Longlevens manager hoping FA Vase win can lay down a marker for rest of the season

Longlevens manager Craig Martin hopes that a win in the FA Vase this weekend will see his side making steps in the right direction after a disappointing run of defeats. 

Since securing wins against Newent Town in the last round in the FA Vase last month, Longlevens have won on the road against Holmer Green but have been defeated in their last three outings.

Following defeat against Royal Wootton Bassett in the league, Longlevens were knocked out of the Hellenic League Supplementary Cup on penalties by Clanfield before being beaten 2-0 at the weekend by Reading City.

“We had a disappointing result against Reading City,” said Martin. “But to be honest, after the performances against Bassett and Clanfield I was still happy with the performance on Saturday because we still created chances and really on another day we might have taken Reading…who knows!” 

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At the weekend Longlevens were missing a killer edge in the final third and were missing experienced players like Brad Martin and Shaun O’Connor but Martin has confirmed that his two most experienced forwards will be in the match day squad for the game against Cowes Sports this weekend.

“Last week we were missing a couple of massive players through holidays and injury and their absence was huge off the pitch as well. But at Wednesday night’s training we had 20 players competing for a place in the squad during a session where we worked on a few things. 

Finally we have a full squad to pick from and have had to leave a couple of people out, which is a positive really. We are obviously without Jay Kennedy to a long term injury and Kane [Winman] & Ed [Smyllie] have hopefully short term knocks. 

Other than that Ben Tegg is working away this weekend and the only other absentee is Josh Westcarr, who has taken his partner away for her birthday….the big softie,” joked Martin.

Levens welcome a Sydenhams Football League side to Saw Mills for the second time this season after hosting Portland United in the FA Cup earlier in the season and will be looking to make the FA Vase 2nd Round for the first time ever.

Martin told Severn Sport that a win against Cowes Sports this weekend shows the progress his side is making and he has once again called for the support of the local community and club members.

“Sometimes when you know nothing about an opponent it can work in your favour, as you don’t get a chance to study and think of their game plan. You’re able to worry about yourself and what you are doing which hopefully means we stay focussed.

A win on Saturday would be another step in the right direction for us a both a club and a team, we have had a solid start in both the league and cup and after last season it has been much more positive.

If we can get even half the support of what we managed to get for the FA Cup tie with Portland then it will hopefully lift all of the lads again. Of course we are hoping to see as many of the Longlevens youth players at Saw Mills, to show them the sort of occasions we can reach as a first team.

Hopefully we can see as much of the community at Saw Mills as possible to support the first team in what could be another landmark day in our history.” Martin added.

Longlevens vs Cowes Sports in the FA Vase will be our featured game on Saturday 12th October and you will be able to listen to the game in full live on Severn Sport. More information to follow. 

READ MORE: Check out the full list of fixtures on Non-League Day 2019 in and around Gloucestershire right here


Cover photo taken with full copyright to Helen Warwick. View her wonderful photos on Flickr or by following her on Twitter @HelenWarwick5