The Rooks will look for an immediate return to winning ways on Saturday when VCD Athletic make the trip to East Sussex in the Bostik League South. Whilst Wednesday’s defeat was a blow, the fate of our season is still in our hands and Darren will be looking for his full strength squad to deliver against 17th-placed VCD.
The visitors have won six and drawn one of their eighteen games on the road, scoring 29 and conceding 39. In their last game they narrowly lost at home to Corinthian-Casuals although they have won three of their last six games including an impressive 3-1 at Greenwich Borough last month. The Rooks home form is still impressive – winning thirteen and drawing four of their nineteen home games this season. Current Rook Omarr Lawson scored nine goals for VCD this season, including goals in five consecutive league games earlier in the season, which included the opening strike in our two-one victory at Oakwood back in October.
Despite Wednesday night’s defeat, there is certainly no doom and gloom around The Pan, a message echoed by boss Darren Freeman: –
“I’ve got mixed reactions after Wednesday night’s game with Carshalton. It was obviously a big game with both sides competing for the automatic promotion places, and it was great to see a healthy crowd of 615 at the Pan.
I thought that we as a team were very frustrating. We haven’t played 45 minutes of football like that in the first half for 30-odd games. The early goal killed us. We can’t expect to win games if we play like we did in the first 45, if I’m being honest.
That said, although they pressed us and created a few chances, it was a scrappy goal that won the game. Even when we weren’t playing well, we weren’t being battered.
The second half was a different story. We were the team who played the football. We gave it a good go and we did turn up. With a bit more luck, we could have nicked an equaliser with one of those two big chances in the final ten minutes. We created enough chances to get something out the game, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Now, it’s important we stay positive. We’ve lost five of 38 games, which is still a fantastic record. Our last defeat prior to Wednesday night was on New Year’s Day, and prior to Carshalton we’d won five on the bounce. We’re still top of the league and it’s very much in our own hands.
Now we must regroup, let that defeat hurt us in the right manner and go out there today, give a good account of ourselves and get back to winning ways.
You were great at getting behind the boys on Wednesday night. We’re going to need all that noise and passion again today, right from the first whistle.”
Kick off on Saturday at The Pan is 3pm.