Thursday 13th October 2005

Ford: Are Sporting Bengal an asset to Kent League?

VCD Athletic manager Martin Ford has hit out at Sporting Bengal's "unsporting" behavouir last Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

Ford's men thrashed the East Londoners by seven goals to nil at Greenwich Borough's Harrow Meadow, but the long serving manager was upset by the antics of the visiting players.

Speaking on the www.vcd-athletic.co.uk website, Ford said: "I must be very careful what I say about Sporting Bengal in fear of getting my big mouth in trouble again, but are the Bengalies an asset to our league or a hindrance?

"Don't get me wrong, I am full of admiration for what they are trying to do but are they really a level five club and what do they give our league?

"Take Saturday as an example.  For twenty minutes they really gave it a good go, some of their tackling was a bit heavy to say the least, but I suppose in the early stages of a match you must try to get on top of your opponents.

"At 0-0 they were okay trying to play football and generally giving it a go.

"It was okay until we scored then all hell broke lose.  For some strange reason they completely forgot about the way they were playing and lost their discipline.

"They had a player sent off for a head butt and during the rest of the match had another five booked.

"Now, I'm no Snow White, but what went on was beyond the lines of sportsmanship and it has no place in any standard of football.

"Their team is just not strong enough for this league.  Okay they have picked up a few points already but can you really see them finishing outside the bottom spot?

"You may ask "well, what has it got do to with me?" but I am only giving my opinion and that's all.

"I just think that it is a shame when you are relieved that none of your players have suffered a serious injury rather than how you played.

"Let's hope they can get some stronger players in or I really do think someone will put at least fifteen goals past them this season."

VCD Athletic climbed up to tenth in the Kentish Observer League table, leaving the East Londoners one place behind.

"Despite this, a win of any is most welcome and it has moved us to where I expected us to be given our start of the season," said Ford.

"We are now very strong squad wise, with everybody enjoying the training and looking forward to the games.  It makes my job a lot easier I can assure you."

Looking ahead to the week ahead, Ford takes his side to underachievers Hythe Town on Saturday and local rivals Erith Town on Monday night (7:30pm)

"I always enjoy my visit to Hythe," admitted Ford.  "Our record there is very good and I think it is one of those grounds that looks like a proper stadium and has a good atmosphere.

"Hythe have had a few tough years but are now one of those sides, that on the day, can beat anyone.

"We need to be somewhere near our best if we are to take all three points."

And then VCD make the short trip to the Erith Sports Stadium, looking to collect three points on a very good playing surface.

The Dockers, however, have only Sevenoaks Town and Greenwich Borough below them in the table.

"On Monday we go to my favourite playing surface when we take on our neighbours Erith Town.

"Now this looks a hard one to call.  Erith have had some good wins mixed in with a few disappointing defeats.

"I had them watched on Saturday and my spy told me they should have been dead and buried by half time by Whitstable.

"But they stuck in there and on balance of play fully deserved their point.

"Again, this will be a tough one to gain maximum points, but we enjoy our visits to Erith, and with a decent crowd expected, I will be disappointed if we get beaten."

Ford is looking to get their League Cup  campaign off to a good start when Deal Town visit Harrow Meadow on Thursday, 3rd November.

Vickers are in Group C, along with Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone United and Deal Town, and Ford added: "I notice we have a few midweek matches to look forward to with the League Cup draw out this week.

"I am very sceptical of the format but like most people, why not give it a go?

"If we can get some more fixtures and revenue into our clubs, but how important clubs will take it after they know they cannot qualify is anyone's guess.

"But it's a worthwhile cup to play in and I for one will be making sure our club gives it their best shot.  You can't beat a nice day out for a cup final."

Ford should welcome back Steve Hogg after a six week absence but are likely to still be without the services of striker Phil Turner.

Hythe Town v VCD Athletic
Kentish Observer League
Saturday 15th October 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Reachfields Stadium, Fort Road, Hythe