THE Rocks head into the Ryman one south play-offs for the second successive year declaring: We’re better prepared for it this time.
Jamie Howell and Darin Killpartrick’s team host Godalming in the semi-finals at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
It’s exactly a year since they lost 3-1 at the same stage at home to Dulwich Hamlet, three days after missing out on the title to Met Police by one point and one goal.
This year it’s Whitehawk who have taken top spot, but the Rocks reckon they are much more ready for a bid for the second route to promotion this time.
And they may have found form exactly at the right time.
Saturday’s second-half showing away to Maidstone, in which they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 victory, was one of their best halves of football of the entire season.
Joint boss Howell said: “We started poorly against Maidstone and couldn’t even get a shot in.
“At half-time we said we could either accept losing in that manner or show more desire and gain momentum with something much better in the second half.
“We were terrific and could even have won by more.
“Hopefully we can take that into the play-offs, but this is a different game and a different challenge.
“We’re unbeaten at home in the league for the season but this is more like a cup tie.
“Godalming have had a great end to the season and are in great form themselves, and will make it tough for us.
“I just hope we go out and play as we can. If the players give their absolute all, I can’t ask for any more.”
Steve Harper is the side’s only injury doubt – his Achilles is sore after he played a rare full 90 minutes in Kent.
Stuart Axten completes a three-match ban tonight, which means Ben Andrews and Sonny Cobbs are likely to continue alongside one another in the heart of defence.
Admission is £8 for adults, £2.50 for children.
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