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Ashford United's Danny Walder sees opportunity for a points surge in Isthmian South East

ByKentOnline reporter

By Joe Harbert

Ashford United midfielder Danny Walder says this month’s run of fixtures is a great opportunity for the team to continue their push near the top of the table.

United, whose match at Chichester was postponed on Saturday due a waterlogged pitch, sit sixth in the Isthmian South East but with three games in hand on all the sides above them.

The team are scheduled to play seven matches in the next 21 days, starting this Saturday at home to VCD Athletic, and Walder believes the Nuts & Bolts are more than capable of getting big points on the board.

Danny Walder, signed for Ashford United from Faversham in June
Danny Walder, signed for Ashford United from Faversham in June

“We’ve got to take each game as it is, because there’s a lot of points up for grabs before and around this Christmas period which is a busy time,” he said.

“You always see lots of teams in and around the top at the beginning of the season, but then in January you’ll have sides in mid-table that make a big surge, especially as a lot of teams can beat anyone in this league.

“If you can get a good run of 10-15 games in a row unbeaten, it makes such a difference, especially this month with so many sides to play.

“The last couple of years there have been teams that have run away with the league, but I haven’t really seen anyone this year that’s anywhere near that sort of level.”

Since signing for the club from rivals Faversham Town in June, United have won nine out of 13 matches this season with the centre-midfielder in the starting XI.

The 30-year-old, who also works as a teacher on the Isle of Sheppey, believes both the youth and experience in the Homelands squad will allow the club to progress one-step further than last year’s play-off final defeat to Horsham.

He added: “It’s a long season and I think we’ve got more than enough for at least the play-offs.

“We’ve started well and with a lot of confidence. Some of the last few games we haven’t played that well – I think sometimes we’re just a bit naive.

“We’ve got quite a lot of younger players that are around 21 and 22, and obviously when you’re young you’re still learning, but there are no egos or attitudes in the side and I think we’ve got a good mix and balance.

“There’s only a few of us like myself, Jay May, Prescott and Motty in goal that aren’t at that young age, so we can actually help the younger lads out, but they also help us out because they can run a lot further than us, so it works both ways.”

Ashford take on fourth-placed VCD Athletic at Homelands on Saturday.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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