Wednesday 07th September 2005

Lordswood reaping benefits of hard graft

Blood (well almost!) sweat and tears was on the agenda during the close season for the players at Lordswood, but they are now reaping the benefits for their toil as last season’s basement boys have started this season in determined mood, writes Stephen McCartney.

The Medway side are unbeaten in four Kentish Observer League games and entertain AFC Totton in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday, having defeated Saltdean United 3-2 two weeks ago.

Manager Paul Piggott is pleased with their start to the new season and said in an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootballl.co.uk: “We worked hard in pre-season, starting early and we were fortunate enough to get some extra players in during the summer and those two things are paying dividends for us.”

Piggott reflected on their preliminary round win.  “We played exceptionally well in the first half and very pleased going in at half-time 2-0 up.

“We looked sharp knocking the ball about, and we were more than happy with the lead.

“But we switched off at half-time and within 30 seconds they scored to make it 2-1.

“But then we got another one back.  I felt we were always in control of the game.  I think we made it harder than it really should have been.”

Piggott, whose side were 2-0 up over Hythe Town on Tuesday, but had to settle for a point as their visitors grabbed two goals late in the game, admitted his players didn't mind playing a Kentish Observer League game so close to their FA Cup tie.

“Because we’ve started the way we’ve had, these boys just want to keep playing,” he said.

“We’ve got a good bunch of lads this year, they’re enjoying eachother's company and they just want to play football.”

However, Piggott was disappointed with his players for picking up just a point at Sevenoaks Town – in a 1-1 draw – last Saturday.

“I felt we were quite poor,” he admitted.  “We set our stall out performance wise now in the way we play and conduct ourselves but at Sevenoaks we were below par.

“It was their next game after their 9-0 defeat at Beckenham so they were always going to come out with all guns blazing, so it was a tough game for us.”

But having picked up £1,000 for their win over Saltdean United, Piggott is hoping his side can knock AFC Totton out on Saturday to bank another £2,250 – money which is vital at this level of the game.

“It’s an important game,” he said.  “We don’t know anything about them but we hope to have had them watched.

“But we’ve got off to a good start, we are quite confident we can give anyone a game at the moment, although we are not over confident. 

“We’ve got a bit of self belief this year in our club.”

And why is that? “The extra work they put in during pre-season,” replied Piggott.  “And the one or two good signings we’ve made has helped us along quite a lot.”

Having finished rock bottom last season, Piggott is eyeing a top half finish this time out.

“From the kick off we said we wanted to finish in the top half and that will be a plus for us,” he admitted.  “After finishing bottom last year was bit of a disaster but we’ve stuck with a lot of our youngsters and they are coming good for us.  It’s time for them to show what they can do.”

Lordswood v AFC Totton
FA Cup First Qualifying Round
Saturday 10th September 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Martin Grove, North Dane Way, Walderslade, Lordswood, Chatham