Next Match – Tonbridge Angels – Home

City play their second match in five days at Twerton Park on Saturday when they host Tonbridge Angels, hoping to build on the wins against Dulwich and Havant in the past week.

It is the annual “Pay What You Want” Community Day match when supporters can pay as little (or as much) as they like.

Having hovered around mid-table for most of the season, the Kent side are enjoying a very productive start to 2023 and are looking one of the most likely to take advantage if any of the top seven falter and drop out of the play-off positions.

After conceding the double to Welling over Christmas, The Angels were unbeaten in their next eight matches before going down at Chelmsford on Monday.

That run included wins over fancied St Albans and Worthing with the recent victory in Sussex being the seventh away from Longmead, whilst the most notable was at runaway leaders Ebbsfleet back in November.

That shock win came seven days after City had won 2-1 on a very wet afternoon at Tonbridge with a half time deficit being overcome by goals from Dan Hayfield and Alex Fletcher.

An important contributor to Jay Saunders’ squad has been Jordan Greenidge who was signed from Hemel Hempstead in November and his 14 goals make him the fifth highest scorer in the division.

He also scored twice against Bracknell in the FA Trophy but couldn’t prevent his side becoming the first of three National League South teams to fall to the Berkshire outfit (the identity of the third has been erased from the memory!)

That was the second occasion the Angels had been the victim of a giant killing as they had been thrashed in the Cup by lowly Binfield who play at the same level as Sevenoaks.

So there are some similarities in the records in knockout football this season of the two teams who meet on Saturday!

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, who sadly passed away at Christmas, 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 37 years before a team from Tonbridge visited Twerton Park again.

On that day in 2013, goals from Charlie Griffin, Noah Keats and Kerry Morgan secured a 3-0 win for City who remain unbeaten in the three home matches played since between the two.