After Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Shoreham, the Rooks head into East Kent to play Ashford United for the first time ever at Homelands.
Darren’s side came through Wednesday’s game without any injury worries meaning that he has a strong squad to choose from including the fit-again Matthew George. Omar Lawson is also back in contention after a month absence due to his three-game suspension. Our form on the road this season has been very good indeed, with eleven wins and four draws from the 18 games we have played, giving us the best away record in the league.
Ashford’s season has almost been in two parts – the first part saw them struggle to pick up points after promotion last season from the SCEFL – in fact they are the only team in the Bostik League South still without an away win, and only scored twice in their first ten games of the season. However, the arrival of Gary Alexander as assistant manager from Greenwich Borough saw an influx of new players arrive at Homelands, although they may want to forget the 9-1 defeat to Cray Wanderers back in January. However, last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Wanderers shows there is a new resolve within the side and this will be no pushover for The Rooks despite their lowly league position.
When did we last meet Ashford United?
We’ve never played Ashford United away from home before – our first ever meeting with the Nuts and Bolts was back in December at The Dripping Pan when goals from Jamie Brotherton (x2), Jonte Smith, James Hammond and George Landais gave us a 5-1 win.
About The Homeland Stadium
Ashford United moved to the Homeland Stadium in 1989 after a two-year ground share with Folkestone Invicta. The club have had various tenants over the years including Maidstone United, Margate and Canterbury City but now they have sole use of the facilities and the 3G pitch. The ground is dominated by one main stand that sits above pitch level and offers good views of the action. Inside are numerous facilities including a spacious bar. The rest of the ground is hard standing and little cover. Be warned, it always seems to rain in Ashford.
How to get to The Homelands Stadium
It may say Ashford on the sign but The Homelands is a fair trek outside of the town centre. By car you will almost certainly end up on the M20 heading coast-wards. Exit at junction 10 following signs for Ashford and the Outlet Centre. At the junction with the A2042 turn left at the roundabout and follow the road past Tesco Extra, over the roundabout and after a mile or so you will see the entrance to the ground on your left-hand side. There’s plenty of free parking at the ground. Total distance from Lewes is 48 miles via the cross-country route on the A265 across the Weald or 81 via the Motorways. Both should take around 90 minutes.
By train the nearest station is Ashford International which is around 3 miles from the ground and will require a taxi or bus number 11A from Stop R at the station to Smithfields Crossroads and then a half-mile walk.
Admission at The Homelands Stadium
Admission this season is £9 for adults, £6 for concessions (senior citizens and students), and accompanied under 16s are admitted free with an adult, £1 if they are on their own.
Fancy a beer?
There’s few pubs in and around Kingsnorth apart from the Queens Head on the way to the ground so you will be better staying in the town centre. The Riverside Inn in Torrington Road is highly recommended for its beer as too is the Locomotive which is quite close to the station.
Kick off on Saturday is 3pm.