Rocks need to win all three to be champions

IT IS time to deliver. That is the battle cry from the Rocks bosses as they set their sights on the Ryman League division one south title.

The Rocks management team have set the target of three wins from their remaining three games to win the league, so their fate remains completely in their own hands.

Rocks lead the pile by two points ahead of second-place Met Police, but they face probably their must crucial three games of the season in the next eight days in their search of glory.

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They travel to ninth-place Sittingbourne on Saturday and Chatham seven days later, with just the little matter of a what promises to be a fiery home derby with South Coast rivals Worthing on Easter Monday.

But joint-managers Darin Killpartrick and Jamie Howell have faith their side are ready for the run-in. Killpartrick said: “It’s what we have been waiting for, we can see how psychologically strong we are now.

“Personally I believe we are strong enough and that we are ready. It is going to be extremely tough but I feel we have to win all three games to take the league.

“There is no doubt we have to go out to win them all. The crowd have been excellent all year, so supportive, and now it is time for us to deliver.”

Killpartrick could not empathise enough how tough he is expecting the games to be, but believes if they can overcome them, then the reward is just.

He said: “The two away games will be on extremely poor surfaces and the teams will be right at us and in our faces.

“Sittingbourne are going good at the moment and so are Worthing, all three will be very testing, but if we win all three then we will fully deserve the title.

“Psychologically we are ready and strong, and hopefully there will be a little bit of luck involved for us, with decisions, although some always go against you.”

It is fitting that within the last three comes a clash with local rivals Worthing, managed by Chris White, a good off-field friend of Killpartricks, although he knows White will be doing him no favours.

The last time the sides met was just after Christmas at Woodside Road, when honours were even in a 2-2 draw, so the local bragging rights for the season are still on offer, and although Worthing are destined to a mid-table finish, a scalp over Rocks would end their season on a high.

Killpartrick said: “Chris will be going out to beat me, that’s why we are such good friends – we’re built the same.

“It doesn’t matter whether the games is in pre-season, at the start, middle or end of it, it’s the same derby, and they will be out to beat us and we’ll be out to beat them.”

And his suspicions were confirmed by White, who said: “We want to win every game and Monday is no different. We won’t be doing them any favours as the game is important to our fans and to us.”

One down side for Worthing, but plus for the Rocks however, is that the visitors will be missing top-scorer Terry Dodd, who will be serving a four-game suspension.

For Saturday’s trip to Sittingbourne Rocks are hoping to have Luke Nightingale and Stuart Axten available, after the pair picked up injuries last weekend.

Nightingale limped off with a lower calf problem, while Axten is struggling with a knee injury.

Killpartrick said: “We are hoping they’ll be fit. Luke has been having treatment all week and we’re praying they’ll be ok, it’s looking pretty likely they will.”

The joint-boss refused to be drawn on celebrations and what the title may mean, insisting they need to perform first.

He added: “I won’t be talking about celebrations or anything like that. We have just got to get the job done, it’ll be tough but it’s what we have to do.

“The crowd have been superb this year so I hope we can reward them.”

n Bognor Veterans’ Isthmian Veterans Cup semi-final match against Whyteleafe will be played at Nyewood Lane tonight (Thursday), kick-off at 7.45pm.

As with the previous match, there will be no entry fee for spectators and seasons and the refreshment hut will be open.

Around 100 fans attended Bognor’s 3-0 win against Burgess Hill Town in the previous round, and enjoyed an excellent match with Paul Thomas scoring a memorable hat-trick.