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Ashford United assistant manager Gary Alexander on the support they received against Guernsey

By Steve Tervet

Gary Alexander hailed the "unreal" supporters who flew to cheer on Ashford United in the Channel Islands.

The Nuts & Bolts were backed by around 70 fans during Saturday’s Bostik South clash away to Guernsey.

It finished 1-1 at Footes Lane a week after 397 – Ashford’s biggest home crowd of the season – watched the local derby against Hythe.

Some of the Ashford supporters in Guernsey Picture: Benn Phillips
Some of the Ashford supporters in Guernsey Picture: Benn Phillips

Even when their team were being thrashed 9-1 at Cray Wanderers last month, the United fans turned up the volume and there was more of the same at Guernsey.

“It was unreal support,” said assistant manager Alexander. “For a team sitting fourth-bottom in Bostik South, to still get that following at this stage, when you can’t go up or down, is unreal.

“Hopefully, we can put in performances which keep those fans coming back, if not more of them.

“Any team with a vocal crowd is intimidating and that’s something we have to use and hopefully gain from.

“If we can get the crowds up next season and teams have to come here and play in front of a vocal crowd, that can only help us.

“It was fantastic to have them behind us. Win, lose or draw, they’ve shown they still support their side through thick and thin.”

Ashford have signed three players from Hythe following Clive Cook’s departure as manager last week. Will Thomas and Dean Grant made their debuts on Saturday and Jordan Johnson-Palmer joined on Monday.

Alexander said: “We’ve taken a few from Hythe. They were hoping for bigger and better things this season but it hasn’t come off for whatever reason.

Ashford United assistant manager Gary Alexander Picture: Paul Amos
Ashford United assistant manager Gary Alexander Picture: Paul Amos

“They’ve made a change down at Hythe and we’ve taken advantage. Granty’s a top player, he’s played higher and he’ll be a great addition for us. He’ll score goals, he works his socks off and he’s got the experience we need.”

Hythe go to high-flying Carshalton on Saturday with Alexander not ruling out more signings.

He said: “These next 15 games are a cracking learning curve to see what we’ve got in the building, how far we’ve come and how we can match these teams.

“It’s difficult to get players out of clubs that are challenging at this stage of the season. Teams aren’t willing to let people go and at this level, a lot of things change in the off-season.

“If the right player comes along, it’s something I’m interested in.

“I’m always on the lookout for players, 24/7. If it means improving Ashford, it’s something I can look into.

“The boys here have the opportunity to shine and if they do, they can come on the journey. If they don’t, we’ll have to make changes.”

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