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We're on the right tracks, says Ramsgate boss Jim Ward PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 February 2012
RAMSGATE boss Jim Ward says he is expecting a blood-and-thunder east Kent derby at play-off chasing Folkestone Invicta tomorrow.

Neil Cugley’s side go into the game sitting in sixth-place in the Ryman League Division One South table, with 54 points from 28 games, level on points with fifth-placed Worthing, who welcome second-from-bottom Whitstable Town tomorrow.

Ramsgate travel to Cheriton Road sitting in tenth place in the table with 42 points from 28 games and the Thanet outfit extended their unbeaten run to five games following their 3-2 home win over Burgess Hill Town last weekend.

“We played ever so well,” said Ward.  “We gave away two daft goals, but we’ve been doing that nearly every game this year, same as the Folkestone game, we won that game 3-2.

“Five seems to be the figure this year.  Every time that we play there seems to be goals galore!  Let’s hope we make it six (games unbeaten) Saturday!”

Ward believes his side can express themselves on the large pitch at Cheriton Road and in front of a bumper east Kent crowd.

Ward said: “It’s a good place to go, it’s a nice big pitch and it will suit us.  There’s plenty of width on the pitch.

“There’s never a lot in it when we play one another over the years’.  It will be a great contest.  It will be no different.

“Neil will have his side set out, they’ve got some good players. Most of them have been there a couple of years.”

Ward knows all about striker Stuart King, having managed him at Southwood Stadium, and central midfield play-maker (or striker) Darren Marsden was by far the most talented player in the Kent League when he impressed for Herne Bay.

Ward said: “I know they’ve got Marsden and Kingy, a couple of quality signings, but we’re not bad either!  We’ll go there with a bit of form and we’ll try to take it to Folkestone.”

Ramsgate are 12 points adrift of the play-off zone and with 12 games left to play and when asked whether his side can snatch a play-off place at the end of the season, the Scot replied, “We play Folkestone Saturday and we’ll see where we are after when we play Folkestone.  There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge still but our season will be defined in the next three games.

“We play Folkestone, Dulwich Tuesday and then we’ll play Maidstone Saturday.  Ask me what I think about anything next Saturday and you’ll get a better answer!

“We haven’t got the biggest squad in the world.  We’ve got a couple of walking wounded Saturday, hopefully they’re alright.  Simon Pettit is a big doubt but we’ll see. 

“We’re on the right tracks Ramsgate.  It’s the most consistent we’ve been for a couple of years’ now, so we’re looking to build on it.”

When asked what he needs to be challenging for promotion, just like their Kent rivals Maidstone United and Folkestone Invicta, Ward said: “Good players.  It’s as simple as that!  If you’ve got the best players’ in the league, nine times out of ten you’ll win the league.  There’s no doubt that Bognor and Whitehawk, even though they never got promoted last year, they’re the best two teams.

“The rest of them, your Dulwich’s, Folkestone’s, Maidstone’s and Worthing’s, you’ll play them every week but you don’t want to play against Whitehawk or you don’t want to play against Bognor, even though we took a draw against them this year.  They’re just that bit better than all the teams in this league.”

Ward is excited about tomorrow’s game – but admitted it will be tough for a Kent side to win the League due to the fact that there are seven of them in the division.  But Kent derbies bring plenty of fans flocking through the turnstiles and a big crowd if expected at Cheriton Road tomorrow.

He said: “Blood and thunder, of course, that’s the first thing.  They’ve got (Darren) Marsden in midfield, who will want to get it and pass it and we’ve got (Ben) Laslett in midfield, who will want to pass it.   Against Burgess Hill, in torrid conditions last week, we got the ball down and passed it.

“People will be putting their foot in.  I said at the beginning of the season it will be difficult for anybody in Kent to win this division this year, never mind the money that Whitehawk and Bognor have got.  We’ve got 12 local derbies that we’ve got to play, that’s nearly a third of the season and you’re coming up against your neighbours. You know what it’s alright.”

“The financial aspect of a Kent derby? Yes, that’s somebody else’s responsibility, not mine.  Mine is to win football games and all the six teams that we play against in Kent are players who have played for me so they try that inch harder.

Former Ram, King has now scored 19 goals for Folkestone Invicta, one less than his strike partner, James Everitt.

“On his day he is as good as anybody,” said Ward.  “Unfortunately I was playing one up front at the time.   We had Shaun Welford up front at the time and he couldn’t get in front of Shaun. 

“They’ve got Kingy, we’ve got Ian Pulman.  It’s all the same, so it will make a cracking team if you put the team’s together.

“Both clubs are definitely going in the right direction!”

Visit Ramsgate’s website: www.ramsgate-fc.co.uk  

Folkestone Invicta  v  Ramsgate
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 25th February 2012
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Cheriton Road, Folkestone, Kent CT19 5JU
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