It's been a good start for us, says VCD Athletic boss Keith McMahon

Wednesday 19th September 2018

VCD ATHLETIC manager Keith McMahon says he is expecting a tough home game against struggling Sevenoaks Town on Saturday.

The Vickers sit in fourth-place in the Bostik South East Division table with four wins from their opening five league outings and suffered their first league defeat of the season last weekend, losing 3-1 at East Grinstead Town.

“It’s been a good start for us,” said McMahon. 

“Saturday’s defeat was disappointing but overall four straight wins, 12 points out of 15, I think we would’ve taken that at the beginning of the season, so I think we’re only get to get better as well, so I’m really pleased.

McMahon watched the first 75 minutes of Sevenoaks Town’s 2-0 defeat at Three Bridges last night, a result that sees Micky Collins’ newly-promoted side replace their opponents at the bottom of the league table on a point.

“It’s much of a muchness,” McMahon said of the standard of the division.

“There’s going to be three or four very good sides, I would think and the rest will be very, very similar.

“We’ve played five completely different sides if I’m honest, all of them gave us a decent game so there’s a lot more local derbies – that’s to look at I suppose – but I think it’s pretty wide open.

“I’m really disappointed with Saturday, we didn’t turn up for half-an-hour. It was a game we could’ve got something in the end with our second half performance.”

Collins questioned his players’ desire after losing at Three Bridges last night but McMahon expects a tough encounter at Oakwood on Saturday.

“It’s going to be another tough game. It’s a local derby,” said McMahon.

“They’re full of confidence coming up from the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division last year. They’ve had quite a few decent results of late, a decent draw last Saturday against Haywards Heath, who I thought were a very good side and very strong and organised.

“I think it’s going to be pretty fierce at the beginning and hopefully we can do something and get the right result.”

McMahon does the hard graft and is often out watching Bostik League games to look at teams and players and was even out last night on the day of his sons eleventh birthday.

“It just goes to show, it’s my little boys birthday today and I’m here,” said McMahon.

“I think you’ve got to have a look, you’ve got to put the work in. If you don’t put the work in then you’ll come a cropper.

“I like to get a rough idea on how sides play and try to learn and also try to pick players up here or there as well if you can.

“I think you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse if you want to do well.  A part of your job as a manager isn’t just Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I think you learn more out of watching games and I’ve done it for 20-odd years and I’ll do it mostly until I’ve finished.”

Cray Wanderers lead the table with five wins out of five and the play-off places are occupied by Hastings United (12 points), Whyteleafe (12), VCD Athletic (12) and Hythe Town (10).

McMahon was full of praise for his star-striker Charlie MacDonald, 37, for the upturn in the club’s fortunes with four of his side’s goals this season.

“It’s early days, it’s five games, you normally have a look after 10 and then re-asses it at Christmas and see where we are but we’ve got a very young side,” said McMahon.

“We’ve added Charlie MacDonald, who for me is the best striker in this league and possibly the one above. He’s been fantastic, unbelievable around the club. Other managers who have managed him will tell you that. His preparation before games is unbelievable. 

“We’ve got six under 19s and we’ve only got two players over 25 in the whole squad so he’s been brilliant with the youngsters. He’s helped them come through and he’s been brilliant with them so I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re doing so well, not just Charlie’s goals. It’s just the way he conducts himself and everyone else is doing the same.

“We’re looking to do the best we can. If we’re around it at Christmas then we’ll try to push on but there’s some great sides in the league; Ashford, Cray, Hythe and Hastings are the best side we’ve played. That was probably our best performance of the season in The FA Cup but we went out (losing 3-2) and really we shouldn’t have had and they know that as well but they’re the best side I’ve seen.”

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VCD Athletic  v  Sevenoaks Town
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 22 September 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Oakwood, Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN