We expect a competitive game and know we’ll have to be at our very best at Rusthall, says Crowborough Athletic's Steve Ives

Friday 03rd November 2017

CROWBOROUGH ATHLETIC assistant manager Steve Ives says his side will have to be at their best during their derby at Rusthall tomorrow.

The Crows are in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 27 points from 12 games, a point behind Sevenoaks Town, who have a game in hand.

The Crows make the short trip to Jockey Farm on a seven-match unbeaten run but with it being a derby, Ives is expecting a tough battle.

“We expect a competitive game and know we’ll have to be at our very best,” he said.

“There is quite a good relationship between the two clubs and quite a crossover of players and coaches, which always gives a bit of extra spice to the fixture but it’s always in good spirit and we’ve got the utmost respect for what they have achieved both on and off the pitch in recent years.

“We love to play on a good surface and there are few better in the league so hopefully we’ll get a good crowd over and everyone will be treated to a good game of football.”

Crowborough Athletic finished their groundshare arrangement at Vanarama National League club Maidstone United with a 3-0 win over Bearsted on 26 October.

“It was important for us to sign off on our time at Maidstone with a good performance particularly as the visitors are based only a stones throw away and  brought a healthy following with them,” recalled Ives, who is Sean Muggeridge’s number two.

“Bearsted were a tough nut to crack and provided a good challenge for us.  I thought we defended very well, had a good shape and scored our goals at important times.

“We possibly could have made it even more comfortable but some of our finishing in the first half wasn’t up to standard, that said there’s no way we were taking anything for granted against a side who could have gone above us had we lost.

“I think 3-0 was a great result for us and it’s always pleasing to come away with a clean sheet.”

Ives cannot wait to get back home as they play Croydon in Crowborough, on a grass pitch owing to delays in installing an artificial surface at Fermor Road.

“We’re all excited to get back to the Community Stadium and really looking forward to the first game there, which will be against Croydon in The FA Vase on 11 November,” said Ives.

“As much as we enjoyed the hospitality and facilities at Maidstone it feels like the right time to leave.  As they say, there’s no place like home and we’ve missed the buzz of the home support we enjoyed last season.

“A lot of loyal fans made the trek to Maidstone and we’re really grateful for the effort they put into supporting us, no doubt everyone will be happy to be back in familiar  surroundings, hopefully the clubhouse will be packed into the evening post match.

“We’re nicely placed in the league and we enter the Vase and Sussex Senior Cup this month, so I’m sure there are going to be many big games coming up. It would be great to get a really vibrant atmosphere going to spur everybody on.”

Visit Crowborough Athletic’s website: www.pitchero.com/clubs/crowboroughathletic

Rusthall  v  Crowborough Athletic
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 4th November 2017
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Jockey Farm Stadium, Nellington Road, Rusthall, Kent TN4 8SH