Ramshaw optimistic despite poor start

Eastwood Town defender Paul Riley (right) challenges in the air during the loss to Ilkeston FC on Monday. Photo by Craig Lamont.

Eastwood Town defender Paul Riley (right) challenges in the air during the loss to Ilkeston FC on Monday. Photo by Craig Lamont.

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Eastwood Town boss John Ramshaw returned to the Badgers’ dugout this week and declared: “There is a lot of work to be done.”

Ramshaw has been running his soccer school in the USA for the last five weeks, leaving assistant manager Darren Kelk in charge for the opening two matches.

But after returning in time to see the 5-0 home defeat to Ashton United on Saturday and a 2-1 local derby reverse at Ilkeston FC on Bank Holiday Monday, Ramshaw is under no illusions about the task in hand.

He said: “The players, many of whom have come from the division below, needed time to adjust to a new level of football and so far they haven’t quite done that.

“The game on Saturday was men against boys, Ashton having a squad that’s been together for five or six years with one or two new additions, the complete opposite to ourselves.

“It showed up various weaknesses that, in time, will hopefully be eradicated but for now are costing us dear.

“Having said that, the opening couple of games were promising in terms of the chances we created and the game at Ilkeston was one we could easily have got something from.”

The Bank Holiday clash saw the Badgers notch their first goal of the season and subsequently miss two good opportunities to potentially take the points before Ilkeston’s Gary Ricketts headed the winner.

“Better composure in front of goal could have seen us score more but I was encouraged by our display at times,” Ramshaw said.

“We’re certainly missing the likes of Grant Ryan, who will still be out for another three weeks or so, Jevaise Christie who we won’t see until Christmas, and Mitch Hanson who will also be missing for a couple of weeks.”

Eastwood host Kendal Town this Saturday before a return match at Hednesford Town on Tuesday, who beat the Badgers 2-0 only last week.

Ramshaw said: “I can guarantee we will be working our socks off to put things right.

“Our hands are tied to a degree because the budget is extremely low which is why we need people to come and support us.

“There are some excellent teams in this division who could easily hold their own in the Conference North so we’ll have some tough encounters to come, but with some work the players we have can be good enough and we must be patient, because in the long run I think we can stay up.”