Monday 12th December 2005

We can turn it around, insists Thorogood

Ashford Town boss Tim Thorogood insists his side can "turn it around" and break free from the Ryman League Division One drop zone, writes Stephen McCartney.

Recent display's have showed promise but defeats at Cray Wanderers (0-2) and Ramsgate (0-3), in front of their highest league crowd at The Homelands this season, puts the Kent club in a precarious position in the table.

The club has struggled since their switch from the Southern League two years ago, avoiding the drop by just one point last term.  This year, however, they've collected just 14 points and are level on points with Newport IOW and Corinthian-Casuals at the foot.

But in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Thorogood insists they can improve matters on the pitch in their last 23 games to maintain their Ryman League status.

Thorogood, who takes his side to Molesey on Saturday, said: "We can turn it around because there's a good togetherness with the players and you can see that.

"Several people have said we've got a good side here.  We worked our backsides off against Ramsgate and with very little reward, because at the end of the day we had more chances, dominated the game for long periods and that's something we haven't done all season."

Ramsgate strikers, Shaun Welford (2) and hungry substitute Steffan Ball did the damage on Saturday, with Welford scoring his second with seven minutes left and Ball netting late on after Ashford's top scorer (with six goals) Joby Thorogood squandered three good chances in a good ten minute spell earlier in the second half. Right-back Jamie Smith was sent off for his second offence with 17 minutes left.

"The result looks really bad," admitted Thorogood.   "You can sit here and say some of it was really good, people will say you're off our heads.

"We've got to dig in now.  We've got a young side, we haven't got a lot of money and we can't go out and get the players here, there and everywhere."

Although 241 fans watched their 13th league defeat of the season, Thorogood calls upon more fans to attend their games to enable him to strengthen the side, and find that elusive striker.

"We need people to come and support this football club," he said.  "Unfortunately at the moment the support has not been there and unfortunately the money's not there.

"It's going to be a tough, hard grind, but give the players their due, they've been brilliant in my opinion.  Their attitude has been superb and I can't fault them especially in the last four games."

Ashford's next game at The Homelands is against their Kent rivals Dover Athletic on Monday 2nd January 2006, and against Metropolitan Police the following Saturday (7th).

Meanwhile, Ashford's reserve side fared slightly better against the Rams, drawing 2-2 at Southwood Stadium.

With his side 1-0 down at the break, Ashford reserve team manager Mike Robbins said: "At half-time we were not performing.  Heads were down and the guys needed a rocket to get them started.

"I just asked them to win the battles and play as it they knew each other - they weren't letting me down but they were cheating each other.  The game is about honesty - giving an honest 100% for all concerned."

But Ashford clawed their way back from 2-0 down to earn a point, courtesy of man-of-the-match John Whittaker's sixth goal of the season and an equaliser from Ashford based Earl Jackson.

Joff Thorogood's recovery from injury received a boost, playing the last half-hour.

Molesey v Ashford Town
Ryman League Division One
Saturday 17th December 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at 412 Walton Road, West Molesey, Surrey KT8 0JG