Tonbridge Angels v Bath City Preview

Following the fine win against Billericay, City make the first of five visits to Kent on Saturday to face Tonbridge Angels.

This will be the first time the two clubs have met since the 0-0 draw played at Twerton almost exactly two years ago. The first lockdown put paid to the away fixture in that curtailed season, when the Angels finished in 15th position, and their scheduled visit towards the end of last season went the same way. We should have travelled to Longmead back in January but positive Covid tests in the City squad caused a postponement.

No doubt the two line ups on Saturday will look almost entirely different to that day in August 2019 but it is likely that we will be seeing a familiar face in the opposing team – this will be at least the fifth club Ricky Modeste has represented against City!

The Angels had a mixed set of warm up matches during pre-season, winning half of their eight games, the last being a 4-0 reverse against Dover Athletic. They travelled to face another Kent side in last Saturday’s opener to the season when they went down 5-1 to Ebbsfleet United.

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. Our last visit was two years later when an own goal earnt City a point.

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. 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! There is further information about the ground here.

Getting there

City fans travelled in great numbers to away fixtures pre Covid and hopefully there will be a good turn out on Saturday. Before travelling it is recommended that supporters visit the Tonbridge Angels website which features an excellent information service for visitors to Longmead.

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.

The train trip from Bath Spa will take around 3 hours, via London, with a long walk or bus trip from Tonbridge station.

Whichever means of travel you use to get to the match, have a safe journey and hopefully the reward of three points to kick off our season on the road!