We've got a group of players who give everything that they've got for the club, says Jim Ward

Friday 17th October 2014
WHITSTABLE TOWN joint-manager Jim Ward says his side will entertain home fans against AFC Sudbury in The FA Trophy tomorrow.

The Oystermen lie in the top eight in the Ryman League Division One South table with 24 points from 16 games, a couple of points adrift from the play-off zone.

Ward’s men are unbeaten at The Belmont in the league having won five and drawn two.

Tomorrow they welcome an AFC Sudbury side that sit in the top eight in the Ryman League Division One North table with 27 points from 15 games.

Whitstable Town, under previous manager Nicky Southall, recorded their longest ever run in The FA Trophy last season when they reached the last 32, going down to a 2-1 home defeat to Conference South side Ebbsfleet United in December 2013.

The club banked £17,450 in prize money en-route to the Second Round having defeated Sittingbourne - Potters Bar and then Hythe Town in replays - before knocking out two Ryman Premier League sides in Carshalton Athletic and Hendon, before going out to Steve Brown’s side.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Preliminary Round tie against AFC Sudbury, where the winners bank £2,500 in prize money, Ward said: “They’re one of the biggest clubs in the Ryman North. 

“I know they’re eighth in the league. We’ve had them watched twice.  We know what to expect from them.  They’re a big, strong team, very organised. It will be a tough game.”

Reflecting on their lengthy run under Southall last season, Ward added: “Excellent! It’s the sort of things you dream off! It’s the furthest they got in their history.  They earned seventeen-thousand. Let’s hope for more of the same. Us and every club is looking to do that.

“We can only play one game at a time. If we beat Sudbury then we’re away to Bognor Regis, so the cup draws that we’ve had have been very difficult.”

Whitstable Town go into the game on the back of a 2-2 home draw against Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night.

“We’re sitting eighth-position, knocking on the door of the play-offs, which is the ultimate aim for everybody,” said Ward.

“If anything, we’re ahead of ourselves a little bit.

“We’ve got a group of players who give everything that they’ve got for the club.  That’s the best thing that I’ve got with this group of players.

“It was a typical Whitstable game at home. We haven’t kept one clean sheet and we’re undefeated at home in the league.

“Folkestone are a big club. They’ll be in the play-offs. If we’re close to them, we’ll be in the play-offs as well.

“It was a good game. A draw was a fair result. Both teams could have nicked it, but it wasn’t to be.”

With goals going in at both ends at The Belmont, it would be ironic if tomorrow’s game ends goal-less and the Ward brothers have to take their side up to Suffolk for a midweek replay.

“The chairman keeps reminding me of that,” added Ward.

“We don’t want to be leaving at three o’clock on Tuesday afternoon because it brings all its own problems with it!

“Going back to our home form, it’s excellent. We had 230 (fans) there on Tuesday night. The week before against Herne Bay we were the third best supported so the fans are coming back a little bit, slowly but surely but they’ve been given good fare at home.

“I’d like to be a bit tighter but all the while we’re winning 3-2, I’ll take that.”

Visit Whitstable Town’s website: www.whitstabletownfc.co.uk

Whitstable Town  v  AFC Sudbury
The FA Trophy Preliminary Round
Saturday 18th October 2014
Kick Off 3:00pm
At The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP