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Tonbridge Angels striker Ibrahim Olutade on his FA Trophy winner against Torquay and facing old club Maidstone on Boxing Day


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Tonbridge striker Ibrahim Olutade goes into the Boxing Day clash against former club Maidstone on a major high.

Olutade came off the bench to score Angels’ 86th-minute winner against National League Torquay in the FA Trophy last weekend.

Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm embraces matchwinner Ibrahim Olutade Picture: Dave Couldridge
Tonbridge boss Steve McKimm embraces matchwinner Ibrahim Olutade Picture: Dave Couldridge

It was a special moment for the forward, who had only been on the pitch three minutes.

Whether it’s enough to land a start against the club who released him in the summer, time will tell, but Olutade has given manager Steve McKimm food for thought after firing his fifth goal of the season.

“The gaffer just said go on, work hard and get me a goal if you can,” said Olutade, following the 2-1 victory.

“We kept putting pressure on them, H (Harry Hudson) had an earlier chance that I thought was going to go in, and then I scored.

“It was literally a scramble in the box and I managed to toe it in.

“You never know if the ball’s going to fall to you, you just have to do whatever you can to put it in the back of the net.

“When it’s a tight game and you’re playing a team from a higher league, it’s a big occasion.

“When you’re coming on, you just have to try and focus on the game and put the pressure to one side.

“Coming on, I was 50:50 whether it was going to go to penalties.

“But we were playing so well and putting so much pressure on them, I felt like we might get another couple of chances, and, luckily, we did.”

It was Olutade’s first goal since early October, with the team struggling to score, before sharing a 2-2 draw with Dulwich a fortnight ago.

Julilant scenes at Longmead after Ibrahim Olutade (No.12) scores Tonbridge's FA Trophy winner against Torquay Picture: Dave Couldridge
Julilant scenes at Longmead after Ibrahim Olutade (No.12) scores Tonbridge's FA Trophy winner against Torquay Picture: Dave Couldridge

Ending that barren run added to the euphoria for the ex-Maidstone striker.

“To be honest, it’s been tough,” said Olutade.

“It’s the first time I’ve been through something like this.

“No one’s really been scoring, everyone’s been a bit down.

“The gaffer’s kept faith in us, he’s always believed in us that we were going to get the goals and we’ve been scoring again recently.

“As a striker, you’re going to go through these patches where you don’t score every game.

“You just have to stay positive and keep working hard and it will eventually come.

“That’s the thing, that feeling at the end, I just jumped in with the crowd, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Olutade was popular with Maidstone fans in his two seasons at the Gallagher, despite limited opportunities.

He’d love to be involved against his old club at Longmead but knows McKimm has plenty of options in attack.

Captain Sonny Miles and Wimbledon loanee Luke Jenkins (No.7) stop Torquay in their tracks Picture: Dave Couldridge
Captain Sonny Miles and Wimbledon loanee Luke Jenkins (No.7) stop Torquay in their tracks Picture: Dave Couldridge

Joe Turner, who opened the scoring, and Tommy Wood got the nod down the middle against Torquay.

Tonbridge also have Jake Embery, Adam Coombes and Aaron Smith-Joseph.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere against Maidstone,” said Olutade. "I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m just looking to train well, prepare and focus on the game and try and get a result.

“The boys played well against Torquay.

“Whoever is in the starting XI against Maidstone, we’re going to believe in the boys to get the job done.

“If I start, if I’m on the bench, whoever’s playing, we’ve got a good bunch of lads and we’ll focus on trying to get the three points.

“We’re more than capable. We still have faith to do well and try and push up the table this season.”

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