ROCKS REVIEW: Why Rocks are desperate

The Rocks hit out over their wasted 260-mile trip to Ramsgate and back – and said they couldn’t wait to get back into action after a fortnight with no games.

The team and around 100 fans made the five-hour round trip last Saturday and were dismayed when the game was called off an hour before kick-off.

Many felt the game should have been called off earlier – with others believing the pitch was playable anyway.

Now they aim to put their frustration behind them by hitting the road again, this time for a clash with bottom-placed Horsham YMCA in which the Rocks will look for the win that will keep them top of Ryman one south.

The irony is that after playing 15 games in the first 50 days of 2011, they will have played none in 14 days by the time they take to the field against YMCA. But the management say the squad have been pushed hard in training and will be sharp enough for the game.

General manager Jack Pearce softened the blow of Saturday’s late call-off for the fans who had a wasted journey by donating £250 towards refunds. But joint manager Darin Killpartrick said he still felt sorry for supporters who had invested a lot of time and money following the team everywhere this season.

He said: “I wasn’t impressed at it being called off, not so much for us and the players but for the fans. I felt for them.

“As far as the team is concerned, we just have to get on with it. I don’t think a break will have done us any harm after such a hectic few weeks and we’ll be ready to go again on Saturday.

“It won’t be easy against YMCA but the atmosphere in the camp is good.”

Fellow joint boss Jamie Howell was also frustrated by the Ramsgate postponement, especially as the Rocks now face another long midweek trip, with the game rearranged for Tuesday week, March 15.

“We got there and just wanted to play, as did Ramsgate. We felt the pitch was borderline and would have played but the referee felt he couldn’t go ahead with it.

“It’s a real shame for the fans as they are being praised from all quarters in the league for the backing they’re giving us. And I’m sure a lot of them will still try to get to the rearranged game.”

Howell said the Rocks should have a full squad to select from at Horsham, who they beat 4-1 at Nyewood Lane in November.

Full-back Matt Whitehead has been boosted by an appearance for England Colleges on Monday – they lost 3-2 to Wales – and he is among a host of players pushing for a start. Others include James Crane, fit again after a knee injury, and wingers Dan Royce and Phil Turner.

Howell said: “Having a fortnight between games will have given one or two knocks and niggles a good chance to clear and we are looking in good shape for Saturday.

“But we must be aware it will not be an easy game. Look at the fact Met Police lost 3-0 there. Horsham have strengthened since the start of the season and will believe it’s a game in which they have nothing to lose.”

The Met’s 2-0 defeat away to ten-man Godalming on Tuesday night meant the Rocks stayed top by one point. They need 16 points from their last 12 to secure at least a play-off spot – but have a long way to go.

STEVE BONE