The Hoops’ management team of Derek Hares and Steve King will be
keeping their fingers crossed this week that they don’t receive any bad news
injury-wise from goalkeeper James Tonkin ahead of Saturday’s FA Vase last-16
tie with Consett.
“Tonks”, the hero of the Hoops’ penalty shootout success against Binfield in the last round, is currently on a skiing holiday in Switzerland and originally wasn’t due back until Saturday, meaning that he would miss the Consett clash. But James has made a late change to his travel plans and will now be flying from Switzerland direct to Newcastle on Friday, where he will meet up with the rest of the squad at their hotel that evening.
Assistant manager Steve King, speaking on “Radio Kent”, said: “Tonks told us ages ago that he was going away on holiday this week and so we had put contingency plans in place, but he’s done a great job in terms of getting his flight home changed.
“We don’t pay the boys huge amounts of money so we can’t dictate what they do, but the fact Tonks has made the effort to come back a day early is typical of the sort of attitude that the boys show. But, to be honest, the less skiing he does this week the happier I will be, and I will be sitting a bit nervously by my phone!”
James, who has been one of the Hoops’ most consistent performers this season, said: “ It’s all been a bit of panic getting the flights changed but I definitely didn’t want to miss this game. I’ve only been skiing once before and that was last year, and hopefully I will be a bit better at it this time than I was then!”
(after 90 mins, Chipstead won 4-2 on pens)Deal’s hopes of reaching the FA Cup second round qualifying for the first time in five years were