Not training is not an excuse for good quality players to perform lower than the levels we know they can, says Welling Town boss Kevin Oakes

Friday 30th October 2020

WELLING TOWN manager Kevin Oakes says his side go into tomorrow’s FA Vase First Round tie against Hanworth Villa a long way from their best in recent weeks.

The Boots have slipped down the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table in recent weeks and are in 13th place in the table with 13 points from their 11 games, having lost their last six games.

Hanworth Villa arrive at Bayliss Avenue sitting in fourth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division table with 22 points from eight games, four points adrift of leaders Sutton Common Rovers but with two games in hand.

“We had a good run in The FA Vase last season and we enter at a later round as a result so Saturday’s game will be our first in the competition this season,” said Oakes, who is also the chairman.

“Whilst we have been a long way from our best in recent weeks, as a group, players and management, we do feel we’ve been deserving of more from some games and the run of defeats is in no way a fair reflection of the quality individually within the group, although we all admit we must be better as a collective.

“Not training regularly has proven less than ideal with the huge number of midweek games but we’re sure we’re not the only ones in that position and it’s not an excuse for good quality players to perform lower than the levels we know they can.

“Our session on Tuesday this week was high tempo, competitive and everyone was positive and in good spirits so the future looks brighter.

“That’s partly aided by the addition in recent weeks of Ryan Palmer (from Sittingbourne) who doesn’t need much introduction. The addition of James Miles from Rusthall is a good one and his energy and quality have already impressed myself and his new team-mates, as well as the return of Mehmet Piro, coming in from Erith Town.

“Sadly, the latter two are cup-tied for this weekend’s game and we’ll miss Richard Jimoh, who is injured for a few weeks with a knee injury and the long-term absentee Jhoan Tabima (Achilles).

“We’ve also brought in two promising prospects in Yusuf Hamed and Declan Kama and we hope their strong Academy backgrounds and youthful enthusiasm, hard work and willingness to learn will prove beneficial to them and all around them.

“We don’t know much about the individuals at Hanworth Villa, other than Paul Merson’s son Sam plays up top for them and is their top scorer and that they are unbeaten in the league this season.

“They’ve played Lordswood in a cup earlier this season and Abbey Rangers recently, who we played in The FA Cup, so we’ll be calling in a few favours on scouting reports to go into the game with as much knowledge as possible.”

Meanwhile, centre-half Rob Gillman, 36, has left the club to join Kent County League Premier Division side Hawkinge Town, whom are managed by former Hythe Town boss Scott Porter.

Porter has also enticed midfielder Darren Marsden to join the club.

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Welling Town v Hanworth Villa
The Buildbase FA Vase First Round
Saturday 31 October 2020
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Bayliss Avenue, Thamesmead, London SE28 8NJ