Published: 06:00, 07 October 2021
Tommy Warrilow has praised Ashford fans for their commitment to the cause.
The Nuts & Bolts drew 0-0 with Three Bridges in appalling conditions at Homelands last Saturday.
Strong winds and rain so heavy it laid on the 3G pitch made it a tough afternoon for the players.
It can’t have been much fun for the crowd of 149, either, and Warrilow appreciated their support.
“Fair play to the fans for coming out in those conditions, I’d like to thank them for their support,” said the Ashford boss.
“It was a horrible day, the wind and rain were relentless.
“I don’t think anyone minds the rain, it’s when the wind is blowing a gale it really affects the game.
“It wasn’t one for the purist but it’s another point on the board.
“If you can’t win, make sure you don’t lose - it’s better to get a point out of it than nothing.
“We’ve all played in conditions like that - worse than that.
“You know it’s not going to be pretty, you just have to use your loaf a bit.
“We played some nice stuff at times, and had a few chances, but the conditions dedicated, so we take a point and get on with it.
“The keeper made a great save in the second half but 0-0 sums it up really.
“A clean sheet is a positive although I can’t remember Tyler McCarthy having a save to make.”
The draw leaves Ashford fifth in Isthmian South East going into FA Trophy weekend.
They’re off to Hastings in the second qualifying round this Saturday, a week-and-a-half on from the postponed league match which was a victim of the fuel shortage.
“It will be a tough game against a good side,” said Warrilow, as the Nuts & Bolts return to the scene of their 2019 play-off semi-final win.
“They’re well-backed, we know how much they want to go up, but hopefully we can go there and put in a good performance.
“We always have good games there and I’m hoping it will be chalk and cheese to what we experienced with the conditions last Saturday.
“They’re good fans, there will probably be 500-plus there, and we’ll have a few travelling, so fingers crossed it’s a nicer day and there’s a good Trophy atmosphere.
“If we go there with a positive attitude, there’s no reason why we can’t get a result.”
With Warrilow still working towards his best XI, the players will have to accept some constructive criticism along the way.
The manager is a firm believer in being straight with people - and that won’t change.
“You’ve got to be mentally strong to be a footballer,” he said.
“I’ve got an honest set of lads who give me their all and I treat everyone the same - I don’t complicate anything.
“We know what’s expected of us and the boys have got to adapt to that.
“We want to go up, whether that’s winning the league or through the play-offs, I don’t care.
“All managers are different. We’re all nice blokes but behind closed doors there’s a time to be nice and a time to get to work.
“If I’ve got something to say, I generally do it not just for results but also for the player because if they push on and play at a higher level, they will get told if they're doing something wrong and it will come as a culture shock if they’ve never had it before.
“You can’t go mad for the sake of it, there’s got to be a valid point and something to come out of it at the other end.
“The whole point is so whoever it is learns from their mistake and doesn’t do it again.
“That said, you get mistakes - that’s the reason we’re all at this level.
“If we didn’t make mistakes, we’d be in the league.
“I never batter players, it’s never personal, but they’ve come to a club where expectations are high.
“We’ve been knocking on the door every season and for one reason or the other, we’ve not been able to kick it down.”
The Hastings league game has been rearranged for October 26.