Fairford Town manager Jody Bevan admits he is feeling relaxed ahead of his side’s FA Vase First Round clash with local rivals Shrivenham this weekend.
Fairford geared up for the game with a come from behind victory against Holmer Green in a game that Assistant Manager Jamie Reid admitted saw Fairford potentially underestimate the visitors, but Bevan believes that the poor start was down to taking unnecessary risks so early into the game.
“I certainly wouldn’t say that we didn’t take Holmer Green seriously on Saturday because we definitely did, but what I would say is that I felt there was almost an expectation within the side that we would win and possibly we showed an over confidence and just expected things to happen.
We were careless and took unnecessary risks and got punished within the first five minutes. We were wobbly for the following quarter of an hour but once we scored I felt that we dominated the game and could have won by more really.
However, regardless of the opposition every game starts equal and you have to earn the right to play and we were definitely guilty of not doing that in the early stages on Saturday,” Bevan added.
Saturday wasn’t the first time that Fairford have had to come from behind to take all three points this season and Bevan admitted that his side will need to improve defensively as they can’t afford to keep going behind in games.
“It’s frustrating that we don’t seem to be able to keep a clean sheet at the moment, but then again we are coming back to win games and at the end of the day that is what we are here to do, win games.
But we really have to keep working hard to improve as we know that there are plenty of teams in our league that are capable and will punish us. We can’t afford to go 1-0 down before we begin playing.”
Despite the lack of clean sheets Fairford go into Saturday’s game against Shrivenham having won their last four games, albeit one of them coming via a penalty shoot-out.
One of the stand out players and positives for Fairford in recent games has been the introduction of new signing Christian Turner-Williams, who caught the eye of Severn Sport in his debut at Tuffley Rovers towards the end of September and Bevan has praised the forward for how he has settled into the side and hit the ground running.
“Chris [Turner-Williams] is a great lad with a good pedigree and I’ve been delighted with him,” Bevan said. “His quality is obvious for all to see but the most important thing for him at the moment is to simply start enjoying his football again after a tough year.
At this present moment I think that we are great fit for each other and for me it’s one of the best parts of management in being able to take a young player with the ability who simply needs an opportunity and re-build their confidence and hopefully see them flourish. It is still early days with Chris but he has a very bright future in football,” Bevan added.
Saturday gives Fairford the chance to make the 2nd Round of the FA Vase since 2003 and with familiar opposition in their way in Shrivenham, Bevan knows just how tough his side will have it at the weekend.
“Shrivenham will be as tough as they come. It’s the local derby for us and they have been our bogey side in recent years with three losses to them in the three games we’ve played against them since they got promoted.
They thrashed us earlier in the season and we are keen to put that result right. Their form has been up and down this season but that’s irrelevant as they always raise their game to play us.
Like us they have some quality players and in Steve Robertson they have a striker who has been one of the top goalscorers in the Hellenic League for many years now so we have to treat the game like any other, start well and do the basics right.
Ultimately it’s a cup game with prize money on the line but in all honesty I’m pretty relaxed about the game and see it as a welcome break from the pressure of the league,” Bevan said.
Fairford Town head to Shrivenham in the First Round of the FA Vase on Saturday 12th October; kick off 15:00