We've played really well in the main so far in what has been a tough start, says FC Elmstead manager Danny Wakeling
FC ELMSTEAD manager Danny Wakeling says he is looking forward to tomorrow’s home game against Seven Acre & Sidcup.
The club go into the Kent Invicta League game sitting at the foot of the table, having collected one point from their opening four league games, while Seven Acre & Sidcup arrive in Bromley sitting in thirteenth-place.
Wakeling said: “Looking forward to the game tomorrow as I have some great pals at Seven Acre. I've known Lee Hill a long time now, we've crossed paths back in the day a few times and his teams are always hard working and energetic.
“He's done well there since the days of the South London Alliance and there rise from back then has been brilliant. They played so well in the FA Cup recently which is a credit to where the club was not so long ago and it's a path to follow in terms of establishing ourselves as a football club at this level
“Personally, I've enjoyed things so far to be honest. We've had a bit of upheaval losing one of our management team in Jack White but Tyrone Reid has slipped in brilliantly and has been warmly received by the players
“We've played really well in the main so far in what has been a tough start. It was a great opening game against Orpington , then we have it a right good go at Bearsted despite losing Luke Roberts in goal very early on in that game.
“I was disappointed in the game at home to Bridon and even Clive afterwards that they got a couple of lucky breaks with their penalty and the own goal we scored but I also felt on the day that one or two lads didn't perform as they should have and if you're not flat out as a team and the other side are - you pay the price in one way or the other during a game
“At Sheppey we set up well and were in the game 1-1 before a lad or two dropped intensity and we got picked off just before half time just as we got into the game scoring the equaliser.
“Again - you've got to play with total focus and intensity for every minute the referee is out there for. Second half there we pushed on and rather than hang about and keep a respectable score without really going for it I decided to open up and keep pressing to win.
“I'm never going to stand there and just accept losing and having the scoreline looking ok but after that game we sat as a management team and decided to drop a couple down to the reserves.
“It was clear that there was a weak link in that game in particular as he didn't respond to the half time demands and he decided not to get sharper and fit for purpose and wished to leave instead.
“It was a good gut check for a few at Sheppey. Especially for those who over compensated in areas and were flat on their backs afterwards.
“I was so proud of those. They played with courage and valour all the way through despite the score and that was the springboard for the following week in the Vase.
“We went to Horsham YMCA with most people on the outside expecting a home win hammering. They were wrong! Everyone at Horsham couldn't speak highly enough of our performance. Their players, supporters in the bar after the game , their sponsors and committee members plus their management team all said we deserved a win and a replay minimum.
“They're a cracking side Horsham YMCA and a really good club. We've got a pre-season game for next year and one of their committee members even found the time to text me last Saturday to wish us good luck (no 1st xi game but we had a 2xi game ) and said they'd spoken in their meeting about the previous weeks game and that all were in agreement we should have won and that we will keep in touch.
“I thought that was a touch of class by them and very much in keeping with how they run their club. The lads appreciated too.
“We went to Horsham with a squad we truly trusted after the week before and it was a significant moment. I'd say we won't be fully settled until around November and I expect a few changes along the way - that's football after all but as long as we get a side on the pitch that truly mirrors and delivers what we want out there then that's all that matters.
“Players are always unhappy when not involved in the first XI but I can tell you now, not as happy as I was with a couple. One showed the guts to wipe his mouth and has come back stronger having had a run out in our second XI last week and that is the ONLY way for ANY player to do his talking - and that is out on the pitch. Anything else is trash and just words. Actions speak louder than words!
“Tomorrow will be another tough game but I'm looking forward to welcoming Lee and Carol Hill, John Brand and Sam Taylor and having a beer with them afterwards.
“Hopefully that'll be after another performance like the one away at Horsham YMCA in the FA Vase but with a result to match it.
“Games are coming thick and fast now and we are back out there v Lewisham Borough on Tuesday so all lads involved this weekend, whether playing first or second team - are playing for the right to stay in or get in the team. Simple as that!”
FC Elmstead v Seven Acre & Sidcup
Pain & Glory Sports Kent Invicta League
Saturday 19th September 2015
Kick Off 3:00pm
at 68 Oakley Road, Bromley, Kent BR2 8HQ