Published: 06:00, 23 October 2020
Tonbridge are out to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in almost half a century.
It’s 48 years since Tonbridge made it through to the main draw, losing to 5-0 to Charlton in 1972.
They have home advantage in the final qualifying round this Saturday with Taunton the visitors to Longmead.
The Somerset club are mid-table in Southern League Premier Division South, the level below National South Angels.
Tonbridge would love to reach the first round but manager Steve McKimm knows it will be far from easy.
“It’s a big game for both sides - winner takes all,” said McKimm.
“I’ve been here seven seasons now and this is the second time we’ve made the fourth qualifying round.
“The last time we lost to a very good Dartford side, who made the play-offs that year, and this time we’re up against a very strong Taunton side.
“It will be one hell of a tough game because they’re a good side and they’ve done well in their league over the last few seasons.
“We’re one step ahead of them but there’s no easy games and cup football is totally different because form goes out the window.
“It’s a one-off game, no replays, and straight to penalties if it’s a draw, which ends up being a lottery.
“So many teams - league and non-league - beat higher opposition. That’s what cup football is about.
“We’ve just got to put our best foot forward against a side who are big and strong and organised and try to get through.
“Nerves can get the better of people in a one-off game, whether players are experienced or not, because they are desperate to do well.
“Hopefully we aren’t the ones with nerves and we can get through.
“They’re not going to leave Longmead without a fight and it will be interesting to see what happens because I’m expecting a real humdinger. We’re up for the battle."
With the match taking place behind closed doors, Tonbridge are streaming the action for £7.50. Click here to book .