Cornard United manager Paul Grainger hailed the loyalty of his players ahead of a trip to high-flying March Town United on Saturday (3pm).
The Ards climbed two places to 16th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table, after a 1-0 win away at Leiston Reserves at the weekend.
Joseph Paton netted the only goal of the game in the first half at Victory Road to secure a third win of the season for Grainger’s side.
“It’s a testament to the players who have stuck with the club,” said the Cornard boss, who returned for a second spell in charge at Blackhouse Lane in September. “They didn’t go elsewhere and have got the rewards.
“On Saturday, in the first half particularly, we created a lot of chances, and their keeper has made some good saves. Ironically we scored with a messy goal”
“In the second half Leiston had more of the possession, but our keeper didn’t have a save to make.”
This weekend’s match at the GER Sports Ground sees the bottom two clubs from last season collide, however neither side currently find themselves propping up the table.
March (sixth) have been the surprise package so far, with Daniel Woods and Denny Escorcio having netted 23 goals between them.
“It’s a long journey for us on Saturday,” said Grainger. “Which will obviously mean a few will be missing due to work commitments.”
Long Melford and Halstead Town do not play this week.
n In the Premier Division, Hadleigh United look to get back to winning ways when they host struggling Ely City on Saturday (3pm).
Stuart Crawford’s side suffered a second straight defeat at the weekend, losing 2-0 at home to Fakenham Town.
“We are struggling for form,” admitted the Hadleigh boss. “We have been very inconsistent and have been a frustrating side to watch.”
After exiting the FA Vase to Great Yarmouth Town two weeks ago, the Fakenham defeat has left Crawford’s side 13 points behind league leaders Norwich United.
“Going out of the Vase was a big disappointment, but it’s over now so just have to move on,” said the Hadleigh boss, who announced that Tes Bramble has left the club. “I’ve found the manner of the last couple of games hard to accept and hope to see an improvement this weekend.”
The Brettsiders are expected to welcome back Ashley Sloots and Luke Hammond, while Ben Nower (knee) and Kris Rose (suspension) miss out.
“When spells like this come around you just have to stick together, roll your sleeves up and work hard to get results,” said Crawford. “It doesn’t matter how it happens, you just want to try and string a few results together.”