TOP-OF-THE-TABLE Tonbridge host promotion rivals Bognor Regis Town on Saturday and adult fans can enjoy the occasion for just a “fiver”.
Pardon the slang, and the continued top-of the-table “intro”, but there is determination to make the most of the Angels’ delight and relish the current high-flying status in the Bostik Premier.
Back to finance, and people arriving at the ground before 2.15pm have the chance to see the mouth-watering first versus third tussle for £5 instead of the usual £11. The initiative from the Longmead hierarchy is part of the nationwide “Non-League Day”.
For any potential newbies considering a debut visit to the stadium at the end of Darenth Avenue, watching semi-professional football is far cheaper, convenient and more relaxing than the full-time equivalent. At grassroots level, the game can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of top flight matches and without a lot of the hassle (the, arguably, expensive prices and over-crowded trains are, possibly, a couple of examples).
Every year thousands more folk are appreciating the benefits of backing local teams. The environment is nearly always friendly, with supporters, management and players often rubbing shoulders and discussing matters in clubhouses long after the final whistle.
Clubs are run by devoted fan-volunteers and the ethos very much about rallying for the cause.
Sometimes even the boss deals with sponsorship and advertising, general queries, plus tends the pitch – on top of ensuring the squad achieves the best results on the field. Such cases are not as rare as people might think.
Imagine Jose Mourinho dealing with telephone enquiries about tickets ahead of a crucial match – it would be quite a sight to behold!
Joking aside and in fairness, the under-fire Manchester United chief probably has other things to worry about at the moment.
(Slightly more about a manager who has been known to man the phone lines will be included in a separate article).
Returning to West Kent, if regulars have not done so before, perhaps introduce the other-half, the lads, lasses, or pals to an afternoon watching the Angels. Chances are they will catch a bug that, in many cases, lasts for life – some may argue that is not necessarily a good thing!
Tonbridge and Bognor are already among the best supported in the Bostik Premier, so a sizable crowd would be expected even without the cut-price deal. And Saturday’s super special-offer is sure to swell spectator numbers for the division’s most attractive match. It might have been worth arriving early anyway – it definitely is now!
Enough promotion, although not the final use of the word! Both teams are chasing on-field promotion and in Town’s case, such triumph has been tasted recently (2016/17).
That said, disappointment has also been experienced since then. Last term, the Rocks competed in the National South following play-off glory during the spring of 2017. But, instead of providing a springboard for further success, the team struggled and finished bottom of the table.
They were relegated back to the Isthmian League for the current campaign and are among the favourites for a top five finish – indeed the championship is not an unrealistic target.
Plenty of people at Longmead will have an opinion on that, especially after the superb start from Steve McKimm’s men.
The Angels are in pinnacle position, courtesy of seven victories, a draw and one defeat from the opening nine fixtures.
It should be an exciting encounter, particularly as the unbeaten visitors (four wins and five draws) prefer attacking football and netted eight times in a recent success over Burgess Hill.
The Bostik Premier match between Tonbridge and Bognor on Saturday October 13 at Longmead Stadium, Darenth Avenue, is a 3pm kick-off.
Adults entering the ground before 2.15pm on the day will be entitled to pay a reduced admission fee of £5 (it is usually £11).
There is a large FREE car park at the venue.
Updated 19:57 - 13 Oct 2018 by Jim Rowe