Ramsgate on target
SECOND placed Ramsgate travel
to fifth placed Maidstone United on Saturday with so much at stake, writes
Ramsgate are only three points behind Go Travel Kent League leaders Herne Bay - with two games in hand - and the Stones are the form side at the moment, winning five out of their last six league games, banging in 16 goals in their impressive unbeaten run.
After winning 3-2 at VCD Athletic in midweek, Rams boss Jim Ward is relishing the battle against the Stones.
The Scotsman said: "The lads set our target of getting a maximum nine points this week, against Sevenoaks, VCD and Maidstone.
"We've been fortunate to get six points from Sevenoaks and VCD, which makes the Maidstone game massive.
"There's not many people that are going to go to VCD and get the full three points.
"We knew how important it was to beat VCD but I don't think there season is finished.
"I see them going on and winning plenty of games."
Ward revealed the game at Lordswood's ground in North Dane Way was not for the faint hearted and was a typical blood and thunder Kent League clash.
Speaking about their 3-2 success, Ward said: "It was a great game on Tuesday night.
"It was a proper Kent League game - a man's game, with no quarter given, no quarter asked.
"It was a hard game, with tackles flying in all over the place.
"Both sides realised how important the result was and VCD knew they needed the victory more than us.
"For us to come away with the three points gives us a big advantage ."
Injury hit Rams, however, travel to Bourne Park looking to be the first side to defeat the Stones since they lost 3-2 at Deal Town at the beginning of December.
Ward added: "If we can beat Maidstone, that might be a big part if we win our games in hand - we will be 12 points clear of them.
"It's a massive game though - were favourites (for the title) at the moment but we've still got half a season to go."
Ward admitted he is down to the bare bones at present with four players - Lee Pilcher, Simon Pettit, Paul Downer and Jamie Winch - likely to miss the remainder of the season but former Margate striker Mo Takaloo swiftly returns to the squad following his holiday.
After thumping Sporting Bengal United 4-1 in East London on Wednesday evening, Stones boss Lloyd Hume added: "I thought the game could have been a potential banana skin for us and it was important that we came here and got a result.
"I'm very pleased and I think the players deserve a lot of credit for the way they are playing at the moment."
Looking forward to the Ramsgate game, Lloyd, told the club's website, he expects to name an unchanged side and is positive the Stones will take three points from the game.
"Ramsgate are a good team but I've got no doubts in the abilities of our side," he added.
"If we work hard and perform then we will go on and win the game.
"That's not to say I'm over confident and think that we can just turn up and win because that's not going to happen.
"We have got to make sure we are up for the battle and hopefully our quality will come through as it has done in the past few weeks."
Maidstone United v Ramsgate
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
Saturday 29th January 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Bourne Park, Central Park Stadium, Eurolink, Sittingbourne