Traffic Chaos Sums Up The Stones' Season So Far

It never sleets but it snows, it never rains but it pours. Jay Saunders has pretty much seen it all this season.

Yet you walk into Maidstone United and this is not a football club who are without a win since November, a miserable streak that has seen the team go from play-off promise to severely worried about relegation.

On Tuesday night, they were plotting. The upset of the season was what they wanted, hopelessly out of form but a chance to take a chunk out of the league leaders Macclesfield had the Stones licking their lips. The pressure, to a certain extent, was off.

Then Saunders looked at his mobile phone, buried deep within his tracksuit like it should be a few hours before a game. He should have just kept his pocket zipped up.

“I had ten missed calls,” the manager said. “It was at that point I knew something was wrong.”

It was, his players had problems. A lot of them, and they were struggling. A bad accident on the M25 had brought certain parts of Essex to a total standstill. Not one or two players, but around ten.

He raises a smile when lectured about his recruitment policy, but we’re left in a strange situation that a game is postponed because the home players cannot get there.

“We were ready for the game,” Saunders said. “We had four or five players here, the rest are stuck. It was the only decision. It’s a first for me in seven years in management, I’ve got to say.

“Everything that could gone wrong has gone wrong, it’s the story of the season! It’s another obstacle in our way.

“The Torquay game is massive on Saturday, but the concern for me is that we’ve now not played in two weeks.”

They face the last side they defeated, some four months ago nearly. Usually, a manager would be long gone. But there’s something very refreshing about the mood at Maidstone.

“I don’t think there are many managers who have gone on the type of run we have and not been under a lot more pressure than I’m under,” he said.

“I’m fortunate here. The board and the supporters have been excellent. The messages I have received on twitter have been fantastic. The fans are right there behind us.

“Little mistakes have cost us and perhaps they can see that performances haven’t been as bad as maybe the results suggest. I think they know we’re not too far from turning it around.”

Where next?

Wilkin Says Reaching Semi-Final Great News For The Whole Town Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin says his side delivered and the whole area will have a feel good factor as they made it to the semi-finals of the FA Trophy.
Morley Salutes Another Late Showing From Salford City Salford City joint-manager Bernard Morley says the Ammies showed they have the mentality to go up after another dramatic victory.

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