Saturday 12th January 2019
Ampthill Town v Hatfield Town
Spartan South Midlands League Division One
Ampthill Town host Hatfield Town on Saturday looking to build on a very good draw last week at ever improving Risborough Rangers, and come up against a side that have only won one of their twenty-one league games to date, and currently prop up the Spartan South Midlands Football League Division One table, cast adrift by eleven points to second bottom place side Amersham. Ampthill will be expecting to win but football is never that easy, especially as Hatfield are under new management of late, but the three points could be crucial for the hosts as their games in hand could really help push them into the top half of the table and help banish the memories of the defeat at home to Bedford the last time they played at home. However, Hatfield only lost by the odd goal in five against sixth placed Langford last week after a creditable goalless draw at mid-table Rayners Lane the week before, an intriguing fixture lies ahead.
This week Sports Shots caught up with Amps keeper Josh Thompson to ask how long he’s been at the club and how it’s been since joining:
This is my first season at Ampthill, I came across with the manager Paul Toms from Berkhamsted. For the short time I’ve been here I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, the whole set up and atmosphere around the club is brilliant, from the backroom staff to the facilities this is one of the best set ups I’ve been at. I’ve truly been made to feel like part of the furniture here
How good a season does the keeper feel it’s been so far?
I don’t think we have performed at our best consistently enough so far, looking around the club there is some serious talent here and only a few games this year has seen it all come together to reflect how capable a team we are. We have suffered from injuries, suspensions & availability as do most teams at this level, but huge credit to how our development team has supported us and is valued within the club, which gives us such squad depth to be able to cope
Has Josh always played in goal?
I have pretty much always played in goal since the age of about nine, I came from Berkhamsted last year to get more first team football and to start enjoying it again. Prior to that I was playing university football at Loughborough
How good is this Ampthill squad, and have any players caught the eye?
When we have our strongest eleven out, I truly believe we can beat anyone in this league. Individually I’d have to mention Mark Smith, he’s an experienced defender and he makes my job a lot easier by solidifying our defence. We play some exciting football going forward and the link up between Brad (Clarke) especially and our forwards is great to watch
Defeat to Bedford just prior to Christmas and a good draw at ever improving Risborough last week for the squad, how were these games?
The game against Bedford was not one of our finest performances, we were missing some key players and Bedford worked much harder than us & deserved the win. Risborough’s league position definitely does not reflect how strong a team they are, they will surprise a lot of higher level teams later on this season. After going a goal down, a positive team talk at half time gave us something to play for, a physical game that we were much more competitive in
So onto Hatfield this week, what does Josh know about them?
Being relatively new to this league I don’t know much about them at all, but I do know that there are no easy games in this league, they will be fighting for points and we will have to work hard to take anything from them
Of all the sides Ampthill have played so far, which have impressed the most?
There have been a couple of teams impress me so far, notably Broadfields, they have some decent players who could play higher, and they work hard off the ball. Its been a tough start this year, with some players still learning their trade and youngsters still getting to grips with the physicality of this league. As a team we aren’t far off at all, we are starting to click and things are starting to fall into place, if we can get on a good run and gain some momentum then we could finish high in this league
Finally, we asked Josh if he could be anyone in the world for twenty-four hours, who would he pick?
That’s a tough question, from our club I’d love to spend a day as our assistant coach ‘Pistol Pete’ (Peter Forssling) just to get a behind the scenes perspective on what goes on match days, and to be able to confidently wear fifteen gold rings on each hand! As for anyone in the world, it would probably have to be David De Gea just to see what it’s like to be playing for the best team in the Premier League
Sports Shots would like to thank Josh for his time this week