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Still plenty of work to be done in play-off quest

On the brink, but points still needed to make the end of season dotted line

Malcolm Howe



Still plenty of work to be done in play-off quest

IT’S NOT DONE YET is the warming from manager Bobby Wilkinson as his Hungerford Town side goes to Cirencester Town on Saturday when a win could see them assured of a play-off spot - but defeat could throw the race wide open again.
Hungerford missed out on goal difference last season, and with five teams pushing for the two places available, any slip-ups could lead to more disappointment.
“It’s down to us,” said Wilkinson, “the job isn’t done yet. It’s nowhere near done yet.
“Yes, we’re in the driving seat but that could all change and I don’t want us getting to the end of the season and saying ‘we could or should have done this or that.’ It’s up to us to do it.”
Cirencester have had a season that has seen them hovering around the play-off fringe and they are still in with a mathematical chance of sneaking in.
“They are a good side and they have to win,” said Wilkinson. “But I would rather be playing a team like that than one we would be expected to beat.
“And don’t forget Redditch. If we lose our two remaining games and they win theirs, they will beat us on goal difference and I don’t want that to happen again.
“And if results go against us this week, we will go into the last day with three teams on 75 points. So we have to get something from Saturday’s game.
“The best thing is that my boys are up for it.”
Wilkinson will again have tough calls to make. Skipper Jon Boardman, strikers Charlie Mpi and Harry Goodger and midfielder Scott Rees have all been on the bench in recent games and are itching to get back to starting roles. “They are not so much knocking on the door as hammering at it,” said Wilkinson.
“But places are always up for grabs and if you don’t train well, you don’t play.”
And Wilkinson is also looking at future competition for places after a Hungerford squad with nine academy players beat Basingstoke League Rising Sun 5-2 on
Tuesday night to reach the final of the Basingstoke Senior Cup.
A hat-trick from Conor Lynch and goals from Chris Passey and Harry Goodger - one of a sprinkling of first teamers on parade - secured a final date with Wessex League Alton Town at Whitchurch United on Wednesday, May 6.
“The academy lads were outstanding,” said Wilkinson. “We wanted to show that we are interested young pups and we treated it as we would any full first team fixture.
“It was a great experience for them and a number of them will be in the squad for the final. They deserve that for getting us there.”

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