Published: 06:00, 23 September 2021
Tonbridge want to give supporters something to shout about following their FA Cup exit.
Angels were thumped 5-0 at Hayes & Yeading on Saturday, ending their hopes of repeating last season’s run to the first round.
Steve McKimm’s side were desperate to replicate their heroics for fans who missed out while matches were played closed doors.
It wasn’t to be and Tonbridge assistant manager Barry Moore expects a reaction when they host Dorking in National South this Saturday.
He said: “In all the years we’ve been here you could probably count on less than one hand the number of times as staff we’ve felt let down.
“But it’s not just about us feeling let down, the players feel they let themselves down because they’re an honest bunch of lads.
“Everyone let themselves down on Saturday at some stage and it was very disappointing, especially coming off the back of a great result at Dartford, where we should have nicked it but for a dubious offside.
“It makes it even worse because we really wanted to get to the first round again for the fans who couldn’t get involved last year.
“That was hard for them, getting to the first round for the first time in 40-odd years and not being able to see it. We fell short and there are no excuses.
"We did all our preparation, we watched Hayes & Yeading, we knew how good they were, but we didn’t put our game plan into effect.
“We’ll have a reaction, no doubt, from the boys this weekend, and we’ll be prepared for Dorking.”
Tonbridge and Dorking were promoted together from the Isthmian Premier three seasons ago.
They’re at different levels in terms of resources but Angels - three unbeaten in the league - are well-capable of getting a result.
“They’re a team with aspirations of getting promoted, they’re one of the big-hitters - you can’t dress it up any other way,” said Moore.
“They’ve got a big squad, you can go down to the 22nd or 23rd player.
“They’ve got top quality non-league players.
“Will it be difficult to get anything? Yes, of course it will, but we know the threats they possess, we’ll be ready, and there’s no reason why we can’t get a win or a draw.
“We don’t want to dwell on the FA Cup. That moment has gone, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, but we’ve got to focus on Dorking and try and pick the right team and the right formation to get a result.”