Following two narrow defeats at Twerton Park, City will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Kent to face Tonbridge Angels. Despite recent setbacks at home, the away form has been very good with the only defeat coming at Ebbsfleet.
Their opponents lie in tenth position with two points fewer than City, although the postponement of Tuesday’s match at Worthing means that they now have a game in hand.
After losing their first two matches of the season at Longmead, The Angels have picked up thirteen points from the next five with the most notable win coming in their last outing there against Chelmsford City. However, this was followed on Saturday by a 4-1 reverse at Taunton.
Their FA Cup run lasted only the one match when they lost heavily at Isthmian League Binfield, whilst Bracknell will be the opponents in the Trophy, a competition in which Tonbridge reached the fifth round last season. That run included wins over National League Torquay and King’s Lynn before they fell to Bromley on penalties.
The matches between us last season followed a similar pattern with City winning both 1-0, Cody Cooke netting after just eight minutes in August at Longmead and Alex Fletcher taking a minute less in the April return at Twerton. By then our relegation fears had ended but Tonbridge still needed the necessary points to survive and eventually finished on the same total as ourselves.
Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the old Tonbridge club were regular opponents of City in the Southern League without ever setting it alight and like ourselves, experienced several relegations and promotions after the lower division was created.
The Tonbridge manager for a spell in the 1970s was World Cup winner George Cohen but soon after a 6-1 defeat by City in 1976 the club was liquidated and replaced by the newly formed Angels.
A move to the Kent League was followed by a further one to the Isthmian meaning it would be 36 years before our paths crossed again.
It was certainly worth the long wait as our visit in 2012 saw Sean Canham and Chris Allen share the goals in a 4-3 win, but two from the home team in the ten minutes added on at the end almost earnt them a draw.
Longmead is located in a pleasant setting within a small park on the edge of the town with plenty of trees surrounding the ground perimeter so we can look forward to some autumn colours on Saturday! There is cover on three sides of the ground and the grandstand was originally located at the Club’s old Angel Ground, before being dismantled and re-erected at the new stadium! Since our last visit a 3G pitch has been installed.
The 144 mile trip from Bath will take around 3.5 hours or you can let the coach take the strain. The Supporters Club will be running a coach and full details can be found at its website.
Due to train strikes on Saturday, travelling by road is the only option.
As always, Bath City Radio will be providing full commentary for those supporters unable to travel to Kent but those who can should note that City will be playing in black and white.