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Home arrow Ryman Football League News arrow We're in a quarter-final, why not look to win the Ryman League Cup, says Stones boss Jay Saunders
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We're in a quarter-final, why not look to win the Ryman League Cup, says Stones boss Jay Saunders PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 13 February 2012
MAIDSTONE UNITED player-manager Jay Saunders says he has not written off his side’s chances of grabbing the league title.



The Stones venture out of the cold snap sitting in fourth place in the Ryman League Division One South table, with 52 points from 28 games - everybody’s playing record has been amended after Croydon Athletic quit the league due to their financial crisis.

They are nine points adrift of league leaders Bognor Regis Town and travel to second placed Dulwich Hamlet on Saturday afternoon with plenty at stake.

But before their trip to Champion Hill to lock horns with former Beckenham Town manager Gavin Rose’s side, the Stones travel to Ryman Premier League outfit East Thurrock United on Wednesday night, with a place in the semi-finals of the League Cup at stake.

Saunders said:  “I’ve spoken to a few people about them. I’ve heard different rumours, some have said they’re beatable and some have said they’re a very decent side, but it will be a tough game for us.

“But we’ll go there, we beat Carshalton who were in the league above and they had a strong side out against us.

“I know the boys will be up for that being a quarter-final and if we get through that then we’ve got Lewes in the next round, which has to be played the following week.

“I think, to be honest, the boys are just raring to go because it’s a game.  It’s so frustrating when games keep being called off and just training all the time.”

The snow and ice has hampered the Stones’ training sessions during the past couple of weeks.

But Saunders said: “It’s not just games, it obviously affects training as well because a lot of the 3G pitches that we use we haven’t been able to use.   We managed to get a couple indoor facilities that we were able to use.  We had a game against the reserves on Saturday, which was a bonus as you don’t really want to go into a quarter-final of the Cup and Dulwich on Saturday without games, so it was important to get a little run out.”

The Stones are the sole Kent representative in the Ryman League Cup and Saunders wants to go on and win the competition for the first time in the club’s history.

He said:  “I’ve taken it seriously all season, although it you look at the sides we’ve put out, although we’ve rested a few here and there and gave youngsters a game and the ones who have been on the bench a run out, we always put strong sides out.

“I’m a believer no matter what game of football you play, you want to go out to win it – no matter what Cup.  Whether I put out lads who haven’t been playing, they’ve got a point to prove that they should be playing.

“It’s another game.  It’s another Cup.  Why not?  We’re in a quarter-final, why not look to win it?”

The winners of Wednesday night’s game will host Ryman Premier Leaguers Lewes next week.
 
Saunders said: “Obviously I played down there for a short period and I know Simon Wormull has taken over with Paul Booth as his assistant.  He’s a good friend.  It will be good to catch up with them.  Lewes are a decent side and it’s another one to look forward to.

“We have to get past East Thurrock.  I know it’s going to be a tough game.  I know the pitch down there is not the greatest but we’re used to that having played at Sittingbourne so we know what it’s all about so we’ll go there with the right attitude and get the win and have a semi-final to look forward to.”

But it’s next Saturday’s crunch game away to Dulwich Hamlet that Saunders is really looking forward to.

“I think they’ve got a couple of games in hand on us, so it’s important,” he said.

“They didn’t have points deducted when Croydon Athletic folded as they haven’t played them.

“I think it’s important we go there and try and beat them.  When we played them at home we were the first side to beat them this season so they will be looking for revenge on that and they’ll be looking to beat us to open up a little bit of a gap on us.

“It’s a massive game for us and it’s one I know as a player I always looked forward to the big games and the boys will be looking forward to it to try and get three points.

“At the end of the day, I haven’t written off winning it (the title) completely.  I know it will be tough. Until it’s mathematically impossible you keep going as you never know what’s going to happen.

“Bognor and Dulwich have games in hand over us and they have to cram more games in whereas we’ve got a few free weeks so we’ll keep going.

“We’re all battling for those (play-off) positions.  We just have to take each game as it comes and try and get three points and then move on to the next game.”

Saunders revealed that he is signing an outfield player tomorrow night and is set to bring in a new goalkeeper by the time they take to the field at Champion Hill.

He said: “Alex Flisher’s got a slight knock that he’s struggling with.  Darren Hawkes, who I had on another moans loan from Gillingham, was called back on Friday as he’s going to get involved with the first team as Ross Flitney is injured - so Marc Powell will come in, so I’m looking out for another goalkeeper. I’m speaking to a few so hopefully in the next week or so we should have another goalkeeper tied up.”

Saunders added:  “Hopefully I should have a new signing, a new lad will be coming along on Tuesday night to strengthen us as well.”

Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk  

East Thurrock United  v  Maidstone United
Ryman League Cup Quarter-Final
Wednesday 15th February 2012
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Rookery Hill, Corringham, Essex SS17 9LB

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 February 2012 )
 
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