Ward not shying away from unforgiving weekend

Tom Ward in an aerial contest. Picture: Leigh Page

Tom Ward in an aerial contest. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City’s unforgiving schedule doesn’t let up with two games in three days against two of the league’s potential front runners, but Tom Ward, for one, is relishing the opportunity.

After back-to-back losses against Easbourne Borough and Sutton United, the Saints travel to Ebbsfleet on Saturday before welcoming Bromley to Clarence Park on Monday. City’s opponents finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Conference South last season.

“They are two difficult games [but it’s an] opportunity to put right the last two defeats,” said Ward after Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Sutton United, his second appearance of the season after being ruled out for four games with a thigh injury.

“Good teams don’t lose two on the bounce and they definitely don’t lose three so we’ll be looking to pick up points. If we want to be successful then we need to beat these teams.”

Ward was a first-half substitute on Saturday, replacing the injured Darren Locke, and he’s thrilled to be back in the side.

“It was good to get back on the pitch,” said the former Gainsborough Trinity defender.

“I want to play on the pitch, that’s why I’m here. For whatever reason – injury and what not – I dropped out of the side but I’m comfortable playing alongside Ben [Martin], Lee [Chappell] and John [Kyriacou] and I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

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While the extent of Locke’s thigh strain isn’t clear, Ward knows it won’t be long before he is back in contention and pushing for playing time.

“He’ll be keen to play; we all love playing alongside each other and we’ll keep pushing each other to do better,” he explained.

“There’s a lot of competition for places. One of the advantages is we can rotate and remain strong.”

City’s back line was tested to its limits against a very quick Sutton attack on Saturday; it will be looking for redemption against two of the league’s strong teams.