Thursday 10th March 2005

To advertise telephone Stephen McCartney 07979 418 360


We are too good to go down!

TIM THOROGOOD has issued a rallying cry to all Ashford Town supporters to get behind their team when the bottom two sides at the foot of the Ryman League Division One table clash at The Homelands on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

The chairman/manager is hoping his side's last two performances, when they drew promotion chasers Cray Wanderers (2-2) and fellow strugglers Newport IOW (0-0) will ignite their push towards safety, but at the moment they are five points adrift of that target, but they still have thirty points to play for.

Thorogood was very pleased with the performance they produced across the Solent last weekend, in a game, he felt, should have heralded three points.

"To be fair, we played great.  It's the most dominant match I've seen during the four years I've been at the club," he praised.

"I thought the attitude, some of our football was quality and if our finishing had been any near decent we would have won comfortably.  We played very well, having 80% of the match."

Sadly for Kent football this season, there have been too many "must-win" games, as many of our sides are struggling at the wrong end of the table.

This is the case at The Homelands on Saturday, when Ashford entertain basement boys Croydon.  Both sides have only won four league games this season, but Ashford have a lead of three points over the Trams - and a game in hand - but you have to win that game to make it worthwhile.

"Well it's vital as it comes as far as we're concerned.  It's a must-win game.  We cannot afford to lose this match," warned the Homelands chief.

And if they do lose?  Thorogood added: "It's like anything, you deal with that when it comes along.  If we don't win it doesn't mean we are going down but it makes it twice as difficult.  If we lose it will be a set-back but not the end of the world."

Thorogood insists the people of Ashford can get the club back on track - starting against the Trams on Saturday.

"I think we've got good fans.  I think a lot of good people have stuck with this football club.  The club needs the people - the football club is for the people," he said.

"The club is not mine but for the public of Ashford Town and I think its vital they stick with us.  It's vital they get to the game and support us. When you get the response from the fans it lifts the players."

Thorogood, however, insists the current crop of players are focused to keep the club in the division and have the right mentality to do so.

"I felt one or two players who have been at this club didn't really care about the club but the players we've got now do care and want to dig us out of this mess. 

"The players will respond and want to do well for themselves to prove this club is far too good and big enough to go down."

Thorogood admits he doesn't know too much about the opposition.  He added: "To be honest I think this one is really down to us.  The game is totally in our hands and if we perform we will go on and win.

"Last week's game was even better than the Cray game and that gives us great hope.

"If one or two players can keep away from injury and focus, I believe we can get the points to get out of trouble."

Thorogood will be boosted with the return of striker Paul Jones, who missed the Newport IOW game due to a broken knuckle in his hand.

Ryman League Division One table (bottom 6)

Pos Team PLD W D L F A PTS
17 Fleet Town 33 9 3 21 39 68 30
18 Dorking 32 7 9 16 37 69 30
19 Newport IOW 33 7 8 18 35 67 29
20 Banstead Athletic 32 7 7 18 36 54 28
21 Ashford Town 32 4 11 17 33 67 23
22 Croydon 33 4 8 21 28 68 20

Ashford Town v Croydon
Ryman League Division One
Saturday 12th March 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Homelands, Ashford Road, Kingsnorth