We want to push this Rusthall side as far as they will go, says Steven Ashmore
RUSTHALL joint-manager Steven Ashmore says his players’ are not feeling under pressure.
The Jockey Farm outfit are enjoying their best ever season at this level of football, sitting proudly two points clear of the top of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table after 17 games.
The Rustics are unbeaten in the league, having won 11 and drawn six of their games and are sitting above Kent Football United, who bottled the chance of rising to the summit last weekend after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Crockenhill.
Rusthall were dumped out of the Kent Reliance Senior Trophy by out-of-form Lordswood, who avoided slipping up on the banana skin through Sam Hallett’s first half strike to send the Premier Division side through.
“Our unbeaten run is not something that we talk about, for us it’s keep putting points on the board and then putting pressure on the teams around us,” said Ashmore, whose side host fifth-from-bottom side Eltham Palace on Saturday.
“Eltham Palace will be a tough game. They’re fighting a little bit down at the bottom.
“Steve Sands and I know a lot of them when they were Stansfeld when we were at Hildenborough so it will add a little bit of spice to the game but we’re looking forward to it.
“We can now put Lordswood behind us and we concentrate on the league. We’ve got a big three games before Christmas and a massive two games just after Christmas.”
When asked whether there is pressure on his players to continue their title push, Ashmore replied: “None is felt around here, we’re still very much an improving squad. We’ve worked hard to get where we’ve got, we’re going to continue to work hard for the rest of the season.
“I do believe that will see us in the top two. We’ve got a very good squad here, all the boys work for each other. There’s no added pressure from anyone within the club or from us towards the players. Players’ have their own pressure because they all want to win and they all want to succeed.
“We want to push this Rusthall side as far as they will go.
“The committee are fully behind us. The club are looking to progress, which is exactly what we want. There’s no direct pressure.”
Rusthall have lost three games – all in the Cup – in 21 games so far and Ashmore is keen to bounce back on Saturday.
“I’m sure one (league defeat) will come at one point. It’s how you react to it and how you respond to it,” he said.
“We have got good enough players’ here who put a lot of onus on themselves because they all want to win. They’re experienced boys, they know what I expect from them and what they expect from us and so far it’s been working well.
“We’ve lost three games so we’re not completely bullet proof but some of the losses have come at the right time because it gives them a reality check, which they don’t always need. When we’ve lost in the Cup, they’ve picked up again in the league.”
Visit Rusthall’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/rusthallfootballclub
Rusthall v Eltham Palace
Southern Counties East Football League First Division
Saturday 3rd December 2016
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Jockey Farm, Nellington Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8SH