Witham Town hoping for play-off place at least in Ryman North
- Credit: James Ager
Having lost just once in their last 39 league games, promotion is very much the aim at Witham Town.
The Essex outfit narrowly missed out on promotion from the Ryman League Division North last season as they bowed out of the play-offs in an agonising 3-2 semi-final defeat to Thamesmead Town, who went on to go up through the lottery of the play-offs.
Last season was Witham’s first in the Ryman North and boss Garry Kimble admitted his surprise but also delight at how quickly his team have adapted to football at a higher level.
“This is my third season after joining Witham as manager and it’s been unbelievable,” said Kimble, a former Football League player with a host of clubs including Doncaster Rovers, Cambridge United and Gillingham.
“We came up to the Ryman League by winning the quadruple including, the Essex Senior League.
“The aim was just to consolidate at that level and build a platform but we took it by storm and finished fourth.
“And we’ve started where we left off, this season.”
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Witham currently sit in third position in the Ryman Premier, having lost just once this season – a 4-1 defeat to Waltham Abbey.
And with games in hand over their closest rivals at the top of the table, Witham could be dreaming of automatic promotion as opposed to a play-off place if they are able to sustain their form.
“I’d rather have the points on the board than the games in hand but we’ll do our best to keep the winning habit going,” said Kimble.
“It’d be nice to reach the play-offs again and anything above that is a bonus.
“We’ve got some hard games to come and will be taking one game after the other.”
Ironically, this weekend’s opponents are Tilbury – the team Kimble started off his managerial career with in 2004.
Things didn’t go to plan at the London side for Kimble though as he explains.
“I had just started as a manager and it was a difficult time,” he said.
“I was still learning the job and things didn’t go to plan but I have no hard feelings.
“They’re plugging along this season and it’s certainly not going to be an easy game for us – I’m sure they’ll want to avenge our 3-0 opening day win there.”
Upon leaving tomorrow’s opponents, Kimble has gone on to achieve vast amounts of success with Burnham Ramblers, Aveley and now Witham.
And Kimble seems to be very much at home at Spa Road.
He said: “We’ve got a great set of players here with a terrific team spirit.
“I’ve added a few quality players in the summer and we’re looking good so far.”
Should Witham earn three points tomorrow and stuttering leaders VCD Athletic fall to defeat at Witham’s only conquerors of the last 39 games, Waltham Forest, the Essex side could go top of the table.