Thomas hoping Lydney can turn tough season around – starting with trip to Longlevens

Lydney Town goalkeeper/Assistant Manager Rich Thomas admits this season has been one of the hardest seasons in his career, but believes his side can turn around their fortunes after a tough first half to the campaign.

Lydney find themselves in 19th position in the Hellenic Premier after 20 league matches and despite Lewis Thompson’s 13 goals in all competitions, they only have 11 points, having won just 3 of their first 20 matches.

On Tuesday night Lydney went down 2-0 at home to Corsham Town, but Thomas says that the hosts were more than in the game until an unlucky red card.

“Tuesday’s game sort of sums up the season so far to be honest,” said Thomas. “We started the better team, had more of the ball, created more, scored a goal which was very harshly ruled out for a foul and then get the gut punch came – which this week was a sending off.

I was too far to see what exactly happened but have seen the video and to say the lad has done Lewis & the Ref with some Grade A theatrics would be an understatement!

Then their first goal is ruled out for offside before the referee overruled the linesman and we’re a man and now a goal down, so it’s difficult to come back from that.

Corsham are not bad at what they do, they have a lad up top who is good in the air but in both games against them we’ve left with a sour taste in the mouth, knowing that we really could have got something out of both games,” added Thomas.

With Lydney’s fortunes seemingly not in their favour they find themselves languishing at the bottom end of the table, but Thomas remains hopeful and says he has seen enough from his side to know the luck will come soon enough.

“Being honest, this season has probably been the hardest of my 17 at this level. The team has been disjointed, and that’s not to say the lads who have come in haven’t done a job, but it’s hard to get the ball rolling,

I don’t think we’ve managed to start the same back four for two games running yet and the league seems to be on a mission to finish next season by this Christmas, so we’ll continue to get injuries and players will miss games, but that’s part of it at this level.

Results, obviously, haven’t been good at all and we’ve got ourselves in quite a pickle. But with that said, panic isn’t setting in camp just yet as, barring one or two games performances have been ok.

I can think of maybe three or four games where we’ve been well beaten by a team who have been much better than us, aside from that it’s key moments in both boxes and of course a little bit of luck. Pretty much every team we’ve played this year has commented that they can’t believe we’re down here after games, but we do need to start turning decent shifts into points.

[Regarding what Lydney need to do to turn their luck around] I would say we need more goals. Every time we’ve scored first in the game this season we’ve got something from it, be it against top of the table teams or others.

That’s not just on the front boys though, that’s on the whole team from me at the back all the way up the pitch. I think it’s easy when you are down there to start to drop deeper and the further away from goal you are the fewer you’ll typically score!” Thomas said.

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Next up for Lydney is a local derby with Longlevens, a side they tend to play well against – especially over the last few seasons.

Lydney are unbeaten in their last two visits to Saw Mills, although were beaten 2-1 in the revamped Hellenic League Cup in April.

Ahead of the game Thomas has praised Saturday’s opposition but believes his side are capable of causing an upset and claim an all important win.

“Longlevens are typically a team we’ve done well against in the past, be it home or away,” said Thomas. “They’re obviously flying the year and seem to have a young and exciting squad, who probably won’t have any knowledge of the old battles in Division One!

We’re still missing a couple and they’ll be confident after their win against Cribbs so go in to the game in better shape than us, however I know the quality we have in our changing room have seen bits of it this year.

If we can put it together Saturday then we’re more than capable of causing an upset. The togetherness of the squad is really good, which is a relief as it’s easy for cracks to appear when things aren’t going well. But the lads are desperate to get the result Saturday for each other, the gaffer and everyone who turns up each week to watch us,” added Thomas.

Lydney Town head to Longlevens in the Hellenic Premier on Saturday 27th November; kick off at Saw Mills 15:00

READ MORE: The Hellenic League to run extended cup format in New Year

READ MORE: Check out the full list of fixtures in and around Gloucestershire this weekend right here

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