Angels with dirty faces

So, a bunch of rank amateurs are coming to Longmead this weekend. For once, it’s for real. In 1939 two teams, Corinthians – the model of English gentlemen footballers, and Casuals – a bunch of toffs from Eton and the like – combined to create Corinthian Casuals.

As is well known, they retain the mantle of true amateurs to this day. Even more so than “expenses only” Haringey Borough. Their success in being promoted to the Isthmian Premier for this season was their highest playing achievement for many years and they have done well to settle in this season, albeit at the lower end of the table. Maybe an experienced coach from Sutton United had something to do with it? Or a bit of extra dosh from their profligate tenants Kingstonian? Oh, wait a minute, they can’t spend that on players can they…..

However, the reality is that Corinthian Casuals’ current form is poor, and the going is getting bumpy. They haven’t won a league game since 19th January, and are heading the wrong way, needing to stop the rot, especially as fellow strugglers such as a Whitehawk are on the up.

As for Tonbridge Angels, free flowing February has turned into mardy March, with goals hard to find. Nearly six hours without scoring, but fortunately it’s been the same at both ends of the pitch, as the defence has been outstanding. The loss of captain Tom Parkinson to yet another ankle injury last week was a big blow. It probably puts Tom Beere in situ in midfield for the rest of the season, and it would be great to see him actually fulfil his potential consistently for this period, instead of just the occasional glimpse.

The Angels’ home form has been suspect for most of the season, but the patient 1-0 win ground out last Saturday against Hornchurch is a good enough template for the rest season, if a play off place is to be secured.

The home team will hope that at the end of 90 minutes we can all still tell which ones are the amateurs, and which ones are the play off chasers. Both teams need to get down and dirty, and grind out a win, but which will it be?

Let’s see if all the effort from Tonbridge ends up with some muddy Angels….walk out music….

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