Don't rule out Maidstone United
LLOYD HUME predicts a better 2005 for Maidstone United if they show more of the passion and commitment they put into their 2-1 win at Tunbridge Wells on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.
Although the Stones went down to an Aaron O'Leary penalty after 22 minutes, prolific striker Richard Sinden headed the equaliser a minute later and another header, this time from 18-year-old striker Lloyd Miller - only 20 seconds into the second half - sealed their second successive win.
The 32-year-old player-manager said: "It's difficult to predict the future.
"I said at the start of the season we are good enough to beat anyone in this league.
"But it's all about desire and effort and in the last two weeks we've shown a lot of that and as long as we continue with that, if we go on a six-game winning run, I think we will be right up there."
The Stones are under achieving this season and find themselves fifth from bottom in the Go Travel Kent League premier division but only ten points off top spot in a very congested table.
Hume added: "Everyone is beating everyone in this league so I am still very positive about this season.
"I still believe we have every chance to go and win the league."
Hume, however, admitted there are five teams that have a good chance to clinch the title - it seems no-one wants to consolidate top spot at present - which changes all the time.
"I think there are four or five teams with a good chance," said Hume.
"It's not just us - I'm not sitting here saying we are going to win the league after winning two games.
"Everybody is beating everybody, we've got to consistently perform like we did against Tunbridge Wells, consistently put that effort in and I believe if we do that other teams will drop points and we'll have every chance."
Saturday's opponents, Tunbridge Wells, were recognised by the former Gillingham, Ashford Town, Tonbridge Angels, Chatham Town, Whitstable Town, Sittingbourne, Hastings Town and Fisher Athletic defender.
"I think Whitstable have a good chance, I think VCD have a very good chance, Ramsgate have a good chance and even teams like Tunbridge Wells are right up there.
"They have been doing well and Erith Town, last week, weren't a bad side to be fair."
Hume admitted he is pleased with the standard of the Kent League this season, with many quality players dropping down from the Ryman and Southern League improving the standard.
"I am surprised by the quality in the Kent League," he said.
"I thought it wouldn't be as good as it is.
"I think now it's sort of shortened down the numbers the quality players have gone to the clubs that are remaining and the standards are better for it.
"I am pleased with the standard, disappointed that there's only 30 league games.
"That doesn't help anyone - any league programme needs at least 36-40 games and it just makes it more vital that we pick up points when we get the opportunity to play."
There are only three Kent League matches over the festive period but Hume would like to be involved in football matches over this time.
"I don't like the break to be honest," he said.
"It's not something that we relish - we've just won two games and we want to play again tomorrow!
"But the other side to that coin is we have a couple of quality players out injured.
"However, we expect them to be fit for the first game after the break so it's a bit of a blessing but as a football person, I enjoy football, I hate the break."
Maidstone return to action, like many other Kent League sides on Saturday 8th January, with a trip to Harrow Meadow, facing Greenwich Borough with three vital points up for grabs.