*BS*RYAN ROYSTON is looking forward to playing for Maidstone in Saturday’s Ryman League Division One South showdown at Crabble.
*BF*The big central defender is expected to replace the suspended Mario McNish in the back-line.
Whites officials are expecting a crowd of at least 2,000 fans to flock through the turnstiles – and Royston cannot wait.
“You play all season for games like this,” the 25-year-old said EXCLUSIVELY to www.kentishfootball.co.uk after playing 90 minutes for Thamesmead Town in front of an official crowd of just 44 at Tunbridge Wells in a Kent League Cup group game on Monday night.
“We’ve put ourselves in the position where we’ve got a chance of winning the league.
“We’ve got a definite chance of making the play-off’s and we’ve played so well in the last 13 games.”
During these thirteen games the Stones have won nine, drawn 3 and have only lost to Tooting & Mitcham United.
The Terrors, who defeated Dover Athletic 4-1 on Tuesday night, have climbed up to seventh place in the table and are just three points behind the Stones – and cannot be ruled out under the guidance of Billy Smith and George Wakeling, who whilst at Bromley two years ago won promotion via the play-offs with a good run from November that year.
“From what we’ve sort of seen in the last month or so we’ve been looking towards the top of the table,” said Royston.
“There’s four teams up there, Dartford, Dover, Dulwich, Fleet. Hastings have got themselves in the mix a bit now as well and obviously we’re in there, in the mix as well.
“It’s very close up there and any team can beat anyone on their day. You look at the likes of Ashford who have got a few decent results recently and Corinthian Casuals.
“They’re both down the bottom and they’re taking points of the top teams so it’s not an easy league to go and win every game and run away with – I think it’s a tough league.”
But Royston admitted he will not need any inspiring words from Stones’ management team, Alan Walker and Lloyd Hume minutes before the big game.
“They’d expect us not to lose the battle and expect us to match them man-for-man and they’ll basically say to us we really shouldn’t need any geeing up for this game,” he explained.
“Like I said earlier, this is what we play for, games like Saturday. It’s a massive game on it’s own Dover-Maidstone.
“The fact that both teams are top of the league adds to it. It makes it even bigger. You can’t really say anything – both teams will give 100% I’m sure.”
With the club returning to the county home next season, Royston believes delivering Ryman Premier League football in Maidstone would be “unbelievable.”
He said: “Ryman Premier League football a stones throw from the ground to the town centre – it would be unreal.
“Hopefully that is what’s on the way. It’s certainly not definite but the ground’s definite.
“If we can deliver Ryman Premier League football next season back in Maidstone it will be huge.
“Dartford are getting one and a half thousand regularly, 1590 Saturday and that’s not in the town centre at Dartford.
“You look at Maidstone, as big if not bigger town and it’s even closer to the town centre but it’s unimaginary how many people we’ll get there in comparison at the moment at Bourne Park getting 3-400’s.
Royston paid tribute to the Stones fans that are walking from the site of their new stadium to Dover Athletic’s Crabble ground to raise funds for their new home.
He said: “It’s fantastic. A great idea, If they can raise some money that’s fantastic. Hat’s off to them.
“I don’t think I’ll fancy that walk – it’s a hell of a long way! But fair play to them.
“It’s good to see people puling together, the fans getting out there and doing something, which is nice.”