This is a fantastic opportunity for us to manage at a higher level and we will do everything possible to help the club move forward, says newly-appointed Rusthall joint-manager Steve Ashmore

Thursday 07th April 2016

RUSTHALL have appointed Steve Ashmore and Steve Sands as joint-managers next season.

The Jockey Farm outfit have suffered in their fifth season in the Kent Invicta League and go into their last seven games sitting in the bottom three, having won four, drawn six and lost 21 of their games.

Chairman Joe Croker said yesterday: “The two Steve’s impressed me with their ambition which matches that of the club. While they are young, they have the drive to take the club forward in the coming years.”

Ashmore is well known at the club having played for three seasons at left-back and he was in the side that won the Kent County League Division One West title back in 2005, before moving to their Kent League neighbours Tunbridge Wells.

He is currently the joint-manager at Hildenborough Athletic in the NRG Gym Kent County League Premier Division.

Sands, meanwhile, has previously played at Hastings United and Hailsham Town before joining Hildenborough Athletic.

“The appointment is part of the club’s long-term ambitions as work continues to improve facilities at Jockey Farm, which was recently recommended for a G grading which will enable them to compete in The FA Vase for the first time next season,” added the statement from Mr Croker, who was Tunbridge Wells’ chairman when they played at Wembley Stadium in The FA Vase Final in 2013.

Ashmore added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to manage at a higher level and we will do everything possible to help the club move forward.”

Meanwhile, the side immediately below Rusthall in the league at present, Lewisham Borough, are on their best run of form this season.

Ray Simpson’s side have defeated Bridon Ropes’ reserves 2-1 in the Hospitals Cup First Round, before coming away from Phoenix Sports’ reserves with a point in a 2-2 draw in Barnehurst.

Lewisham Borough were then held to a 1-1 draw at home to AC London at the weekend, before beating FC Elmstead 1-0 at home last night.

Simpson said: “I have given the players the week off to now rest and recover along with myself.

“We have four league matches remaining and we also have a Cup Quarter-Final to look forward to against Phoenix Sports Reserves on 23 April – the winner will play Seven Acre & Sidcup in the Semi-Final.”

Simpson, who is also the club’s chairman, provided an update on ground improvements at Ladywell Arena.

He said: “The grand opening of the 100-seater stand being in place is scheduled for Saturday 30 April, the final home match against Orpington.”

Lewisham Borough have won only one league game this season, have drawn six and suffered 26 league defeats.  They are level on points with basement side Eltham Palace, who are expected to quit the league at the end of the season as their groundshare deal at Glebe’s Foxbury Avenue ground has expired.

Stansfeld Oxford & Bermondsey Club will take their place after agreeing a three-year deal with the Chislehurst based club.

Meanwhile, Gravesham Borough will be leaving Rochester United at the end of the season and have agreed a three-year deal at Ryman League Division One South side Chatham Town.

“Gravesham Borough would like to thank Rochester United FC for their hospitality, but it is now time to move on,” said a club statement.