If we can dent Hastings' and Guernsey's aspirations that would be great for us, says Jim Ward

Sunday 10th August 2014
WHITSTABLE TOWN joint-manager Jim Ward says his young players' came to the fore in their opening day victory.

The Oystermen claimed a 3-2 home success over Walton & Hersham to mark Jim and Danny Ward’s first game in charge with three points.

The Swans took an early lead through Aaron James, 17, own goal, who later scored a second own-goal.

Tom Loynes opened his goalscoring account with his new club and Nick Treadwell scored a brace.

“First things first, we were littered with injuries and we had to start two players (Ollie Gray and Aaron James) who were injured,” said Jim Ward.

“Both lads’ done me a massive favour by starting. Both had badly bruised ankles, both lasted for an hour and they had to come off.

“Two kids had to take their place and we also had a couple of suspensions in Ryan Golding for three games and Kane Rowland, who is suspended for two games as well.

“We we’re a bit apprehensive. We haven’t got the biggest squad in the world so the kids’ have really come to the fore yesterday for back-up for us.

“I was really delighted we got through and got the three points.”

Ward spoke about the youngsters that were involved in yesterday’s opener.

“Aaron James, he’s only seventeen, he started.  Jake McKenzie, Jack Granger, Charlie Hills the goalkeeper. Don Crawford, he was on the bench and Luke Doherty, who we signed on Thursday night as cover, ended up having to play.

“It was good for that aspect to get through it.”

Ward praised the welcome that he and his younger brother Danny received in their first game in charge.

“We had good support yesterday,” he said.

“I had a chat with a lot of them after the game and I said just be patient and let us do our jobs and keep encouraging.

“The fans’ yesterday were excellent. They were singing all through the game. It was exactly how we wanted it to be at Whitstable. Lovely family club, great support, great playing surface and it was great to get the ball down and pass it.”

Ward is pleased with the character within the playing staff at the club.

“People keep saying we wouldn’t get (Ian) Pulman or (Ryan) Golding – they only came to Whitstable for money!

“Let me tell you, Pulman and Golding have come to Whitstable because of Jim and Danny Ward, no other reason at all.  They both got offers from other clubs and they came to what we offered them so we was delighted with that.

“We know the character of the lads who we’ve got in our club.

“Nick Treadwell yesterday was incredible! He was a monster! He just won every header, scored two goals, even passed the ball – he’s not very good at that!

“Scott Heard and Tom Loynes were both very good, excellent games.

“Walton & Hersham were decent. They won’t be down near the bottom this year.”

Whistable Town make the trip down to Hastings United on Monday night, before flying out to Guernsey on Friday to play in the channel islands on Saturday.

Hastings, who finished in fifth-place last season and were defeated in extra-time at Folkestone Invicta in the play-off semi-finals, opened their league campaign with a 2-0 win at Walton Casuals yesterday.

“We had a bit of fun before the season started and we had to name five and my five were Hastings and Guernsey to fight it out with Folkestone behind them and then Merstham and Burgess Hill, that’s the five I’ve picked,” said Ward.

“No mention of Whitstable, obviously. I don’t see that being any different.

“I see that as a tough ask going down there. We’ve got both of them in the one week. We’ve got Hastings tomorrow and fly out to Guernsey on Friday night.

“If we can make any dent in their aspirations that would be great for us come the end of the season.

“Teams have got to take points off those two. I know Guernsey got beat yesterday but they’ll be there at the end.”

Guernsey, who lost to Leatherhead in the play-off semi-finals last season, went down to a 3-1 defeat at Chipstead yesterday.

“The club done the trip last year and the chairman (Gary Johnson) has been very active in how we go about what we’re doing and all that stuff.  All we have to do is get to Gatwick and go with the flow and try and get a result against them on Saturday.

“I’ve seen them three times last year and each time I’ve seen them they’re a good side, they’re a very good side.

“They’ll be tough. No one’s going to roll over in this league. Me and Danny have got lots of experience to know unless you’re right on every game things don’t happen. No one gives you three points.”

Whitstable Town are in fifth-place in the Ryman League Division One South table after 90 minutes of football.

“Every three points you get is massive, that’s why I’m so delighted to get up and running yesterday,” said Ward.

“The best Whitstable’s finished is fourteenth in the league in seven tries so our remit was to get higher than fourteenth, so that’s the target for the season.”

Visit Whitstable Town’s website: www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk

Hastings United  v  Whitstable Town
Ryman League Division One South
Monday 11th August 2014
Kick Off 7:45pm
At The Pilot Field, Elphinstone Road, Hastings, East Sussex TN34 2AX