Fairford Town First Team Manager Jody Bevan has called on his side to work harder than opponents Shortwood United this weekend, as the Robins look to get back to winning ways after a bad seven days.
Last weekend Fairford squandered the chance to go top of the Hellenic Premier with a surprise defeat at Cinder Lane against then bottom of the table Easington Sports. Three days later Bevan’s men were held to a 1-1 draw in the Banbury Litho Floodlit Cup by Bourton Rovers, before being beaten on penalties.
Reflecting on the game in midweek, Bevan told us that he was pleased with the performance and that it isn’t too bad to be out of the Floodlit Cup.
“To be honest I was actually pleased with the performance on Tuesday night. I mixed the team up and there were some real eye catching performances, particularly from the two lads who stepped up from the reserves.
The only criticism I had was that we didn’t really test the goalkeeper enough based on the amount of possession we had. Yes it was disappointing to lose on penalties in the end, but we are not going to lose any sleep about not being in the Floodlit Cup – especially with some big league games to come,” Bevan said.
Shortwood earned their trip to Cinder Lane with a convincing win against Tuffley Rovers at Meadowbank a fortnight ago and Bevan admits that the former Southern league side are at their most dangerous this weekend.
“I’m expecting a very tough game,” said the former Gloucester City forward. “Shortwood have been flying of late. Everybody raised their eyes at the Tuffley result but possibly even more impressive was beating Malvern last week. Any team that is playing high in confidence are dangerous and we’ve been a little off the pace in the last few games so we will need to get back to form if we are going to progress.”
After a lightning start to the season Fairford have lost the last two and looked to have started to drop off, a feeling Bevan knows all too well after a strong first of last season before an indifferent second half.
Ahead of a crucial game for both sides, Bevan has called for his side to work harder than their opposition, otherwise their poor run could continue.
“Last Saturday’s result disappointed me as it saw a return of the problems we experienced last season and not performing in the games that we are expected to win.
I spoke to Severn Sport when we won our first five and said that we were hardly world beaters and were getting the rub of the green and in the last few games we have not been as tight at the back, combined with not being as clinical in front of goal…it’s a very fine line between being excellent and getting stung.
I’ll always say that the best way to be on the right side of that line is to work harder than the opposition and Saturday gives us a great chance to get back on track. What hurt me most last week is that it seemed to mean more to Easington to get off the bottom of the league than it did for us to go top.
We’ve had a great start to the season and had a little wobble over the last couple of weeks. A few players are scratching for a bit of form but that happens to everybody. The main thing is that we look to enjoy our football and if we do that we will be more than a match for anybody at our level, if we don’t then we can struggle,” Bevan added.
Fairford Town welcome Shortwood United to Cinder Lane in the FA Vase Second Qualifying Round on Saturday afternoon; kick off 15:00