Tunbridge Wells 0 First Team 0

Monday, January 8, 2018

Micky Collins says he has no arguments with referee Peter Conn following Brett Ince’s sixth minute sending off in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division derby at the Culverden Stadium on Saturday.


The Sevenoaks midfielder saw red following a heavy challenge on former Town man Jono Shea - the right decision according to Collins - after watching his 10-men battle to record their hardest point of the season - and stay top on goal difference from nearest rivals Beckenham Town.


Collins said: “It was a red for me, I had a good view of it. It wasn’t malicious but Incy was off the ground, and it was two-footed. He went for the ball and got it , but at any level of football these days you can’t leave the ground, even if you get the ball, but that’s an irrelevance.”


Collins added: “ It was a shame, but we had to play with character and show a bit of discipline, and get over the line with a clean-sheet and we did, which shows we are a very good team.”


Both sides could have won the game but for the performance of the goalkeepers, Town’s Ben Bridle-Card and opposite number Jack Bradshaw.


The Wells number one, a member of Collins’ double-winning Erith & Belvedere side four years ago, denied Town a winner with the last effort of the game from sub Mark Jones.

It was one of several fine stops - while right back Jack Miles also hit the post.


Bridle-Card, playing despite a recurrence of a thigh muscle injury which prevented him kicking, also refused to be beaten, stopping two second half efforts at the foot of his right hand post, while Wells’ Jon Pilbeam struck the other in the first minute after the restart, before the ball was hacked away off the line.


Collins was full of praise for both keepers - “Jack [Bradshaw] was the difference between us getting three points  - he made four or five top class saves - on another day we go away with a 2-0 win."


"The one right at the end was point-blank. If Jonesy rolls it, the ball goes underneath him, but Jack made himself big and stopped it.”


He added: “Ben had a thigh problem which we tried to protect and we are good enough to play without him having to kick the ball. We played out from the back on a sticky pitch, and it shows how well we set-up as a side."


"It’s days like this that win titles, and when we look back, this point could be the difference at the end of the season.” 


Ince now faces a three match ban, ruling him out of games against Canterbury, Rochester and Glebe.


Town have signed midfielder Lee Carey and he is set to make his debut against Canterbury on Saturday. He joins from Hastings after previous spells at Tonbridge Angels, Lewes and Crowborough where he was skipper last season.



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