Monday 21st November 2005

Lack of experience has cost us, admits Thorogood

Upbeat Ashford Town joint-manager/chairman Tim Thorogood feels having four experienced players in his team will turn around their fortunes, writes Stephen McCartney.

With former Millwall, Bromley and Folkestone Invicta goalkeeper Dave Wietecha in between the sticks, Thorogood feels the big goalkeeper will improve their clean sheet tally of just one from 21 competitive games so far this season.

Wietecha, who made his debut in their 2-1 defeat at Bromley in the first round of the Kent Senior Cup last week, replaces youngster Simon Glover in the starting line up.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, Thorogood said: "We signed big Dave for the obvious reasons.  He's big, he's obviously going to be a good presence, he's experienced and a good goalkeeper.

"I think Sean (Glover) lacks that bit of experience for a side that's in a dog fight at the moment."

Striker Chris Wright has made the switch from their Ryman League Division One rivals and current leaders,  Dover Athletic.

"We needed another centre forward because the one's we've got are too inexperienced," admitted Thorogood.

"We needed someone who could hold the ball up and that's the reason why we've brought him in."

Thorogood revealed he is close to signing another player after their Kent derby against Cray Wanderers and said he's joining the club after playing at "a better level."

Earlier last week Thorogood made the trip to Windsor & Eton's Stag Meadow ground where he watched a Capital League (reserve team) game between Slough Town and Gravesend & Northfleet, so is their new signing from the Stonebridge Road club?

And former Folkestone Invicta midfielder Andrew Burke, will give Ashford "more balance" according to Thorogood.

"We got him because we needed some width on the left, which allows us to put Sol Henry on the right," he said.  "He's got experience at a better level and gives us a bit more balance."

And he was delighted to have re-signed central player Matt Bower, who left Homelands within days of the end of last season to join their Ryman Premier League neighbours Folkestone Invicta, along with striker Paul Jones.

Although Jones' is relishing his partnership with James Dryden up front for Invicta this season, Bower has been given the opportunity to return to Homelands.

"He's experienced and is going to give us a bit of grit and guts," said a pleased Thorogood.

"He's always liked the football club.  It didn't work out for him at Folkestone and we wanted someone whose a leader and gives us a presence on the field and Matt gives us that."

Thorogood, however, feels these four experienced players will assist Ashford to climb away from the bottom end of the table - starting against Cray Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Kingstonian are sandwiched between the two Kent sides and Cray Wanderers' are disappointing many this season, having lost half of their 14 league games.  They are, however,  five points clear of Ashford in sixteenth place.

"I am sure John (Cumberbatch) and I felt we could do it with the younger lads, but results haven't gone our way," admitted Thorogood.

"We've lost games we shouldn't have but the lack of experience has cost us really.

"The youngsters aren't going to recover from the knocks and if we didn't change it, that would continue.

"These four players became available, we knew off them, and like any side, we wanted to strengthen."

After losing 2-0 to a very good Fleet Town side at Homelands on Saturday, Thorogood feels his side can bounce back, and calls on local supporters to get behind the club.

"I think it's like any other game we have been capable of winning," he said.  "We have lacked that experience and made mistakes at vital points.

"We don't fear any team and it's a fine line all season between winning and losing."

"If you are resilient and don't give away goals we will win.  We just don't keep enough clean sheets. End off.

"We just need to get some self belief, get a result and that will make a difference.

"If we cut out the mistakes and play well - we will turn in the results," he promised.

Being an Ashford Town supporter in the past two years hasn't been a great deal of fun, but Thorogood appreciates their support and hopes for a brighter future.

"They haven't had enough to cheer - let's give them something to cheer," he said.

"Our performances haven't been good enough.  This club has had a difficult time for two season's now and I don't blame them for not being happy.

"I think we'll improve no matter what, because it's difficult not too.

"You have to be positive, you can't be negative about everything.  The results are a fine line, we just need more luck and more resilience.

"A lot of our games have been one goal differences, which are easy to turn around with more luck.

"Sooner or later results will change as we are working harder for things to change."

Ashford Town v Cray Wanderers
Ryman League Division One
Tuesday 22nd November 2005
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Homelands, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford