Wednesday 26th October 2005

McDonnell: I haven't set myself any targets


Striker Nic McDonnell admitted he was feeling "sluggish" during Bromley's FA Cup fourth qualifying round defeat at the hands of full-time Nationwide Conference outfit Aldershot Town last Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

Tim Sills' goal after only 24 SECONDS was enough for the Hampshire side to earn a trip to Burnham in the First Round proper on 5th November.

And McDonnell was rushed back into action after missing three games with a hamstring strain - and a week's holiday.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview with www.kentishfootball.co.uk, the 24-year-old admitted: "I had a week away, came back Saturday where I didn't feel I did myself justice against Aldershot.  I felt a little sluggish."

McDonnell, a fitness instructor, who lives in Whyteleafe, looked sharper as George Wakeling's men climbed up to ninth in the Ryman Premier League table with a dazzling performance that saw them beat under performing AFC Wimbledon 2-0 at The Courage Stadium on Tuesday night.

The tall, raven haired striker, netted his tenth goal of the season two minutes before the break before tiny midfielder Sam Wood doubled the score after only 45 seconds of the second half with his first goal for the club.

"We started well from the beginning," reflected McDonnell.  "I know AFC Wimbledon had a few players out but on the whole we played well."

Admitting that he's "playing to his strengths" this season, McDonnell hasn't set himself any personal targets, although Wakeling predicted earlier in the season that the former Carshalton Athletic hit-man would net over twenty goals.

"I've had a few seasons where I set myself targets but this season I thought I'll just go out and play," he said.

With Bromley rising up the table, McDonnell hasn't made any predictions for the team either.

And with third placed Staines Town visiting The Courage Stadium in Hayes Lane on Saturday, he revealed: "I don't really look at tables but obviously I will towards the end of the season.

"Everyone can beat everyone, it's just whose consistent.

"Again, I won't make predictions.  However, if we can keep putting in the performances in you've got to look towards the play-off's but it's not going to be easy," he warned. 

"Just as long as we play well and keep winning we'll see what happens."

And 19-year-old midfielder Sam Wood echoed those views.

Wood - on a season's loan from Nationwide Conference club Dagenham & Redbridge - scored a wonderful solo goal for Cray Wanderers on the same ground against AFC Wimbledon last December when he raced from the half-way line, cut into the penalty area before slotting the ball through Danny Naisbitt's legs.

Wood, however, was delighted as he opened his Bromley account.

"You've got to do it in the vital games, ain't you?" he said.

"It's a good win (and it) gets us up the table now.

"We've had a good run in the FA Cup (and now we can) concentrate on the league."

Reflecting on their FA Cup defeat by Aldershot, he added: "Very disappointing, but we should have won really, but we just didn't take our chances."

Wood, however, praised the club's ever growing fan base and asks for more of the same on Saturday.

"Good support from the fans.  We enjoy it every week," he said.  "Let's hope they can keep the support up.  It should be a very good game.

"We just have to work hard like we did against AFC Wimbledon and hopefully get a good result."

Bromley v Staines Town
Ryman Premier League
Saturday 29th October 2005
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Courage Stadium, Hayes Lane, Bromley