Thu, 23 Aug 2018
THATCHAM Town assistant manager Andy Darnton has reiterated how much more challenging the Southern League is.
The Kingfishers threw away a 2-0 lead on Tuesday night to lose 3-2 away at Winchester City – their second successive league defeat.
The result leaves Thatcham winless in the Division 1 South and Darnton, believes that the team has to be more clinical in front of goal.
He said: “Before the game, I told the players to be brave on the ball, play with high tempo and play our football and we executed that really well.
“There’s a big difference in standard, it’s a lot more physical than last year and you get punished if you make a mistake.
“Last year, you could afford to make a few mistakes and still get six or seven chances, but in the Southern League football you may only get one or two chances.”
The Kingfishers, who romped to the Hellenic League and FA Vase double last season, were 2-0 up at half-time through Shane Cooper-Clark and James Clark, but three second-half goals gave Winchester the win.
Darnton said: “We dominated the first half with some lovely football, but in the second half we were a different side.
“We had to weather the storm after half-time, but they scored at key times.
“We now have to get back onto the training pitch and we’ll learn from it.”
City’s winner came a minute after Thatcham appeared to have scored and, despite many of the players celebrating after the ball looked to have crossed the line, the referee waved play on.
Town coach Keith Pennicott-Bowen said: “We thought it was a goal, we celebrated that it was a goal, but we switched off and they scored.
“We made one or two errors in the second half and for some reason we couldn’t execute what we wanted to do.
“We’re not going to panic – we are only two games in and it’s a new team who are all getting used to each other.”
Thatcham have a training session tonight before welcoming Bemerton Heath Harlequins in the preliminary round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
Pennicott-Bowen admitted that it would be a chance to rotate the squad as they also face Fleet Town in the league on Monday.
“We have players who need games, it’s a chance to rotate the squad and it’s an opportunity for players to grab shirts,” he said.