We’ve put ourselves in a better position than I thought we would be in at this stage of the season so now we have to deliver, says Sevenoaks Town boss Micky Collins
SEVENOAKS TOWN manager Micky Collins says his side must deliver now that they’re under pressure from the chasing pack.
The Oaks dropped points at home for the very first time this season when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Canterbury City yesterday.
Rory Hill scored his 10th goal for the season with a 30-yard dipping drive before Jason Thompson headed in on the half-hour mark, before Billy Bennett twice hit the crossbar from six-yards.
Canterbury City were dead and buried but a tactical change at the interval by bringing on Darren Marsden and pushing winger Matt Martin further forward put Ben Smith’s side on the front foot after the interval and they looked like a completely different team.
Dave Pilcher slotted in a penalty to score his 21st goal of the season before Jamie Maxted came up from left-back to poke in a low cross from substitute Connor Hendricks at the near post to earn a draw with 13 minutes left.
Sevenoaks Town remain top of the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 43 points from 18 games, a point clear of Beckenham Town (20 games) and four points clear of third-placed Crowborough Athletic (20 games).
Whitstable Town (39 points from 20 games), Deal Town (38 points from 21 games), AFC Croydon Athletic (37 points from 21 games), Corinthian (37 points from 21 games), Croydon (36 points from 23 games), Lordswood (35 points from 22 games) and Canterbury City (31 points from 21 games) are also targeting the second promotion place.
“You have to look at other teams in the pack,” said Collins.
“Deal Town are on their way up there, they’re having a great time, doing a great job down there those boys.
“Whitstable are in it, Beckenham are right on our tail and you can go on and on. There’s four or five sides that are really vying to come and get it because they know it’s two up this year and if the points per game is right for the second place side, they can still go up.
“When you’re top, you’re under pressure. You’ve got to make sure you keep getting results but we’re disappointed the last two games we haven’t won either of them but we haven’t lost and now it’s how do you bounce back?
“There’s no pressure because there’s so long to go. We’ve got to play Beckenham twice, we’ve got to play Whitstable and Crowborough. We’ve put ourselves in a better position than I thought we would be in at this stage of the season so now we have to deliver.”
Collins takes his side to Rochester United next Saturday, a side that are destined to suffer the drop along with their local rivals Hollands & Blair, now 11 points adrift of safety.
“It’s another tough game. It’s another side you have to go to and they’ll organise themselves correctly like they do and then we have got to go there and get three points,” said Collins.
“If you’re talking pressure, yes there is pressure on us but we have to play to our capabilities and what we’ve played in the first half yesterday and play like that for 90 minutes then we should go and get three points but you’re playing against a side that doesn’t want to lose. They want to get something out of you because you’re top of the league so fair play to them.”
Visit Sevenoaks Town’s website: www.sevenoakstownfc.co.uk
Rochester United v Sevenoaks Town
Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division
Saturday 20 January 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Rede Court Road, Strood, Rochester, Kent ME2 3TU