s some more faces coming back for Saturday so we’ll go up there and do our best to get the three points and then we’ll turn our attention to Croydon.  We can’t think too far ahead. We won’t think about Concord until we’ve got those two games out of the way.”

Visit Tunbridge Wells’ website:

Cray Valley (Paper Mills)  v  Tunbridge Wells
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 9th September 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HT