Saturday 17th September 2005

Ford looking for more luck after bad week


VCD Athletic boss Martin Ford has admitted current Kentish Observer League leaders Beckenham Town are the best side he has seen in the league for many a year, writes Stephen McCartney.

After seeing his side lose 4-0 at Eden Park Avenue last weekend, Ford's men were dumped out of the London Senior Cup by Brimsdown Rovers (1-0) in midweek, but the long serving manager is hoping for more luck in today's FA Vase first qualifying round tie at Oakwood.

He told www.vcd-athletic.co.uk: "They say a week in football is a long time and if you are standing in my shoes at the moment then I tend to agree.

"There I was a week ago standing in Erith & Belvedere's bar after our 0-0 draw, feeling very upbeat about the season ahead.

"We had just took a well deserved point with almost a reserve side and I was looking forward to the weekend fixture with unbeaten Beckenham Town.

"We were still without seven members of the side (four were suspended) the rest injured, but I was clearly confident we would give a good account of ourselves and fancied that, if we could match them early on, we would stand a chance.

"How wrong I was!  Apart from the first ten minutes we were completely smashed."

And Ford warned other Kent League sides what they'll face when they come face to face with Gavin Rose's eager side.

"A 4-0 defeat was a good result believe me," he admitted.  "Now lets get in the real world with the Beckenham side, they do not have a weakness, pass the ball for fun, look like they can score whenever they fancy it, but worse of all they look like they have another two gears left.

"You might say upon reading this, "hang on Fordy they can't be that good" but I'm telling you they are.

"Apart from the Deal Town side that won the FA Vase (in 2000) I have never seen a better side in the Kent League and that includes Cray, who won back to back titles.

"This Beckenham side have no fear, they are young, quick, skilful, and full of quality all over the park.

"Forget anyone else winning the league, we are all wasting our time, and for you, the clubs who have a wage bill, your money too."

Ford, however, was expecting his side to bounce back in the London Senior Cup in midweek, but was left fuming when his side slipped up against lower league opposition.

"Now knowing that we have a mountain to climb this season to win the league, I was looking forward to our midweek London Cup match with Brimsdown Rovers," he said.

"Brimsdown, who you may well ask?  I had four of our players back, which for us at the moment is a luxury.

"We were awful or rather our finishing was awful.  We had enough chances to win our next six games let alone this one.  But we couldn't hit a barn door. 

"The game went to extra time and there was only going to be one winner.  Yes, you guessed it, Brimsdown, who we went out on a penalty that was never was and out of the London Cup to a pub side.  So there's my week - I've had better!"

Can Ford's back luck continue today, when his side travel to down to Oakwood in Sussex?  Or will his side turn the corner?

"Today our FA Vase campaign starts with, what looks on paper, a comfortable match for us when we travel to Oakwood from the second division of the Sussex League.

"I have a bad record in the Vase and the way we are playing, I need a bit of luck.

"Thankfully we should have a decent side out this week so I am hopeful that we should get back to winning ways."

If VCD do get back to winning ways, they will be making another trip to Sussex, to tackle Saltdean United in the second qualifying round on 1st October.

Oakwood v VCD Athletic
FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 17th September 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm