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Friday, 19 December 2014
Whoever comes fifth will have the lowest amount of points, predicts Sittingbourne's Jim Ward PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 11 October 2012
SITTINGBOURE joint-manager Jim Ward says he is looking forward to his side’s two away Kent derbies this week.

The Scot takes his side to Whitstable Town on Saturday with three points in the Ryman League Division One South at stake – before making an emotional first appearance at Maidstone United’s new stadium next Tuesday night to contest a Ryman League Cup Second Round tie.

“There’s fourteen of them (Kent derbies), they’re every other week,” said Ward.

“I went and watched Folkestone play Faversham last night.  That was a tidy old game and same thing again. We go to the match at Whitstable, it’s a local derby, it’s going to be hard to get any sort of result out of it.  We’ll just go there and play to the best of our ability.

“In the old days it used to be old blood and thunder. It’s a bit more refined now.  You know a lot of the players, a lot of the players have played for me so there’s a different sort of edge to it.”

Justin Luchford’s Whitstable Town side lie in thirteenth-place in the table, with three wins and a draw from eight games, while Sittingbourne are one place lower in the table, with the same record.

Only seven points separate second-placed Walton & Hersham to second-from-bottom side Horsham.

And when asked what he is expecting at The Belmont, Ward said: “Same thing, blood and thunder. They’re on a very good run at the minute. They’ve got great aspirations and got a few bob, but I can only talk about my team and my team will probably end up around mid-table. That’s where I see us where we’ll end.

“We’re telling the boys to enjoy every game that they can.”

Sittingbourne went down to a 4-3 defeat away to Horsham in midweek and Ward looked at the League table and said: “I tell you what will happen, whoever comes fifth it will be the least amount of points.

“If we had won on Tuesday night we would have been joint fourth I think.  We got beat and we’re fourteenth  That’s what the League is like. Take the top and bottom team out of it and there’s only seven points between the rest of us!

When asked why he thinks that is the case, the former Ramsgate boss replied, “Because of the good teams, a lot of the big money sides, have gone out.  There’s not so many in there now.  There’s only Maidstone – and Crawley Down Gatwick – with money but before there was a lot of big teams in this division, hence why a lot of Kent clubs have sneaked into it. It’s a proper Kent Premier League if you like.”

Ward is relishing their Ryman League Cup tie when he takes his Sittingbourne side to face former tenants Maidstone United next Tuesday on the 3G pitch at James Whatman Way.

“I remember ten years’ ago when I was manager of Maidstone and (then chairman) Paul Bowden-Brown said to me ‘there’s the new keys of the new stadium’,

“It took ten years’ so fair play to Maidstone for what they’ve done. Jay Saunders is the lucky manager to be there at the time. I loved my spell there.  I won a few trophies in my three and a half years there.

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for Maidstone. It’s great to see them have all these big crowds and I’d love to see them back to the Football League, I really would.”

Maidstone United attracted a whopping 1,401 for their 1-1 draw against Hythe Town in midweek, while Dartford, who play three League’s higher, in the Blue Square Bet (Conference) Premier, attracted 1,359 for their game against AFC Telford United.

Ward believes the Stones faithful will turn out in their droves for an un-loved Cup competition.

He said: “People don’t watch the League Cup anymore, but you watch, there will still be 300-400 fans there on Tuesday night and there won’t be 300-400 for the rest of the games put together!

“We’re looking forward to it. I’ll take my young team there. We won’t give a bad show of ourselves. We’re an honest team so we’ll go there and give it a go.”

“We’re out of the County Cup but nobody likes these competitions until you get to the later stages of it. 

“Remember me and Danny won the Ryman League Cup with Ramsgate and there was no better feeling that night. Believe me!  When we beat Sudbury on penalties at Dartford there’s no better feeling.

“I don’t take any competition lightly. There all there to be won. Alright, on the night we’ll be playing a couple of trailists on Tuesday night and things like that but we still want to win the game.”

Visit Sittingbourne’s website: www.sittingbournefc.co.uk  

Whitstable Town  v  Sittingbourne
Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 13th October 2012
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Belmont, Belmont Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1QP

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