The magic of the Cup. An oft-used cliche that does the pundit rounds whenever the FA Cup First Round throws up a tie of a part-time, non-league side getting to duke it out with a lower-league EFL outfit.

That is exactly the case with this season’s FA Cup First Round draw that has pitted National League South side Tonbridge Angels against League Two Bradford City. It will be a long trip to the Garden of England for the Bantams, leaving behind urban West Yorkshire for leafy Kent.

Tonbridge Angels – this season so far

The Angels sit in a lowly 14th place in the National League South table, somewhat mirroring the 15th position of the Bantams in League Two. The Kent-based side have played three league games, winning one and losing the other two and have a goal difference of -4.

They have played in three ties to get to the FA Cup First Round against Farnborough (1-0) in the FA Cup 2Q Round, Chichester (2-1) in the FA Cup 3Q Round and Taunton Town (5-0 – below) in the FA Cup 4Q Round.

YouTube: Tonbridge Angels Vs Taunton Town Match Highlights 24/10/2020

Three players to watch out for

Ben Greenhalgh: striker Greenhalgh is your much-storied journeyman. He won Sky One’s ‘Football’s Next Star’ competition, the prize a six-month deal with Inter Milan. He was part of the travelling squad for the 2010 Champions League final and has a winner’s medal to prove it. After his six-month spell with Inter, he was given a further six months at the club and loaned to FC Como – scoring 8 goals in 12 games.

Christ Tiehi: 22-year-old Parisian Tiehi is a former AC Le Havre player and has an Ivory Coast U20 cap to his name. He’s been in English football since moving from the French side to Woking FC in late-September last year. He moved a month later to Tonbridge, again on another free transfer.

Jason Williams: striker Williams started out in football on the books of QPR, also appearing in the EFL for Southend United (9 League One/4 League Two appearances). Whilst at Southen, the 24-year-old Londoner appeared on loan for Chelmsford City and Borham Wood. Since being being signed by Concord Rangers from Southend in 2017, he’s featured for: Bishops Stafford, Kingstonian, Whitehawk, Hemel Hempstead Town and Brentwood before landing at Tonbridge last October.

Tonbridge Angels’ – manager’s view

Here’s what Angels manager Steve McKimm had to say about the fixture when talking to Kent Online:

Forget all this elite status, we’re a non-league side who train two nights a week and play on a Saturday, and we’re going to be playing a massive club who train every day. Their manager has got pedigree beyond belief. You think of Everton, Rangers, Bradford, and to pit my wits against someone like that is a dream come true. It’s the first time for me as a manager and I just so feel proud to go up against him. Will I be intimidated? No. Will I be scared? No. I’m just very, very proud to pit my wits against someone of Stuart McCall’s calibre.”

Will Tonbridge Angels be able to produce the goods vs Bradford City?


Beauty and magic of the cup.


Bantams to have too much for them.