There’s no massive post Wembley pressure for us to go and win the league, says Tunbridge Wells boss Jason Bourne
TUNBRIDGE WELLS manager Jason Bourne says a good team spirit and not the biggest budget will win the Southern Counties East Football League title this season.
The Wells kicked off the new season on Friday night but they were outplayed by Corinthian and went down to a 2-1 defeat in front of 275 fans at Culverden Stadium.
Goalkeeper Steve Lawrence kept an impressive Corinthian side at bay and Olelekan Bankole (who was making his Tunbridge Wells debut having signed from Sittingbourne) hit the crossbar on the stroke of half-time.
Bourne’s men grabbed the lead through Tom Bryant’s 72nd minute header after Connor Pring’s free-kick but the central defender gave away a penalty, which was tucked home by William Johnson Cole (and not Josh James).
Corinthian claimed a deserve win when midfielder Oscar Housego capped off an impressive performance with the winner four minutes from time.
Tunbridge Wells have risen from bottom to 15th place after the first round of league games over the opening weekend and travel to Erith Town on Wednesday night.
The Dockers needed a replay to beat Sutton Common Rovers 2-0 at Gander Green Lane in The FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round but they went down to a 4-1 opening day league defeat at Lordswood yesterday.
Bourne said: “Looking forward to it. We just want to crack on again. We’re certainly not going to lull around and sulk and have our tail between our legs.
“We just want to improve. It’s nice to have another game, you don’t want to wait until Saturday to go again. It means you can’t train this week so we just have to fix it on the job and that’s not a problem.”
Cray Valley (Paper Mills) sit at the top of the SCEFL for the first time following their 5-1 home win over Deal Town, who have taken over at the foot of the table.
When asked what kind of league he is expecting this season, Bourne replied: “I think it will be very similar to last season. I think it will be a very competitive league. You look at every single team, there’s no-one who will think it will be a definite three points, no one at all.
“You’ve got a few of your usual suspects who are going to be in and around the top six but I think it’s very open. Whoever takes it by the scruff of the neck will be in the mix at the end of the season.
“You’ve got to a couple of teams spending decent amounts of money but I don’t think that really matters. I think it’s about togetherness and over the last couple of seasons you saw that at Hollands & Blair and Phoenix Sports in abundance.
“I don’t really think it’s about spending money. I think it’s about getting that team. I honestly do believe the league’s won in the changing room.”
Bourne says he wants improvement this season and that he learnt a lot during last season when he took over from Keith Bird and guiding his beloved home-town club to a disappointing fourteenth-placed finish.
“When I first took over it was a stark contrast from playing and you learn a lot very quickly,” said Bourne.
“I think you learn more when times are bad so last year I learnt a lot. I feel we’ve improved on and off the pitch, the whole club’s stepped it up again so we know roughly where we’re at.
“There’s no massive post Wembley pressure for us to go and win the league because that’s not the case. We know where we are. You just want to finish as high as we can, have a good season.
“We want to keep the fans coming through the gates and entertain them basically and that will take us to wherever we go to, so we’re not getting carried away one way or the other so we’ll just keep doing our thing, keep improving, keep working and go from there.”
Visit Tunbridge Wells’ website: www.tunbridgewellsfc.com
Erith Town v Tunbridge Wells
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Wednesday 17th August 2016
Kick Off 7:45pm
At Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN