Greenie's Friday Preview (7th April 2006)

Saturday 08th April 2006

As the home straight comes into focus now quicker than my horse falling in Saturday’s National, its been an extra ordinary week in Thanet football, whilst after being washed away seven days ago, the Angels look to fly back towards the top two in Ryman One.…

If you though that last weekends 2-1 defeat for Ramsgate at Horsham was dramatic, then surely the “suspending” of Chris Kinnear and Kevin Raine following Margate’s 1-1 draw with Windsor on Tuesday was just as surely!

I suppose when we analyse what was a fantastic game at Queen Street last weekend, Jim Ward probably wont worry too much as after all, the Rams are still two points clear at the top of Ryman One and are still six ahead of third placed Met Police with a game in hand.

That said no manager like to lose a game so late and it was especially hard on keeper Jurgen Wild who made several stunning second half saves.

The Rams have the ideal opportunity to get back on track tomorrow as the welcome lowly Newport Isle of Wight to Southwood, and with Horsham having a tricky looking game at Dulwich, that Ward smile might just be broad again come 5:00.

Ironically, a Rams win could help our Ashford no end who did themselves no harm by winning at bottom of the table Corinthian last week, before rather unfortunately going down to Play Off seeking Croydon Athletic in midweek.

Tim Thorogood’s side welcome poor travellers Bashley to Homelands. I saw this fixture last year and Ashford won 4-1 . What would Thorogood give for a repeat result?

At the other end of the table, apart from the Rams, Dover Athletic entertain Tooting and Mitcham United in arguable the divisions game of the day.

For Clive Walker’s side know that after re kindling their Play off ambitions their next four games will determine their season.

As well as Tooting (who I must confess have impressed me every time I’ve seen them this season, although they have had a tendency to tire badly), the Whites face a trip to Leatherhead on Tuesday whilst they go to Southwood on Easter Monday!

Back to Saturday and Walker and his side will emerge from the dressing rooms shortly after the PA announcer plays “White Cliffs of Dover” over the tannoy.

All Whites fans are being asked to sing along for a rousing chorus! They may need to as I still maintain that Tooting (and for that matter the Met Police) will be the biggest challengers that our sides face in the race for promotion and the Play Offs…

Completing the Kent connection at the top are of course the Angels who are at Burgess Hill.

I saw the reverse fixture at Longmead and Tonbridge had to be patient that night. I guess the same will be said of tomorrow, and with two home games following on rapidly afterwards (against Molesey and Kingstonian) it can’t be underestimated just how important three points tomorrow could be for Tony Dolby and his men.

Meantime up in the Ryman Premier Margate begin the post Kinnear era with a tough trip to Hampton and Richmond. Robin Trott has temporarily been put in charge of team affairs and has brought former Gills boss Mike Flanagan as his back up.

Kinnear’s boots will be big to fill, but of the side show as much character as they did against Windsor on Tuesday the Gate may have a chance of springing a major upset!

The home side though did 5-0 at home on Tuesday so a few chinks may be there for Margate.

Folkestone Invicta meanwhile go to Slough already through the 50 point barrier. Indeed its one defeat in seven at just the right time that has taken Neil Cugley’s side sailing into mid table mediocrity!

Another side glad to be at home at Welling United in Conference South, as they recover from beating the leaders Weymouth two weeks ago and then losing (with 10 men) at fellow Play Off chasing Lewes.

That defeat has left Adie Pennock’s side in seventh and as they’ve played a game more than everyone else chasing the Play Off spots, they must win their final five games… They begin when former League club Newport County visit Park View Road…

In the Conference, Gravesend & Northfleet are off on their travels and they’ve a long one North to face the once mighty Altrincham.

Its all gone horribly wrong for the Fleet since top scorer Charlie MacDonald limped out of their season, and after successive home defeats to Aldershot and Grays, boss Liam Daish may actually be grateful of the trip. Whatever the reason, many Fleet fans I’ve spoken with now just cant wait for May 1st and the end of their season.

Over in the Southern League, Dartford’s season continues to puzzle, but they must get it right this week as leaders Boreham Wood are in town and with the Wood five points clear they’ll be looking for something to take back from Hertfordshire.

For Tony Burman he knows that the Darts have to make up five points to join the post season then they must get at the very least a point to stay in touch!

For Chatham Town, their Play off dreams came down with the decorations as steadily over the weeks Steve Binks side have been unable to string results together when they mattered most. They go to Stamford the only side in the division unbeaten at home!

As for Steve Lovell’s Sittingbourne they travel too! Play off chasing Wivenhoe is their destination and another of the Play Off chasing clubs. Lovell knows that his side should be safe, although the Welshman will continue an anxious glance or too over his shoulder for the rest of the season, until the Bourne are mathematically safe!

In the Kent League, both Beckenham and Maidstone (who are separated by only goal difference) both have home games where they should be looking to increase their respective totals.

Beckenham welcome second bottom Erith Town whilst Maidstone United’s guests come from the east. The East End actually as Sporting Bengal United come to Bourne Park.

Before I go, my National kiss of death again goes to Tony McCoy’s mount clan Royal, with outsider each way bets It Takes Time and rather aptly in this week of Arsenal getting into the Champions league Semi Finals what about Forest Gunner?

Me I’m off to Priestfield to watch the Gills play high flying Huddersfield Town, so until next week (I may well see you at Longmead on Tuesday) enjoy the footie and have a good week till next week and the all important Easter programme.…

Mike Green