Tonbridge Angels next opponents, Kingstonian FC, take the name from their home town where Saxon kings were crowned, although their royal connection is now limited to playing at King George’s Field, which they ground-share with Corinthian Casuals in Tolworth, land owned after the Norman conquest by Richard de Tonebrige.
Is this a good omen at last for Tonbridge Angels, at home this week on their own FA award winning green sward? Will the men of Tolworth once again be bested by the Men of Kent?
Speaking of ownership, it’s strange that the one ostensibly amateur team at this level owns its own ground, while their tenants, once wealthy, have ended up homeless, although clearly not penniless when you look at the team sheet.
Perhaps it’s the new way, selling up and spending the proceeds on the shiniest toys we can find, then turning up at our cash strapped mates and sofa surfing there for a few months, without the hassle of looking after the place. Somehow it doesn’t feel quite right, but as the K’s are sitting second in the league I doubt they give a hoot as the dishes pile up and the Casuals staff hoover around them.
Meanwhile the Angels slowed their slide down the league last time out, with a late rally to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Brightlingsea. The first choice back four was reunited at long last, but Folkes who was targeted by the Regents looked low on confidence, and both their goals came down his side, while Parter was solid and reliable but rarely ventured forward until the final 15 minute cavalry charge.
On the upside Theobalds and McKenzie looked sharp, and Ramadan’s energy and quick feet helped drive the big finish. However, that shouldn’t mask another spluttering performance for two thirds of the game, and Kingstonian are unlikely to be as generous as Brighlingsea if given a two goal start. The Angels must wake up and put in a decent first half – it’s over 4 months since they scored twice in the first 45 minutes of a league game – and ideally repeat it again in the second half, instead of only switching on for another late, late show.
Steve McKimm enjoyed a couple of slices of hard earned luck, but now needs to build on that good finish, and coach a big game performance out of his decent quality but underperforming squad.
The board of Barons of Tonebrige have shown their Lord of the Manor great patience. He has faced down a peasants revolt, but now needs to demonstrate that he can reclaim lost ground, or more locals may be massing at the gates brandishing aloft their pitchforks and blazing firebrands, demanding change.
Suggested walkout music: