Angels line up against old friends and rivals Kingstonian in the final pre-season Friendly
A fascinating encounter is in store when the Angels host Kingstonian in the last pre-season Friendly before National South competition begins on Saturday 3rd August.
One might say that the best has been saved to last and that’s not only because Angels Boss Steve McKimm will be expecting a lot more from his team than the rather lukewarm performance given at Southern League Division 1 South Moneyfields last Saturday when the visitors deservedly were on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.
In the last few seasons there’s always been something of a rivalry between K’s and Angels. Perhaps because a few years back McKimm was involved there as a player which for whatever reason did not go entirely to plan or maybe it’s because of the Tonbridge manager’s long association with Sutton United a one time Surrey rival of the K’s going back to amateur football of the 50’s and 60’s. You could add in the fact that Joe Turner a success story at Longmead was previously at Kingstonian added to which a much more recent signing Tommy Brewer wore the red and white hooped shirt for most of last season.
For all of that there is a much more significant reason while at least during the actual progress of the match there are arguably some scores to settle. In an effort to restore some prestige to the club following a few seasons of underachievement Kingstonian has appointed Hayden Bird as their new manager in the hope that he can bring back some much needed success to the club. Bird of course successfully guided Merstham to the Isthmian League Play Off Final and we all know what happened there! But not only will the ex Merstham manager be at Longmead but also the majority of that Merstham side who followed him to Kingstonian.
So potentially almost a repeat performance of 6th May with of course much less at stake but you can be sure the man in the away dug out may feel he could have a point to prove.
Just not to make too much of it all, in fact the managers are good friends with a healthy respect for each other so I’m sure a couple of beers will be enjoyed in the club house after the game.