Greenwich Borough boss Paul Barnes: Hythe have been excellent since Sam Denly has taken over and their results speak for themselves
GREENWICH BOROUGH manager Paul Barnes says tomorrow’s home game against fellow in-form play-off chasers Hythe Town is important.
Lewes remain at the summit in the Bostik South Division table with 89 points with five games remaining, while Carshalton Athletic are a couple of points behind having played a game more.
The four play-off places are occupied by Greenwich Borough (83 points from 41 games), Cray Wanderers (82 points from 42 games), Corinthian-Casuals (82 points from 41 games) and Walton Casuals (77 points from 41 games).
Sam Denly’s Hythe Town, meanwhile, are only four points adrift of the play-offs in seventh-place and they must win their game with Greenwich Borough to close the gap.
Greenwich Borough go into the game seven games unbeaten after beating East Grinstead Town 4-1 at home on Easter Saturday, before coming away from Cray Wanderers with a point in a 2-2 draw two days later.
“East Grinstead have been scoring lots of goals and involved in some high scoring games leading up to our fixture, so we had to warn against any complacency and make sure we were focused and got the basis right, which I was very pleased we did,” said Barnes, who has carried on the good work started by Gary Alexander.
“From the first whistle we were on the front foot and took an early lead through Jack Barham, who is getting better and better as each game and week passes.
“We imposed ourselves and kept our tempo on and out of possession with our forwards taking advantage of our pressure and putting us 3-0 up as Jack scored again and Junior Aikhionbare scored on his debut. I was delighted for him and to get off to a flying start with us, his work rate and commitment has already shown to be one that will help make us stronger in this last important section of the season.
“I was disappointed to concede the goal before half-time, not just the manner of it, but because we challenge the group to keep clean sheets and take pride in our goal difference statistics. We want to be the highest scorers and best defensively.
“Second half we dropped off of it and allowed East Grinstead to have lots of possession and dictate play. They have the capability as they have some good players who are technically comfortable to receive the ball under pressure and be confident to develop possession. Players such as Will Hoare and others have impressed me and put in good displays this season.
“For all their possession we restricted them to very little in a way of creating opportunities and we showed our threat right until the end when Bradley Pritchard, who has really stepped up and been a leader for me since I joined , sent Nassim Dukali clear who showed his confidence by coolly male it 4-1.
“With only a short turnaround and recovery, it was important that we managed the squad and minutes of players, so we could then go into our Monday game at Cray in the best condition. Credit to Hus and my staff for making sure we did this affectively.
“With my whole squad showing me everyone was deserving of a place against Cray, we had to make sure we kept the right balance and respect Cray as they have their own qualities and threats, but once again as we want to try and do every game, we started on the front foot and got our shape and roles executed and this allowed Jack to score from transitioning quickly and showing his finishing ability.
“Cray came back into the game before half-time and we gave away a soft penalty in our eyes, not from the refs point of view, just from our own poor play and decision making.
“Once again my squad showed our character and professionalism by imposing ourselves on the game straight away in the second half and it wasn't long before we regained possession and transitioned quickly, with Travis Gregory whom I believe has the ability to go as far as he wants, his athleticism and ability has blown me away since working with him. He's a hard working lad who carries himself professionally and has an attitude that can help push him where he wants to go, he showed this ability when he raced away from Ben Mundele and picked out a perfect low cross for Jack Barham to finish.
“After that we showed discipline and commitment to contain Cray, and it was very disappointing to conceded the 98th minute penalty and draw 2-2. Credit to Cray who kept going and got something in a game when they probably know they were lucky to.
“It shows the belief and application of my squad, when we come off the pitch away at one of the favourites to get promoted and are absolutely gutted not to be coming away with all the points.
“We were back in training on Thursday and the energy has been superb, and everyone is looking forward to the next game, which in my opinion holds even more importance then our last fixture.
“Hythe have been excellent since Sam Denly has taken over and their results speak for themselves. We both have targets we want to achieve and both teams know that nothing less then three points will be enough to keep on track.
“As I have stated previously, our targets stay the same and each game that awaits will take everything we all have to gain maximum points from each outing, the main target right now is Saturday and Hythe Town.”
Greenwich Borough under Paul Barnes:
P12 W9 D1 L2
Hythe Town under Sam Denly:
P11 W8 D2 L1
Visit Greenwich Borough’s website: www.greenwichboroughfc.co.uk
Greenwich Borough v Hythe Town
Bostik South Division
Saturday 7 April 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Middle Park Avenue, Eltham, London SE9 5HP