Tonbridge Angels preview

Wingate and Finchley travel to Tonbridge Angels on Saturday eager to get back to form after a three-match winless run. The Blues' well-fought 1-1 draw at home to high-flying Dulwich Hamlet at the weekend came just days after Monday's penalty shootout loss to Kingstonian in the Ryman League Cup semi-final. Defeat at home to Merstham the week before means Keith Rowland's men have not tasted victory since Billy Healey's quarter final hat trick in the League Cup saw them brush aside Enfield Town on February 16th. But Wingate have tinkered with their squad in recent weeks as Rowland looks to mould his own team in the wake of Simon Lane's departure. New loan signings Freddy Moncur and Aron Pollock, both from Leyton Orient, have hit the ground running - the former scored his first Wingate goal 10 minutes into his debut against Kingstonian. Leon Fisher, signed by the Blues not for the first time in his career at the beginning of February, Alex Addai and Tommy Cummings have also boosted the squad since their arrivals. Fisher scored Wingate's opener against Dulwich while Addai and Cummings have slotted seamlessly into their respective positions, all three putting in a string of impressive performances since joining. The groin injury picked up by goalkeeper Bobby Smith half an hour in to the League Cup match against Kingstonian meant that, while striker Rob Laney deputised excellently in goal for the remainder of the game, Braintree Towns's Christopher Haigh was signed on a dual registration to cover Jack Metcalfe as he takes Smith's place between the sticks. And Wingate will need their goalkeepers to be at their very best this weekend - Saturday's opponents Tonbridge Angels have arguably been one of this season's most consistent performers. Just seven league losses since the start of the campaign, two of which have come in the last fortnight, mean the Kent outfit find themselves occupying third spot of the Ryman Premier League, 9 points from top but with two games in hand over league leaders East Thurrock. Although the gap in both points and ability between the two teams was highlighted at the weekend as Thurrock romped to a 3-0 home victory over the Angels. And fellow high-fliers Bognor Regis also put a dent in Tonbridge's title challenge just two weeks earlier - their 3-1 win temporarily squeezed the gap between fifth and third to just four points with four games in hand. However, the Angels' 3-1 midweek win over Enfield gave them some breathing space and went some way to proving their proficiency in front of goal. Steve McKimm's side have found goals relatively easy to come by so far, and they will look to talismanic top scorers Luke Blewden and Nathan Elder once again on Saturday. Between them the pair have netted 40 of the Angels' 73 league goals this campaign, including a brace for Blewden in Tuesday's game against Enfield. But it was Tommy Whitnell who scored the only goal of the game when Tonbridge won 1-0 at the Harry Abraham's Stadium in the reverse fixture at the start of the season. Needing a moral-boosting win however, Wingate will hope Saturday's game against the Angels is a match made in heaven. Preview by Andy Gerlis

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