Tunbridge Wells 0-0 Canterbury
By Scott Bartlett
Tunbridge Wells FC was in reflective mood for the match against Canterbury on Saturday, with the side paying tribute to former committee member Ted Boyle, who died last week.
Mr Boyle was an instrumental figure for the club, having been behind the development of its clubhouse, as well as being a key financial supporter down the years.
His family attended the hard-fought goalless encounter against Canterbury last weekend, as a minute’s silence was held in his memory before the game.
Manager Jason Bourne’s selection options were stretched with the side’s injury list growing – even placing himself among the substitutes after having to make three enforced changes.
The defences of both teams dominated the first half with neither side making any real impression. Josh Biddlecombe was full of running, pulling the City defence wide, and Canterbury’s goalkeeper, Daren Hawkes, was quickly off his line to deny Biddlecombe.
Towards the end of the half and just as heavy rain had started to fall, after a seemingly innocuous challenge, Biddlecombe needed attention for seven minutes after a blow to the head. The Tunbridge Wells striker was taken to hospital, but was released later that evening.
Neither side could gain the ascendancy in the second period. Mikhail Czanner, who had a quiet game between the sticks, was called upon to make a save from Rob Lawrence and when City keeper Hawkes made a hash of collecting a cross, Ollie Bankole shot wide.
Manager Bourne said: “Having been at the club a long time now, Ted Boyle was someone who was always there, and he is a massive loss to us. His death really moved everyone, so we gave him a good send-off.
“Though it was good to have kept a clean sheet for the game, we didn’t create many chances either, especially as we were without several players. But our defence put in a rock solid performance, as they have done so far this season.
“Last year wasn’t a great one for us, so we are aiming to be at least mid-table this year. Though the lads go out with the attitude of wanting to win every game, you have to set a sensible benchmark.”