The game against Carshalton was a bit of a blow to our hopes of competing for the title, admits Cray Wanderers assistant Joe Vines
CRAY WANDERERS assistant manager Joe Vines says his side have lost the Bostik South title to Lewes.
Tony Russell brings his side to Ashford United in second-place in the table on 69 points from 35 games, a couple of points adrift of leaders Lewes, whom have two games in hand.
Ashford United are in the bottom three in the table with 25 points from 35 games this season but since Cray Wanderers humiliated Jason Whitworth’s side 9-1 at Hayes Lane on 17 January, but the Wands have suffered a blip in form with one win in five since then going into Saturday's game.
Carshalton Athletic came away from Hayes Lane with a 2-1 win last Saturday to close the gap.
Lewes and Cray Wanderers occupy the automatic promotion places, while Corinthian-Casuals have 69 points from 35 games, Carshalton Athletic are in fourth-place on 68 points from 33 games, followed by Walton Casuals (66 points from 34 games) and Greenwich Borough (64 points from 34 games).
“The game against Carshalton was a bit of a blow to our hopes of competing for the title to be honest,” admitted Vines.
“We are not defeatist by any means but common sense tells me that losing three games in five is not championship winning form at any level.
“On the whole, the game was relatively even but Carshalton were more clinical with their chances.
“On reflection and having endured the replay of the match via video, we actually got in fantastic positions in the wide areas and the quality on the final ball was not good enough!
“We also suffered from poor quality on our set-players, where we are normally so reliable.
“Take nothing away from Carshalton, I think they deserved the win and (their manager) Peter Adeniyi is a close friend of mine, so I wish him well!
“Our season has had a bit of a stutter. All of the plaudits and the fairweather fans have dropped away. It's an interesting time for us. When we were in the middle of the unbeaten run we were being invited onto internet radio shows and for interviews but it's all gone a bit quiet.
“The changing room is still the same. The team are together, the management are together and the club is together.
“We have an aim to get promotion this year by any means and that hasn't changed. We will fight until the end. For all of our losses in recent weeks, the work rate and the effort has never slipped.
“I am really proud to be a part of this football club now more than ever. There are great characters in this team and I hope that they get an opportunity to achieve what they deserve because having had an opportunity to look at all the other teams now I don't feel that there are any better squads at this level.”
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Ashford United v Cray Wanderers
Bostik South Division
Saturday 24 February 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Homelands Stadium, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent TN26 1NJ