I believe this team can only get better and once we start getting our full squad back I think we'll go from strength-to-strength, says Faversham Town boss James Collins

Sunday 02nd January 2022

FAVERSHAM TOWN manager James Collins says he wants to replicate their performance at Ashford United against Whitstable Town at Salters Lane tomorrow.

Collins’ side came away from Homelands Stadium yesterday with a deserved point in a 2-2 draw against a side that are unbeaten at home in the Isthmian League South East Division this season and in second-place in the table.

The Lilywhites are in 12th place in the pecking order, having collected 25 points at the halfway stage of their league campaign.

Keith McMahon’s side have suffered back-to-back defeats to sides inside the play-off zone, losing 7-2 at Herne Bay on 27 December and going down to a 4-1 home defeat to Ramsgate yesterday.

“Let’s hope we’ve got enough players to get a team out,” said injury-hit Collins.

“Another local derby that we had last week (beating Sittingbourne 3-1 at home in front of 456 fans), and it will be great to see if we can break that.  That will be amazing for the club and for the players to play in front of and try to pick up three points.

“Whitstable were on a great run of form, they’ve had two results that they’re probably not happy with so they’re going to come out, it’s a local derby, it goes out of the window. It’s whoever wants it more on the day and we’re going into the game on good form so hopefully we can pick up three points and put in a good performance like we did yesterday at Ashford.

“The only disappointing thing is we didn’t put on a performance like that in front of our own fans, so hopefully we can put on a good performance for them.”

When reflecting on the clubs position after 19 league outings, Collins replied: “I spoke to the chairman at the beginning of the season and I think the club in recent years have always been looking over their shoulder and he said ‘I’ll be happy if we’re not looking over our shoulders.’

“If we go on a little run, you just don’t know.  I think on our day we’re a match for anyone. We need to find some sort of consistency, until we find some sort of consistency that’s where we’re probably at, at the moment.

“I believe this team will only get better and once we start getting our full squad back, I think we’ll go from strength-to-strength.

Tommy Warrilow has a seventeen-man squad at Ashford United and he suffered an injury pre-match to full-back Tariq Ossai, while midfielder Rhyle Ovenden suffered an ACL injury after going in for a challenge in the 36th minute.

Goalkeeper coach Lee Hook, 42, was almost going to come on just before half-time and played as an emergency forward but centre-half Daniel Hull recovered from a 42nd minute knock.

Warrilow revealed that Liam Friend, Bradley Simms, Johan Ter Horst and Jack Steventon “have all been sick over Christmas.”

Collins believes that the Isthmian League should have halted games over the festive period so players can recover from illness and injuries.

He said: “I’ve been quite critical on the fact that we have to play and it’s the same for everyone.  I didn’t think there’s favouritism either way but we went to Chichester and Sittingbourne and we had 12 players and Tommy’s had 12 players yesterday.

“They’re (the Isthmian League) are pushing players to their limits and asking them to come out to an environment where people might catch it and spread it around even more and give it to people.

“I just feel there should’ve been a break over Christmas where everyone was allowed to look after themselves but it was what it was.

“It’s the same for everyone and you’ve got to deal with it and you get thrown loads of challenges throughout the season and it makes you a better manager.”

Visit Faversham Town’s website: www.favershamtownfc.co.uk

Faversham Town  v  Whitstable Town
Isthmian League South East Division
Bank Holiday Monday 3 January 2021
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Salters Lane, Faversham, Kent ME13 8ND