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Home arrow Ryman Football League News arrow We've got 12 games to decide our season, says Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders
Monday, 22 December 2014
We've got 12 games to decide our season, says Maidstone United boss Jay Saunders PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 February 2012
MAIDSTONE UNITED player-manager Jay Saunders says he is pleased with his side’s performances over the past week.

The Stones came away from Dulwich Hamlet with a point in a goal-less draw at Champion Hill last Saturday and then they beat Merstham 4-2 in midweek.

Reflecting on their draw at Champion Hill, Saunders said: “It was probably the best 0-0 I’ve been involved in for quite a while.  We were good.  We were solid defensively and the boys worked really hard. 

“The conditions, the pitch was good but the rain was horrendous.  It was a good point.  It was a good 0-0.

“It’s not the easiest place to go to as they’ve only lost one at home overall.  I would have taken the point at the end of it and we went to Merstham on Tuesday and got the three points.”

Merstham are now managed by former Bromley boss Hayden Bird, who guided the Hayes Lane club to the Kent Senior Cup Final last season, when they lost 4-1 to Dartford at Princes Park.

Saunders was delighted with his side’s showing at Weldon Way.

He said:  “We deserved to win to be honest.  They’re on a good run.  I know they beat Folkestone and Godalming at the weekend so going there on a Tuesday night we knew it was going to be a tough one.  After the point we got at Dulwich we went down there in good spirits and got the win I thought we deserved.”

Bognor Regis Town sit at the summit of the Ryman League Division One South table with 64 points from 28 games and Maidstone United are one of five clubs who are battling it out for the four play-off berths.

The Stones go into Saturday’s home clash against Faversham Town sitting in fourth-place in the table with 56 points from 30 games.

But Whitehawk (58 points), Dulwich Hamlet (58), Maidstone United (56), Worthing (54) and Folkestone Invicta (54) will all want to seal promotion with Bognor Regis Town at the end of the season.

“People keep talking about the league table – it’s all tight but I don’t want to look at it,” said Saunders.

“If we pick up our points then we’ll be ok.  It is tight, I know it’s tight but I know it’s an old saying but we have to take one game at a time!  When you get to this stage of the season with 12 games left you have to treat it like that.  You don’t want to look too far ahead.  You have to look at the next game and think ‘let’s get three points here and worry about the next one.”

Ray Turner brings his Faversham Town side to Bourne Park on Saturday and Saunders wants to gain revenge from their 2-1 midweek defeat at Salters Lane back in November.

He said: “It will be a tough game.  Down there they ended our unbeaten run earlier in the season.  We went down there with a slightly wrong attitude.

“They’ve got a few ex-Maidstone players, which will always make it tough as they want to raise their game and prove a point that they’re a decent side.  They’ve got some decent players.  They’re dangerous up top with Danny Hockton and Stoner (Adrian Stone).  You’ve got the likes of PK (James Peacock) and the lad on the right wing Justin Ascheri.  They’re dangerous going forward so we have to turn up with the right attitude and hopefully try to correct the defeat we had earlier on in the season.”

The Stones have played the most games than their fellow promotion rivals and Saunders does not want that to come back and bite his team.

“Although we’ve played a couple more than a few other teams, we’re on a good run.  It’s one defeat in ten at the moment, which I’m quite pleased with that so we have to keep the run going and hope we’re in the mix at the end of it.

“I think someone said to me if the Folkestone and Worthing win their games in hand, we drop out of the play-off’s.   It is tight but I try not to look at it.

“I said to the boys, without putting any pressure on the players, if you want to do something in the season we have to turn up for every game and make sure we put in a performance and get the three points.

“We’ve got 12 games to decide the season and the boys realised after the draw at Dulwich that not a lot of people fancied us at Merstham as they’re on a good run and we went there and done a good job.  Hopefully the boys are realising the work they have to put in.”

When asked whether Bognor Regis Town have clinched the title, Saunders said: “Until it’s mathematically impossible you keep going for it.  I suppose people will look at it and think Maidstone won’t catch them.  You never know.   In football teams do drop points. 

“They’ve had a couple of comings and goings lately and they can go out and bring in three.  They’re in a strong position at the moment.  There’s still a long way to go and I’m sure the likes of Whitehawk, Dulwich and Folkestone and everyone are looking at it and think we can catch them.

“We’ll keep going. If we can catch them we can.  If we can’t, we’ll try and get a play-off spot.”

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

Maidstone United  v  Faversham Town
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 25th February 2012
Kick Off 3:00pm
At Bourne Park, Central Park Stadium, Eurolink Industrial Estate, Church Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3SB

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