In my last column, I spoke about the need to go back to clean sheets.
Since then, we’ve won 3-0 against Tonbridge Angels and drawn 0-0 at Chelmsford. So it’s really pleasing that the boys have responded to what we’ve asked of them and we’ve got back-to-back clean sheets.
After the frustrations of competing so well against Barnet in the FA Trophy and losing to a late goal, the same starting XI took out their frustrations against Tonbridge.
It was great to win at Woking after three straight ‘home’ defeats. We’d been putting in good performances in front of our own fans, just without the results, so there wasn’t much to work on to put things right.
Last weekend at Chelmsford was just a continuation of that form – and it probably should have been another win.
Luke Williams scored straight from a free-kick in injury time but the referee disallowed it as there was a flag from the assistant referee.
We’re still not sure why – the lads were still a bit bemused by it all when they came into training on Tuesday.
The referee changed his explanation for it about three times. First he said it was offside – which it wasn’t – then he said we had a player interfering with play by running across the goalkeeper. Then he changed it again to say he was impeding the goalkeeper.
We did feel a little bit miffed but we had missed some golden opportunities to score before that and we’ll have to draw a line under it.
Now our focus is on the games over Christmas. As I told the lads at training on Thursday, this is the first of two crucial periods in the season – the other being March, when you get into the run-in.
We’ve got four games in 11 days between now and New Year’s Day and there’s points there, for sure. Other teams might switch things round to keep players fresh but our squad’s that small, rotation isn’t really an option!
But our conditioning is really good and we’ve got a very good physio in Graham Ashton so I’m confident we can cope with it.
The lads will be in for training on Christmas Eve during the day and, should the bad weather we’ve had account for the Bath game, we’ll have them in for a session on Saturday as well. But that’ll be it before we report for the Sutton game on Boxing Day.
The lads have had their Christmas party, which was last Saturday. My phone didn’t go off at 4am so I’m happy with that!
We’re now prepared for Saturday’s game at home to Bath City.
They’ve got an almost identical record to us, so if we can get a result it will give us a little bit of breathing space but if they win they’ll go above us.
They’ve got most of their points away from home so it’s going to be tough. But if you want to be up there with the top teams you’ve got to stand up in these difficult games.